Last week I was at Cannes Lions, the world’s largest annual awards show and festival for professionals in the creative communications industry. I wanted to recap some of what I’d seen, as it pertains to our industry of digital marketing.
Tuesday’s awards session celebrated excellence in Outdoor, Mobile, and Media, as Lions were awarded to the industry’s finest in those fields. The greatest takeaway from this session was how advertising can have a positive effect on the world, thanks to advances in technology.
An example of this was Kolle Rebbe’s “Social Swipe” campaign. The Social Swipe campaign set up interactive posters at airports displaying a piece of bread on a cutting board. The poster had a physical line through it, resembling a slice that a knife would make. The line was designed for people to swipe their credit cards through, cutting the bread, which triggered a donation to a charitable cause.
Another shining example of creativity and technology coming together to improve people’s lives was Nivea’s “Sun Kids” campaign. This campaign was specifically designed for parents worried about their kids running off somewhere, like at the beach. What Nivea did to ease the minds of worried parents was print out special editions of a magazine where parents’ parts of a page could be removed and used as a wristband for their child. Using a Nivea app, the parents could track their kid’s physical location and relax without worry.
A session by StinkDigital, titled “Improving User Experience with Smart Use of Data” made a case that real-time data would eventually inform all creative work. StinkDigital brought military-grade facial recognition technology to the session to analyze people’s selfies. They could then use the data points to tell a person’s gender, whether they were smiling, had their eyes open, and their overall mood.
StinkDigital used that facial recognition technology to build an app that lets people create a music video starring themselves. It’s hard to say whether or not that made people’s lives better, but there is value in obtaining that kind of personal data.
Adknowledge CEO Ben Legg‘s presentation at Cannes Lions summed it up:
The technology and data exist to engage consumers with spontaneous acts, tailor ads to their specific contexts, and step-by-step nudge them down the purchase funnel. Therefore, all marketing teams should be learning and experimenting with such activities now, or they will fall behind.
Overall, the Cannes Lions festival highlighted a lot of interesting new developments from the creative communications industry, and showcased some of the most outstanding marketing campaigns of the year.
There was a lot to take in at this conference, but the overarching takeaway was that the marketing industry is continuing to evolve, grow, and become more effective at connecting with consumers and achieving a satisfying result for everyone involved.