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8 reasons why digital professionals should be @Cannes Lions 2013

The 60th edition of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has put together a host of programmes that digital professionals can learn from. Some of the biggest names in the industry, ranging from Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft Advertising, Tumblr and others would be seen on the Cannes Lions stage and in other activities at the event in an attempt to discuss the latest developments and new trends of the global digital industry.

The first reason for a digital professional to be at Cannes Lions is the TechTalk programme. Cannes Lions has put together a series of sessions that showcase the latest in forward thinking technology. These TechTalk sessions would be in the Young Lions Zone at the Palais des Festivals bringing speakers from innovative companies to the Cannes Lions stage in a friendly and open setting. Each day would focus on a different theme including Content Tech, Screens, Privacy and the Next Big Things and so on.

The second reason is Moonshots. Moonshots are seemingly impossible and yet impossibly important ideas that through science, technology and creativity can be brought to reality. Google[x] is a moonshot factory full of optimists who are focused on changing the world by seeking out massive unsolved problems that, when solved, will alter the way we live. You may have heard of self-driving cars and Google Glass. In this session, Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots, will give a glimpse of the ethos, people and approach behind Google[x], and invite delegates to be moonshot thinkers.

The third reason is that some companies, such as PHD Worldwide, believe that the future is a massively multiplayer game. According to Gartner, by 2015, 50 per cent of organisations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes, and that by 2014 more than 70 per cent of global 2000 organisations will have at least one gamified application. PHD has invited game designer Jane McGonigal to speak on how the power of games can be harnessed to solve real-world problems. Having created games for the World Bank, the Olympic Games, the American Heart Association, the New York Public Library, and many more, McGonigal explores the application of game-design principles to real-life challenges. Also in the session is PHD’s Mark Holden, Global Strategy and Planning Director – who was inspired by McGonigal’s book to add a game layer to the media agency’s very own global operating system, Source, meaning the 2,500 people in the network are also part of a massively multiplayer game.

The fourth reason is the opportunity to understand the next big challenge – creativity in social media. Social media, in a very few short years, has created the largest global audience in history. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and a few more have engaged more than a billion humans reaching every country on every continent. This phenomenon will give birth to yet another model of effective creativity – one where big ideas, storytelling, relationships and conversation collide. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, will join creative leaders who are confronting the question of what effective advertising looks like in this new world. The discussion will focus the conversation that is already happening in every advertising agency and marketing organisation in the world: What makes the best use of social media? How does a marketer adapt to this environment? How does an agency operate when their canvas is always changing? And most importantly: How does your company and brand story get told when so much of the message is in the consumers’ control?

The fifth reason is to get the ability to look beyond the device and discover how entertainment is becoming more personal. For years, entertainment in the living room has been deemed a personal experience. But has it really been personal? In the age of device overload, simul-tasking and time shifting, how do we move beyond device, place and time and build more human, more relevant experiences? Yusuf Mehdi, CVP of Marketing and Strategy, Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft, takes on the Cannes Lions stage to discuss what shifts Microsoft sees and how the meaning of personal entertainment is taking on a new dimension.

The sixth reason is the opportunity to see a fireside chat with one of the youngest creative minds in the tech industry, David Karp. Karp will speak about why creativity flourishes on Tumblr, and why Tumblr is so different from other social networks. In May of 2012, Tumblr launched its first advertising products. Since then a number of brands have used the Tumblr platform to reach an audience that is more engaged and more creative than any other on the internet. Karp addresses the vision for advertising on Tumblr, and how brands can advertise on Tumblr in a creative way. Some of the brands that Tumblr has worked with so far include The Coca-Cola Company, Calvin Klein, Samsung, Ralph Lauren, adidas amongst others.

The seventh reason is hacking. Or Happy Hacking, as Dentsu defines its Cannes Lions session, where it discusses the redefining of the co-creation frontier. In this era of change, new approaches to creativity are essential. Dentsu is bringing the notion and culture of hacking into the world of creativity. This session explores hacking with consumers, instead of the traditional approach to co-creating with consumers. Hacking with consumers brings a new dimension to collaboration; imagine collaboration that truly sparks exciting approaches to creativity incorporating consumer needs. The company also introduces hacking to other domains of collaboration relating to creativity, such as hacking artists and even client relationships.

The eighth reason is Cannes Lions sessions dedicated to the Future that not only look at the talent of tomorrow and the ideas that would materialise in tomorrow’s advertising and marketing world but also on how to make the most of what the industry has at present.

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