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3 Key Trends Defining Cannes Lions 2024


It’s called the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and for one week every year it is the center of the advertising universe. 

But creativity isn’t the only focus in Cannes. Throughout last week’s festival—on stage, along the Boulevard de la Croisette, and at the Gutter Bar—conversations about the trends shaping advertising’s future took place all day long and deep into the night. 

This year, there were many topics of conversation. There was AI. There was Elon Musk’s courting of advertisers for X. And there was a fantastic deepfake video for Orange, a telecom company, which eventually revealed to viewers that the formidable soccer moves, which at first seemed to be executed by the French men’s team, were actually the handiwork (footwork?) of France’s female stars.

Other topics at Cannes grabbed headlines and will be central to advertising’s future. Here are three trends that Innovid knows will be crucial to the success of brands, agencies, and publishers.

Trend 1: Sports Are Moving to Streaming, and Ad Dollars Will Follow to CTV

In Cannes, Innovid CMO Dani Cushion delivered opening remarks for an Adweek panel, “The Touchdowns Powering Marketing Gold: Tuning into TV to Score Big.” The panel discussed how CTV is reshaping the sports television landscape — and how brands, sports franchises, and athletes are already taking advantage of this shift.  

As Dani pointed out in her remarks, Innovid’s technology is already helping brands, agencies, and publishers produce pioneering and hugely successful CTV campaigns on streamed sports events. Paramount Advertising COO Steve Ellis introduced the panel by discussing the pioneering “add-to-watchlist” interactive campaign that Innovid helped Paramount+ produce for the Super Bowl. 

MJ Acosta-Ruiz, Host, NFL Network, moderated the panel, which included Kathryn Kai-ling Frederick, CMO, LA Rams; Alexis Ohanian, Principal Owner, Los Angeles Golf Club and Angel City Football Club; and Andrew Whitworth, Former NFL Player/Thursday Night Football Analyst. The panelists discussed the wide-ranging implications of sporting events moving to streaming.  

The key takeaways regarding the shift of live sports to streaming platforms: 

  1. Sports are moving to streaming; it’s inevitable. Amazon’s $1 billion deal in 2023 for the exclusive rights to televise NFL games on Thursday nights was the starting gun in this race. Other streamers have joined in pursuit, most notably Netflix securing the rights to WWE for $5 billion.
  2. Advertisers will chase these eyeballs. By 2027, eMarketer projects that CTV advertising will surpass $40 billion, much of which will be spent on sports advertising. 
  3. But advertisers aren’t only chasing viewers. Brands are also attracted by the strong engagement delivered by advanced creative, such as interactive ads and dynamic creative optimization. Innovid’s data, based on serving 380 billion video ads last year, shows that interactive ads generate an average of 92 additional seconds of engagement compared to standard pre-roll.

Ultimately, the shift of live sports away from streaming will have a tremendous and positive impact for advertisers. “When it comes to media these days, sports are the one thing people watch in real-time, so live sports are more and more valuable. I think the concept that people are streaming is really powerful for advertisers, because now, number one, you know people are watching, and number two, you have a better sense of who it is, and you can figure out how to give them the right message at the right time,” said Tim Calkins, Clinical Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. 

Trend 2: The Programmatic Ecosystem’s Challenges Are Not Insurmountable

It’s no secret that advertisers are disenchanted with the online advertising ecosystem. The ANA is leading the charge to change that. 

On the first day of Cannes Lions, the ANA released the Programmatic Transparency Benchmark report with TAG TrustNet. The report continues the movement the ANA started with its Programmatic Media Supply Chain Transparency study last year, which found that inefficiencies and fraud in the digital ad ecosystem were wasting $22 billion in working media dollars.

“Programmatic really started to get going around 2005,” said Kevin McTigue, Clinical Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, “and it still feels like it’s a teenager. It feels like it’s still going through growing pains.” 

The ANA’s latest release analyzes the log-level data of 11 brands to establish supply chain metrics. The idea is that the entire industry can use this data to assess their own programmatic advertising campaigns. The improvements realized by these 11 brands indicate that a conscientious marketing department can mitigate the ecosystem’s inefficiencies. 

Here are two findings from the ANA’s new benchmarks report:

  • There Was a Significant Drop in MFA Spending. The average percentage of total ad spending delivered on Made for Advertising (MFA) websites was 4 percent. This figure compares to 15 percent in last year’s ANA study. 
  • There Was a Drop in the Number of Domains. The average number of domains and apps on which ad campaigns appeared was 23,000. Remarkably, this is down from 2023, when the average was 44,000.

The ANA is not alone in fighting for improvement in the advertising ecosystem. Innovid is doing its part to ensure the inefficiencies, fraud, and lack of sustainability of the online advertising ecosystem don’t seep into CTV advertising. Earlier this year, we launched our Harmony initiative, which includes Harmony Direct. 

Harmony Direct offers the most direct and efficient way to launch guaranteed, non-biddable CTV media. With Harmony Direct, we remove all friction points, such as additional technology “hops,” fees, and energy waste, to ensure that more working media dollars go back into the CTV advertising ecosystem. Our beta tests showed that advertisers experienced increases in their working media dollars by as much as 8%. On the sell side, publishers saw yield increases of as much as 15%.

Trend 3: The Rise of Shoppable CTV Advertising 

Television advertising has traditionally been all about awareness, a top-of-the-funnel effort. But the advent of CTV enables brands to condense the funnel and drive performance with their TV advertising. 

Welcome to the era of shoppable advertising. 

Early in the festival, Innovid and Roundel, Target’s retail media network, released CTV x Commerce 2024: Data-Driven Insight to Reach Shoppers with CTV Advertising. This report, which relies on a survey of Target guests and Innovid’s data on hundreds of billions of video ad impressions, showcases how streaming's digital nature enables interactive and shoppable advertising like never before.  

The Roundel retail media network offers shoppable ad formats that generate strong results for its clients. When comparing total ROAS for CTV products in 2024 vs. 2023, Roundel saw a greater than 2x growth in performance. This metric is driven by Roundel's latest shoppable CTV formats offering, where there’s a 3x increase in average sales and a 2x increase in total ROAS. 

“Performance marketing works best in spaces where it can be highly targeted,” McTigue said. “(With CTV), you have some data to leverage, so you can tell if somebody has shown signals that they’re probably in the market. As long as the data is there, the performance marketing will move there, too.” 

Richard Glosser, Managing Director, Oaklins | DeSilva & Phillips, noted that publishers might benefit from an increase in shoppable advertising. "Shoppable is so important, because with cookies going away, the publisher will get all the credit for the activity they generate from that experience, which will serve them very well." 

The rise of interactive advertising on TV is a global phenomenon. In the Cannes Lions category of Creative Commerce, Mercado Libre, an e-commerce platform in Latin America, won a silver Cannes Lions for its innovative shoppable campaign “Handshake Hunt” campaign. Built around Black Friday, the campaign didn’t use traditional commercials during ad breaks but instead embedded QR codes in Globo TV’s content. Specifically, every time a handshake appeared in programming — on a telenovela, on a morning show, on the news — a unique QR code appeared that unlocked e-commerce discounts for consumers who scanned the code. 

The campaign results were strong. “Handshake Hunt” contributed to a 14% increase in visits to Mercado Libre’s app and website, and Black Friday sales surged 80% in a down market. 

That’s the power of interactive shoppable CTV advertising. 

Learn more about Innovid.