3 Creative Highlights From Cannes Lions

For those of you not familiar, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is a global event for those working in the creative communications, advertising and related fields. Based on feedback from two of the Oracle contingent who were attended the festival, one of the themes that emerged can be summed up in word: MadTech. 

“It was clearly evident at Cannes ’16 that the days of ‘madtech’ (martech + adtech) have arrived," says Nick Bell, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing for Oracle Marketing Cloud. "Agencies realize data is the advantage to solidify brand relationships and add new value." 

"Vendors like Oracle Data Cloud and Oracle Marketing Cloud are quickly becoming as visible and expected as the vendors on the creative and media sides of the house," he adds. "Just ask any of the many people turned away at the Oracle rooftop party where supply couldn’t meet demand.”

Meanwhile Angela Wells, Senior Director of Oracle Social Cloud – who was attending her first Cannes said that while it was cool to check out all the virtual reality (VR) stuff the real value for was in learning just how much marketers are leveraging data to make better decisions. "When I started in marketing it was a running joke that marketers didn't have to do math. Now we have to dive into numbers, understand what they mean, and adapt to target customers with the highest potential." 

Here's 3 highlights from Cannes that speak to this theme of the coming together of martech and adtech. 

1. Vogue in Vogue

Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who also oversees some of Conde Nast's other publications Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Glamour and GQ – said she's tired of hearing the same lament from advertisers and marketers "Everything is too fast, everything is too precarious, we have more access than ever to the people we are trying to reach thanks to social media and mobile technology, and more information than we know what to do with … How to address this, how to engage audiences while still keeping our work relevant and original is the part of the puzzle we are all trying to solve."

She went on to say all these questions have the same answer. "finding your way doesn’t mean surviving, just as pleasing an audience doesn’t mean twisting your editorial around search engine optimization and Facebook algorithms. For one thing, everybody is doing that, it’s unimaginative, it’s old hat. For us, creativity means thinking about the lives of our audience and how to connect with them.”

And clearly to do just that, engage with them means understanding and utilizing data… the right data. 

2. The Fresh Prince Says Keep It Real

Hollywood A-List actor Will Smith had a very direct and clear message to share: "Smoke and mirrors in marketing and sales is over." Smith, who considers himself a marketer, believes people are going to know really quickly and globally whether a product keeps its promises adding "the power has gone away from the marketers."

In other words, the consumer is in full control. 

The onus is clearly on marketers and advertisers to work together and listen – yes listen to what consumers are telling them both literally via social media for example and figuratively via their actions AKA their data. If they constantly click and buy one type of product chances are they like said product – so stop offering something they don't click on buy. 

3. Millennials Are People, Too

It seems as if far too many marketers have decided that the much sought-after millennial demographic fits into the proverbial one-size-fits-all and at least one Cannes attendee has had enough. His name is David “Shingy” Shing and he's AOL’s digital prophet.

“The truth is that everyone is trying to captivate them in terms of their behaviours, and I get that,” he says in a video pitch to have the term removed from the pages of The Drum forever. “But they’re young adults… so let’s call them what they are.” 

He made these comments while filming the video below, which is part of a series in which marketers, agencies and media folk at Cannes Lions were asked nominate their top hated phrases, jargon and buzzwords that should be banished from The Drum forever. 

Translation: With data readily available on millennials – just as it is for every other demographic, there's absolutely no reason why marketers should be lumping them all together and ostensibly delivering the same content, same sales messages and so on. 

It's a New Age

Without sounding hyperbolic, it truly is a new age we're living and working in. The need for marketers and advertisers to work closely together has never been greater. It's why you need to download The Age of Brand, Agency & Customer Collaboration, a new eBook from Oracle Marketing Cloud and Forbes Insights.