Yes we Cannes

June 25, 2014

I was lucky enough to spend a few days at the Cannes Lions Advertising festival this year. Every delegate at Cannes has their own agenda, a cabana they must run, a beach party they must attend, a client they must entertain, a celebrity they must meet or a seminar they just can’t miss – regardless, everybody takes something home. Luckily I had a healthy mix of all of the former and the net result being that I came back revitalised and inspired as to what really is possible in our industry, how we can adapt simplistic everyday actions into inspiring presentations or dynamic marketing strategies.

It is difficult to pinpoint one seminar as my all-time favourite, but here are some of my personal highlights.

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief operating Officer at Facebook spoke about how with the advent of mobile lie opportunities for brands to start making advertising personal again, whilst I do agree there is a niche here to explore,  one would question  what processes are going to be put in place to protect consumers privacy, this will be key in attracting advertising revenue. Beyond this Sheryl spoke passionately about her stance of women in the work place; she gave an analogy of how an assertive woman in the workplace is viewed as “Bossy” but on the flip side how an assertive male is viewed as “The Boss”.

Ash Bendelow ,Managing Director of Brave advertising agency took us through an inspiring talk about what brands can learn from Las Vegas. Ash talked through how casinos’ combine experience, innovation, data and magic – and how this sophisticated thinking can be applied outside the Las Vegas bubble.  Vegas do three things really well that we could all learn from, principles that could be applied to a car brand, a cereal brand or any other brand 1) Real Time Marketing 2) Personal Context and Adaptive Behaviour 3) Convergence of social, mobile and local.  These three things all interweave to deliver a positive guest experience built around you; your preferences and your mood. Gary Loveman was the man who set the blueprint for how Vegas Casinos are operating now,  a man with a background in economics, he was a professor of economics in Harvard; Loveman became  COO for Harrahs in 1998 with no experience other than finance. What Loveman did next was revolutionary – he interacted and reacted to the casino’s guests and adopted a strategy of becoming a customer centric and data rich business.

This seminar certainly left me thinking outside of the box and realising that in our marketing we should all be a bit more Vegas.  What goes on in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas.

The last highlight for me was a session delivered by James Kirkham, Global Head of Social and Mobile Leo Burnett and co-founder of digital strategy agency Holler. Kirkham was joined by the charismatic Jonathon Fraser, Holler’s Global Head of Strategy and Ideas. They explored the similarities between the best creative planners and the best stand-up comedians. Uncovering insights, crafting insights to meet a brief and the delivery of your thinking to clients – all of these elements can hinge on unlocking the inner comedian within yourself. They provided us with a genuinely hilarious case study – Harvey Nichols were looking to cut through the market with their Christmas campaign, to appeal to women as the one stop shop for all their Christmas attire. Harvey Nichols poked fun at the typical cliché of “The Walk of Shame”, displaying images of dishevelled women making their way home after a festive night. Harvey Nichols then turned this socially shameful walk for women into a tongue and cheek display of how to avoid the Walk of Shame and to make it a walk of pride and finishes the ad with a woman strutting home in a dress she’s not embarrassed to be seen in the next day. Interesting what planners can learn from stand-up comedians, all planners at Holler are sent on an intensive stand-up comedy workshop!

All in all, an inspiring and re-energizing experience with creativity oozing from every corner. As Einstein once said “creativity is intelligence having fun”.



One Response to “Yes we Cannes”

  1. […] In her post on this blog last week, Oilbhe spoke about how she had been inspired by Ash Bendelow, the Managing Director of Brave advertising agency took who shared his thoughts about what brands can learn from Las Vegas. The approach of Casinos over the years to people and data is certainly a forerunner of today’s challenges of fusing data and creativity. This was a theme that Oilbhe identified on her recent trip to Cannes. […]

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