Greg Stuart, MMA Global

The first thing that delegates saw every time they entered the Palais de Festival at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2013 was ‘Everything is Mobile’, put up at the entry gate, a newly created tagline by the Mobile Marketing Association with the objective of creating an apt positioning for the medium. MMA was at Cannes Lions with some of its key members to ensure that the mobile industry looked big and united in front of the advertisers and agencies attending the Festival. Greg Stuart, Global CEO, Mobile Marketing Association believes that Cannes Lions is a forum that mobile agencies should take advantage of given its ability to bring together all the big marketers and agencies. Stuart gives DMA his six takeaways from the Festival.

Underwhelmed by the Mobile Jury’s selection of Mobile Lions
I was terribly underwhelmed by the mobile jury’s selection of mobile campaigns and it indicated to me that we still have a long way to go. In my opinion, there wasn’t great mobile work that captured the essence of what we think mobile is. We have room to grow there. Last year, we did see very business-transformational work but nothing stood out, in similar vein, this year. The winning work definitely demonstrated good communication through a mobile device but that does not capture the essence of what mobility could mean.

More mobile agencies should participate at the forum
We had pulled a list of 500 to 600 mobile agencies in the world and I believe we could see more of them participating at this forum. There were very few mobile agencies in fact. Cannes Lions sees attendance from large agencies and very important marketers, who are looking for solid mobile solutions. I think more mobile agencies should come here, and better yet, they should come here with us because we would be able to provide them with a significant presence. Marketers will dismiss us if we don’t look big and united and this year, we were able to make a mark on the Festival – we will work towards continuing that.

Marketers want to engage
I am thrilled to the degree that marketers want to engage with us. There are challenges in how to do it, how much to do it and who are the right people but there was no resistance, and I think that is important. The mobile industry is at a tipping point, where marketers understand that if they don’t get on to mobile, they would lose the competitive disadvantage. Bonin Bough (Mondelez International) said it best when he said that aspiration without allocation is irrelevant. Sometimes one of the biggest mistakes people can make is wait for all the data to come in. Some marketers are taking the big step now and I believe others will soon follow.

Mobile forum day
I was very impressed with the mobile forum day and with the work that was shown by some of the developing companies. In fact some of that work was even better than what we saw at the Mobile Lions. One of the big marketers told us that more than 50 per cent of the company’s time is being spent on mobile. Another publisher from the UK was saying that 40 per cent of their traffic is from mobile and their desktop has become legacy and that they no longer invest in legacy but in the future that is mobile. Some of this clearly demonstrates that the little screen is going to be future for the big ideas.

Important winning at Cannes
I believe fundamentally that great creative ideas, well executed, can provide the single greatest ROI (return on investment) for a brand and mobile is the place where they can get strong competitive advantage than some of the other media.

Finally, I have to say that one of my biggest takeaways was the presence that the MMA could garner at Cannes. While everything we had planned worked out well, the most important was our ability to push our tagline, ‘Every moment is mobile’. It was great to have done that here on a platform such as Cannes Lions and I am specifically proud of the way the MMA team was able to ensure that our presence here was noted.