During The Mediaocean Current: Highlights from Cannes 2022 (which you can watch on demand), David Berkowitz, our SVP of Corporate Marketing and Communications (and host of the webinar), summarized his experience with 11 takeaways, gathered here for your convenience.
Trying to follow everything that goes on in Cannes can be disorienting. There are several shows wrapped up in one. There’s the Festival of Creativity, where storytelling, data, video, social media (and more) all converge, and conversations span any and all issues affecting the ad industry. The festival reminds us that great stories can move people in very meaningful, personal, and powerful ways.
Steph Dorman, our Chief Customer Officer, was interviewed by Forrester’s Joanna O’Connell and spoke at length about her philosophy of enacting real change in an organization. Change agents need to be ready for the next waves in media, measurement, consumer behavior, and more, and they must be able to steer an entire organization in the right direction. Time and time again, it comes down to having the right people on board. When you start with the right people and the best teams, you ensure the success of a change agenda being properly implemented.
Tinuiti’s Dalton Dorné and Obele Brown-West spoke about brand purpose and the importance of letting customers and employees know what an organization stands for. They candidly shared a story about a client they worked with who expressed a lot of values they were excited about externally as a brand, but in dealing with the client, found there was a big disconnect, so they couldn’t continue the relationship. They reminded everyone that people are truly paying attention to brand purpose, corporate behavior, and how actions speak louder than words. A brand’s external focus needs to mirror what's going on inside its company walls. When things align, brand purpose has real meaning and value.
LinkedIn’s Allyson Resh spoke about people visiting a company’s website and public profile pages on social media to understand not just what the company does, but its purpose.For brands, it’s a full-time job to remain engaged in the issues that matter most to them – not just when it’s fashionable (February for Black History, April for Earth Day, June for Pride), but year-round.
Christina Keller of Meta stressed how brands must understand that social media, first and foremost, is where people come to interact with each other. That in turn means brands can not only add value to the conversations that are happening, but they can gather insights by understanding what these audiences are talking about.
“Without inclusivity, there's no equity,” said Charles Cantu of Reset Digital. He gave us all an important reminder. We talk a lot about equity as one of the hallmarks of DE&I, but inclusivity needs to come first – simply to bring the right people into the room in the first place. The right order here is important.
Matt Wurst of Mint discussed the impact of Web3 and helped define why it matters. Web3 will offer brand marketers a more personal stake in things, plus the potential for closer relationships with consumers based on customized, exclusive experiences.
Our President John Nardone pointed out that while Cannes attendees may be wowed by the power of award-winning creative for all its artistic merit, truly great creative does its job by achieving its intended goals. Great creative moves people to take action.
Nancy Reyes, CEO of TBWA\Chiat\Day NY,pointed out that brands “born in social” operate differently and have certain advantages when it comes to communication and agility. All brands should ask themselves, “What would we do differently in telling our story if we were creating our brand from scratch today?” In turn, challenger brands can learn from what has made established brands endure.
After Bill Duggan of the ANA presented new research showing how agencies and brands have wildly different views of the role of procurement departments, Marla Kaplowitz of the 4A’s stressed how procurement should report into marketing. Even when that isn't the case, training should be made available for different departments to walk in each other’s shoes and understand the separate yet cohesive roles they play. This will create a closer alignment: brands and agencies will get more from procurement and fully appreciate its benefits.
Sir Martin Sorrell of S4 Capital was feeling a bit skeptical about the optics of the festival in its current state and thought that smaller, more regional shows could work better than one annual, global tentpole event. Still, there’s no way for the ad industry to cross-pollinate ideas and bring people together quite like Cannes does. Even if the festival continues to evolve, expect brands, agencies, and others to continue to make it a centerpiece of their event plans for years to come.