A few weeks ago, we attended our sixth Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Over the past few years, the festival has slowly changed its dynamic, with this year exhibiting the most notable change.
Traditionally, Cannes Lions was an event where the Advertising Industry could let their hair down, show off their work and celebrate the industry as a whole. This year, we observed a massive shift and division of the events.
First, Silicon Valley has taken over nearly half of the festival... and in a big way. As a service provider, we service both the Advertising and Content markets, so we bear witness daily, to both sides of the divide. On one hand, all of the traditional advertising people, companies and parties were still there doing their thing as usual. On the other, all of the big players from Silicon Valley, along with the content companies, MCNs, and social platforms. It was like attending two festivals in the same place.
Anyone that's attended in the past knows what the Gutter Bar is and the Carlton patio, however this year it was a different story. Nearly half of the people that we spoke to on the content/tech side had no knowledge of these Cannes staples. They attended the festival solely for the content and content creators – as opposed to the Advertising Industry. Sure it all plays into advertising, but the writing is on the wall…content is taking over and traditional advertising needs to take notice and figure it out ASAP.
The days of creating an ad campaign with broadcast commercials as a primary outlet is shrinking. As more and more viewers frequent YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and other online services to get their content fix, broadcast advertising will continue to have less of an impact. Brands and Advertisers are trying to fill the gap and venture into the digital space, but the landscape is new, diverse and difficult to navigate. As content transitions into on demand and segments itself into niches, finding the best bang for your advertising buck is going to be a huge challenge.
I need only look as far as my own living room to see the huge changes in viewing behavior. I have cable, but no one watches it. In my house it’s Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO GO or YouTube. The poor cable box gets no love... Why flip through 100s of channels looking for something interesting when you can watch exactly what you want, when you want?
The future of media and entertainment is upon us - as an industry it’s what we do next that counts.