Cannes Perspectives: Fresh insights amid the Cannes clamour

Whether it be data or storytelling, our thought-leadership essays remind us that Cannes Lions is all about changing the way we think about creativity.

Step on to Campaign’s red carpet at Cannes, why don’t you?

Whether you’re in hopeful anticipation of holding aloft a Lion on the crimson Palais steps, or preparing to hunker down at home while talk of Cannes swirls around you over the next week, this is the place where you can drink in some fresh perspective.

Which is – after all – what Cannes is all about: fresh perspective on what to aim for; what works well, where and why; what is really worth doing; what is in beta; what is big; what is emerging; where the hot talent is – and who is paying the bar bill.

Flippancy aside, determining budgets is a complex art when assessing the cost of a creative product, and procurement a perennial pain. That is at the core of the first Cannes Perspective, brought to you in this bumper pack of 12 think pieces that follow.

Our authors bring a diverse span of perspectives, each linked in some way to Cannes and creativity. You will glean insight into the things that matter in the creative world – from the enthusiasm of Hill & Knowlton Strategies’ Cannes newbies, to controlling digital assets across territories, platforms and stakeholders, which is how Adstream believes you can deliver unfettered creativity.

There is a new underpinning of the ancient art of storytelling. Now that scientists are involved, it is possible to see precisely how this age-old art is the future of the ad business, Ogilvy & Mather tells us. MRI brain scans and blood samples reveal that, when in the grip of a good yarn, there is a deep emotional arousal – a flood of the empathy hormone oxytocin, similar to when people make love.

And the unsung hero of storytelling is…? Cord Worldwide sings the praises of music as a potent shared identity, experience and currency, and Ricall advises that getting a music supervisor involved in the first instance can eliminate potential headaches.

But, with all this talk of ancient arts, there is no getting away from the fact that tech companies, which were the new guard at Cannes three years ago, are now the dominant presence.

The data exists to transform advertising; in fact, the sheer quantity of it overwhelms us. The trick, according to Turn, is to ensure the golden nuggets of information get through to the decision-makers that need them. From Integral Ad Science’s perspective, the clever part lies in using that data to improve targeted marketing and the customer experience while not damaging the "precious interaction, access, education, wonder and beauty of the internet".

There is nowhere that data and targeted marketing is more important than in mobile, Millennial Media points out. And, if you are looking for omni-channel content, MediaMath offers up some easy wins. But, MBA warns, you always need creative stardust to make the tech and data sparkle.

Talking of sparkle, who is creating that stardust: men or women? Certainly, a paltry 3 per cent of creative directors (who get the credit) are women. FinchFactor is right behind Cannes Lions’ move to redress that balance with the See It Be It initiative launching this year.

We can all raise a glass to that; the glass ceiling may take a little longer.

Suzanne Bidlake, consultant editor, Campaign

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