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poniedziałek, 28-07-14

A Load of Cannes-Do: 7 Things That Inspired Us

Cannes Do

This report is also available for download as a PDF here.

What should you have brought home from Cannes, apart from a weary body and a bulging contacts book?

With a whopping 17 award categories and more than 250 speakers from the worlds of entertainment, business, culture and advertising, the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is an opportunity to rethink what's possible. A visit to the south of France helps us understand how the marketing landscape is changing and serves as a vivid reminder of what great marketing can look like.

Here, we offer seven key takeaways from the 2014 Festival.

1. STORYTELLING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER

"One thing that will never change is the need to tell a story... one that can seamlessly travel across platforms. What has changed is that - now - there's no place to hide." - Sasha Savic, CEO, MediaCom USA

"Storytelling" invaded more Festival seminars than anyone could possibly count. A related theme was that technology providers are attempting to move away from their traditional focus on delivering ROI and direct messages toward something far greater: helping brands tell deeper, more immersive brand stories.

Vice Media CEO and co-founder Shane Smith is the embodiment of making storytelling work, even when everything says it shouldn't. As a special guest in the MediaCom Suite, Shane explained how stories have the power to move people and the world. Give consumers instant content, and they will expand its relevance and immediacy via co-creation and sharing. Getting this right, of course, doesn't just require telling a compelling story, but also an understanding of the interconnectedness of platforms.

Vodafone's "Ghita, the Social Shepherd" is a great example of how good content lives and breathes through many interdependent connections. In Romania, where 45% of people still live in the countryside, Vodafone wanted to push smartphone adoption in rural areas to reinforce its "best coverage" claim. They gave Ghita, a real shepherd living in a remote village, a smart phone and a tablet and taught him how to share stories of his life online. Ghita's story grew into a social phenomenon and he became a national TV star with half a million Facebook fans.

2. ALWAYS ADD VALUE

"Consider why anyone would care. I believe the technical term for that is the 'give a crap factor.' How can you tap into something people really care about?" - Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Building Officer, Procter & Gamble

The second big lesson this year was that advertising has to add value. And if there was one quote from the week that could serve as a beacon for advertisers, it was: "Why would you want to work on anything that people will learn to avoid?"

In an age of fast-forwarding TV ads and online ad-blockers, traditional advertising will struggle unless we change our mindset and give consumers content with which they actually want to engage. Simply put, brands need to "make stuff people want, not make people want stuff."

Advertising needs to help brands deliver a service. With value comes credibility: something that will live a lot longer than the average campaign. A favorite example of this is Mobile Grand Prix winner "Nivea Sun Kids," which turned magazine advertising into tear-off wristbands that could be linked to a tracking app on parents' mobile phones to ensure kids didn't run off or get lost while playing on the beach.

3. SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT IS STILL THE NEXT BIG THING

"Tell me the truth! Make my life more interesting or leave me the f**k alone." - Jared Leto, Actor, Singer, Entreprenuer

While storytelling is key to getting consumers' attention, every brand's story still needs to live somewhere. According to Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, that place is still social - specifically, YouTube. According to Katzenberg, the Google-owned hub "gives a platform or voice for all kinds of creators to be able to express themselves, to share and tell stories," which is great news for brands.

We are still at the beginning of what is possible for shared social stories, but engagement levels already outstrip campaigns without social elements. Social remains the ultimate place for encouraging consumer engagement.

A wonderful example of this is "24 Hours of Happy," the campaign that helped launch Pharrell William's hit single, "Happy." The success of the track and its subsequent explosion wasn't just a happy accident; it was part of a master plan that earned the campaign a Gold Cyber Lion for Best Use of Video.

To turn the song into a great experience, the track was launched via a 24-hour interactive film housed at 24hoursofhappiness.com. With more than 300 people dancing to a repeated loop of "Happy," the film was recorded in a single shot. The official music video regrouped the best moments of the 24 hours, and "Happy" went from 50,000 sales to over seven million in just a few weeks.

Anticipating its cultural transcendence, the creative agency went a step further and created the wearehappyfrom.com site, which currently houses 1,950 homemade versions of the clip from 150 countries. The campaign was so successful, it resulted in a UN Official Global Day of Happiness, helping to make the world a happier place.

4. ACT ON INSIGHTS, NOT INSTINCT

"The heart knows today what the mind will learn tomorrow." - Tham Khai Meng, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather

For so long, we've been told the world is "going digital." Well, now everything is digital, and brands and agencies have reams of data at their fingertips; the real challenge is what to do with it. Data alone is almost useless unless you have people who can interpret it, interrogate it and understand its value.

Data lives hand-in-hand with insight. In the pre-digital days, the amount of consumer information that could be collected was limited. Now we know nearly everything, and we have the skills to put the emotion and heart back into the numbers to turn strong data into powerful, intimate insights.

