Lessons and Memorable Moments From Cannes Lions 2015

Posted by Heather Prather on Jul 9, 2015
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No doubt about it, Cannes Lions 2015 was a huge success with many memorable moments. At the center of the excitement was the third annual Innovation Lion, the debut of the Lions Innovation Festival (a celebration of all things tech), the newly appointed Glass Lion: A Lion for Change Award and the press-worthy happening that no blog about Cannes 2015 would be complete without…a ubiquitous honorable mention of the overtly amorous couple on the red carpet.

As much as we enjoyed bearing witness to, Eh hem… a beautiful (not) expression of love along with a vast array of celebrity sightings and copious amounts of alcohol, it’s important to remember that Cannes Lions is, at its heart, a celebration of creativity and innovation. 

So with this in mind (and a few other things), here are a few key takeaways and memorable moments from a week spent in the South of France…

1. 25 Years Of Disruption
TBWA Worldwide discussed the strategy of “disruption” and the role it plays in today's advertising during their seminar, 25 Years Of Disruption. Disruption is described as, "challenging the status quo and encouraging brands, companies and products to behave in new and unexpected ways,” says presenter and Global Chief Strategy Officer, Nick Barham. 

Cannes Lion TBWA Disruption

The seminar kicked off with Chairman, Jean-Marie Dru, who coined the term "disruption" 25 years ago, defining the methodology, its history and how disruption has changed over the years. “Disruption is a three-step process: convention to challenge, vision to build and disruption, the path between the two steps”, he explains. The second half of the seminar was comprised of panel discussions between Nick Barham and three of today's most disruptive marketers: Morgan Flatley CMO, Gatorade; Joyce Phillips CEO, Global Wealth Group Managing Director of Marketing and Innovation, ANZ; and İlkay Gürpınar, CCO, TBWA\Istanbul. 

Here are a few of their top tips for creating disruptive work:

Morgan Flatley

  1. "You have to have a really clear understanding of what your brands purpose is or what your brands mission is."
  2. "You have to be able to take risks and a willingness to take risks."
  3. "It takes time."
  4. "[Build] an incredibly trustful relationship with your agency partners."
Joyce Phillips
  1. "Identify your blockers of change, enemies of change and try to neutralize them, try to put them to the side"
  2. "Identify your champions of change and nurture them, you need to find a way to accelerate their ideas and get them through"

İlkay Gürpınar

  1. "The most disruptive pieces of work are done with the collaboration of a great agency and a great clientthe passion, the enthusiasm, and the effort of both parties."
  2. "In the past we maybe needed an open-minded client who would be open to some ideas, but now I think it's not enough and we need a ready client who's always ready to make disruption happen."

2. Lions Innovation
Cannes 2015 marked its first annual Lions Innovation, a two-day event nay festival that celebrates the relationship between data, technology, and creativity. 

The highlight of the event as always, was the Lions Innovation Awards. The awards include categories for standalone and branded technological solutions and AdTech platforms and models. New this year was the Creative Data Lions Award, created to celebrate the role of data in shaping ideas, better storytelling, and engagement (gotta love that!). 

And the winner is (and is not)…

  • Innovation Lions Grand Prix Winner: 3 Words To Address The World, What3Words, London.

  • Creative Data did not award a Grand Prix Winner

3. Glass Lion
A timely newcomer in 2015 was the Glass Lion: The Lion for Change Award to honor those who work to address issues of gender inequality and prejudice. A well-documented, global issue brings to light issues such as equal pay and treatment of women in the workplace. These campaigns not only challenge stereotypes, they also empower women. 

All of the proceeds from the entry fees for the award were donated to a program that promotes a gender-neutral media landscape. Since brands and advertisers have a ton of influence over social inequalities, it's great to see Cannes Lions honoring those who are making a difference.

And the winner is…

  • Glass Lions Grand Prix Winner: Touch the Pickle, BBDO India and Proctor & Gamble India


4. Adtech Invasion
The overwhelming presence of AdTech in Cannes has been a topic of conversation for a few years now and this year was no different. 

The argument: Is big data killing creativity? 

While there are still many skeptics, it seems that with the introduction of events like the Lions Innovation Festival, advertisers are beginning to see the value and importance of data and technology to their future business. Programmatic was also a popular topic in Cannes, and for good reason. Technology is changing the way advertising is created, bought and sold. Programmatic offers advertisers cost efficiencies and granular targeting capabilities that are increasingly difficult for advertisers to ignore.

5. Vertical and Mobile Ads
Snapchat at the Palais featuring CEO Evan Spiegel was one of the hottest tickets in Cannes this year. Joined on the main stage by Cosmo editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, Spiegel discussed the history of Snapchat and its plan to monetize 3V advertising, which is based on vertical, video and views. 

First, it’s important to understand the two types of vertical video ads: premium and curated content. Put simply, editorial partners provide premium content and curated content refers to Snapchat's live stories in the form of photo and video collections from Snapchatters attending events. “We care about not being creepy. That’s something that’s really important to us,” says Spiegel.

During the talk, Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox took the stage to pitch ad buyers a mock-up of a new mobile ad format that takes over a screen when clicked. Once the ad is expanded, it turns into a browse-able mini-website, similar to Instant Articles (which rolled out earlier this year). Using a mock-up ad for Michael Kors, Cox demonstrated the immersive format - a full screen ad that moves 360 degrees as the user moves their finger across the screen. Pretty cool stuff.

6. #PowerOfNow
During a moment of what seemed like common sense knowledge, Chris Moody, VP of Data Strategy at Twitter discussed two types of moments—cultural moments and everyday moments. The hook was who and when to engage for the best response. 

Cultural moments hit like lightning strikes; they spark a surge of conversation and then gradually fade away. Everyday moments, like film and fashion, have a more predictable, steady pattern. According to Moody, brands successfully engage with their audiences during cultural moments like Gold and Silver PR Lions Winner Chevrolet and #TechnologyAndStuff, but often miss the opportunity to engage during the faster moving, everyday moments.

Cannes Lions Twitter Advertising


7. Red Carpet Couple
By now, you must have heard about and perhaps seen…(we know, you can’t unsee it…sorry) the red carpet couple. A wrap up of Cannes 2015 would not be complete without including these two (get a room) lovely people. What’s that? You don’t know what I am referring to? Really? Well have a lookie yourself at the story behind the picture written by David Griner. (NSFW)

Calling it a candid moment in Cannes Lions history is an understatement but hey, it’s Cannes and if there's one thing we can learn from the French, it's to live life to the fullest! Even if that means getting your groove on …on the spot… In public… For the world too see… No, really…THE WORLD TO SEE…

See you next year!


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Topics: Cannes Lions

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