What’s On

7 takeaways from Cannes Lions 2014

As the curtains fall on Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2014, more than 22,000 – of which nearly 12,000 were registered delegates – return home with ideas and learnings to be applied in the year ahead. Conversations on the Cannes Lions stage, the works that competed and won against the best globally and the initiatives that companies undertook on the sidelines highlight some aspects of the ever changing marketing, media and advertising business.

Here is listing seven of them that stood out for DMA:

Complexity is good
Nearly every holding company CEO, agency and others associated agree that as technology impacts advertising, the business structures only get more complex. However, from a holding company viewpoint, this is only a good thing as complexity keeps the various agencies in business. It is the role of the operating companies under a holding company to help clients navigate through the complexity of the business.

People first is a winning approach
From Unilever to Facebook, companies that are getting the equations right, appear to be reiterating the same philosophy – their businesses are about people and everything they do including communication, advertising, new products is about people, and the difference then can make in people’s lives.

Standing for a cause is the way forward
Most of the work that stood out or was discussed was dedicated to adding some value, or making some impact on an individual’s life. Women’s safety, children’s protection, fight against terminal diseases were all becoming important for the creative thinkers and brands. Also, advertising is not longer just about selling an aspiration or an idea – it is becoming more about elevating standard and quality of life itself.

The marriage of data and creativity is the here and now
Creativity had once appeared confined to the big idea but today, the conversation is about big data, small data and anything that can point creative and marketing professionals in the direction of what is working with consumers, what are the insights and where should a good creative look to strike. Some may debate that creative professionals are finally waking up to a discipline that has been the area of expertise of others but this is not holding back the mixing of the math men with the mad men.

Mobile doesn’t stand alone but is everywhere
Cannes Lions may have a category dedicated to Mobile but anyone who observed the gambit of work across, mobile is becoming a key ingredient in any work that stands out or is clicking with consumers. As mobile becomes an extension of consumers, the acknowledgement of its role is not limited to one category.

APAC continues to be important for advertisers
Latin America, Middle East may be some markets that are becoming important in the conversations that marketers are having but Asia Pacific continues to be a strong investment market despite the slowdown conversations in some of the bigger markets or even the political unrest seen in some of the regions.

Advertising technology is shining bright
Last year, there were around four advertising technology companies at Cannes Lions; this year there were more than 40. This is only one of the many indications towards the fact that advertising technology is finding its place on the table with marketers rather than being relinquished to one of the marketing affiliate departments.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.