Human insights were at the heart of "My ID," a Gold Lion-winning campaign from Coca-Cola Peru that changed the mood of a nation. Despite its rich culture and growing economy, Peru is often ranked at the bottom of the global happiness index. Coca-Cola wanted to change this, and exploited a remarkable insight to spread its message of happiness.

Peruvians are required by law to carry photo ID and, every year, hundreds of thousands of applications are processed by the government. But while there is no law against it, no one ever smiles in these pictures. Coke installed special photo booths in key cities to get them to do just that.

To get a free photo - and a valid ID card - you didn't have to push any buttons... you just had to smile. Peruvians went crazy for the idea; in the first month alone, 90% of the IDs made by the Peruvian government were HAPPY IDs.

5. REMEMBER TO STAY RELEVANT AND PART OF THE CONVERSATION - FAST

"We produce 15% of the content. Consumers produce 85%." - Wendy Clark, SVP, Global Sparkling Brand Center, The Coca-Cola Company

The contextual relevancy of advertising is more important than ever before. It's no longer about putting a :30 spot in a TV show, it's about making that :30 spot an event - commenting on the content, adding to the conversation and then continuing it across all social platforms and paid, earned and owned assets.

Whether you listened in on R/GA and Beats' presentation on "Advertising at the Speed of Culture," or to Wendy Clark from Coca-Cola - with her belief that Coke should be part of the conversation on "any given Tuesday" and that "speed trumps perfection" - one thing remains clear for brands: even traditional offline media must now be part of the conversation, reacting to events in real time, but also driving the conversation and adding to the discourse.

This approach changes not only the message, but also the media choices that brands need to make. Take Sony's "Bottled Walkman" campaign, winner of a Bronze Lion in the Media category.

Having failed to get people to understand their waterproof USP with traditional advertising - even via athlete and swimmer endorsements - Sony went literal, selling their waterproof Walkman from vending machines in bottles of water. What better context for a waterproof device? Plus, a great way to keep the conversation going.

6. BE AUTHENTIC

"Write what makes you laugh, not what you think will make someone else laugh." - Armando Iannucci, Writer/Director

Consumers are sick of being lied to. To retain or regain credibility, brands need to be passionate and mean it. As Hollywood star Jared Leto stressed, "When brands or products speak, and when you reach out and try to communicate, the most important thing is authenticity."

The connected world is saturated with brand messages, and consumers are increasingly looking for brands that share their values. Practice what you preach and your target audience will be more inclined to trust and connect with you. Be totally clear and transparent about who you are and what you do best, and be careful not to fall out of sync with your audience by blindly following trends.

That's exactly what Intermarché, France's third-largest supermarket chain, attempted to do with "Inglorious Vegetables." You may not know it, but 2014 is the European Year Against Food Waste. Intermarché wanted to help solve the problem of wasted fruit and vegetables being thrown away by growers(simply because they didn't look pretty) and, at the same time, make it more affordable for their customers to eat the recommended five portions a day.

Intermarché decided to offer consumers the chance to buy fruit and vegetables that wouldn't normally make it past the doors of any supermarket at 30% less than better-looking produce. Promoted as Grotesque Apples, Ridiculous Potatoes and Hideous Oranges, the new Inglorious Fruit and Vegetables were an instant hit.

By cleverly and authentically labeling these uglier fruits and vegetables, and offering a discount to boot, store traffic soared by 24% and the campaign reached more than 13m people in France.

7. DO WELL BY DOING GOOD

"Brands can change the world." - Mick Ebeling, CEO and Founder, Not Impossible

With more and more brands committed to "doing good," this year saw the inaugural Cannes LionHeart Award presented to Bono for his pioneering (RED), a fusion of branding, activism and philanthropy.

The LionHeart Award recognizes a person or organization that - through innovative use of commercial brand power - has made a significant difference to people or the planet, thereby further elevating the momentum of "doing good" in the world of communications.

With campaigns like Skype's "Impossible Family Portraits" and Coca-Cola's "Small World Machines," through to the Grand Prix winner for Good, "Sweetie," a life-like digital child avatar to catch online sexual predators, there are more and more advertising campaigns helping to change the world. Without wanting to sound too cynical, one thing's for sure: if you can hit your brand KPIs and make the world a better place, then you've really hit the jackpot.

One memorable campaign with genuine altruistic motives is "Bald Cartoons" for Brazilian cancer charity GRAACC, which took home seven Lions for the effort. Kids look to TV to make sense of the world; when they don't see anyone resembling themselves, they can be left feeling isolated and alone. This is particularly true for children with cancer, who've lost their hair due to chemotherapy.

To help normalize the condition and give these children confidence, GRAACC partnered with Cartoon Network and Discovery Kids to have favorite cartoon characters shave their heads in solidarity. For the first time, kids saw heroes including Garfield, Popeye and Hello Kitty with no hair, just like them. The result raised awareness for the charity but, most importantly, drove home the message that children with cancer are children first - not the illness they might have.


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