The advertising industry is converging on the French Riviera for its annual week of rosé swilling, yacht-based hobnobbing, and high-level discussions about the future of advertising itself. Regardless of how you spend your time at the Cannes Lions Festival, collecting Grand Prix prizes for outstanding creative work or just collecting business cards at the Carlton Terrace, it’s - the event that sets the agenda for the year. Industry leaders share insights on panels, breaking news on the mainstage, and identify opportunities that will drive creative, technology, and business innovation.
With all that in mind, we want to share some of the major themes that we expect to dominate conversations along the Croisette this year:
Consumer experience is king, everywhere
As audiences continue to fragment across a myriad of platforms, the omnichannel consumer experience has become a critical component for marketers. It’s not enough for creative to simply be eye-catching or thumb-stopping on a single platform. In fast transforming mediums like television, where one screen is rapidly giving way to a diverse array of devices and viewing styles, advertisers are looking for ways to engage viewers beyond merely interrupting the viewing experience. Expect discussions about how advertisers can provide real value to drive engagement by using data to personalize content, provide recommendations, or create interactions that are additive rather than interruptive. As well as a significant focus on how to ensure that these experiences are consistent across channels.
Connected TV is here to stay
For decades, the world of advertising has been nearly synonymous with television advertising. Even throughout the rise of digital, the 30-second TV spot has remained king, and TV has remained largely unchanged. This year advertisers will reckon with a major shift in the venerable institution of television as more than half of all Americans have at least one connected TV device in their homes. It’s clear that the industry is ready to stand up and take notice of the shift toward connected TV. At Innovid, we’ve organized The Future of TV Is Now a day-long forum for marketing leaders from across the industry to discuss the potential, opportunities, and challenges of an increasingly connected television landscape.
Creativity is king but storytelling can be reimagined
The roots of the Cannes Lions Festival has its roots among advertising’s creative community, and even today’s super-charged schmoozefest is still, at heart, a celebration of creative storytelling. However, every year adds new tools and mediums to the story teller’s arsenal, particularly since the dawn of digital. This year many marketers will be looking for opportunities to breathe more life into their creativity through interactivity and data-driven personalization.
Our own panel discussions will tackle some of these opportunities head-on. We’ve assembled marketers from creative brands like Disney and Roku to discuss how their respective platforms will create new storytelling options for the connected living room. LUMA Partners founder and CEO Terry Kawaja will also lead a discussion about the technologies that are transforming television personalization with the business leaders that are leading the charge to acquire them, like S4 Capital’s Sir Martin Sorrell, Accenture’s Nikki Mendonça, McDonald’s Bob Rupczynski, and Xandr CEO Brian Lesser.
Marketers want their impact to be measurable
While creativity is the heart of advertising and the soul of the Cannes Lions, the growing importance of metrics have left many creatives hungry for a way to measure their impact. As much as this year’s festival will focus on opening up new channels to a wider array of messages and experiences, the conversation will also center on measurement. In particular, digital has raised the bar in terms of attribution and measurement. Marketers are now close to cracking John Wannamaker’s famous axiom–Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half. Expect this year’s conversations at Cannes to focus on bringing measurability to new screens and channels, including connected TV. While traditional television has traditionally been an attribution black box, the rise of connected TV provides an unprecedented opportunity to measure what really matters.
Purpose holds power for brands
Blame it on our increasingly polarized news cycle, on millennial attitudes, or on old-fashioned goodwill, but brand purpose will be very much en vogue in Cannes this summer. Ads that move product can also move the needle for good and creatives and consumers alike are increasingly looking for opportunities to align their efforts, and their spending, which causes they see as beneficial to others. Look for wide-ranging discussions about the importance of brand purpose, the power of ads for good, and how technology can play a part in enhancing the efficacy of purpose-driven creative.
Pack your bags!
We hope you’re as excited to reach the Riviera as we are. This year’s Cannes promises a range of exciting discussions on topics that are close to our hearts and to our bottom lines and we’re privileged to have curated some of those discussions ourselves. We hope you’ll join us at Le Rooftop in Cannes on June 19th to be a part of those discussions, or feel free to schedule a meeting with our team to learn more about how Innovid creates unique advertising experiences on every screen.