Thousands of keen creatives flocked to the French Riviera at the end of June, as Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity made its return. With the promise to inspire creativity and success, six priority themes were a focus for the content, designed with the aim of optimising the future landscape for all:

  • Sustainability
  • Diversity
  • Equity and inclusion
  • Data and tech
  • Brand creativity and effectiveness
  • Talent
  • Business transformation

Laura Stephens, Senior Account Director, at Exit Bee said: “There was plenty of content and food for thought on each of [the themes], with many discussions focused on inclusivity as a blueprint for creativity; advocating for inclusive work and authentic storytelling.”

Often, when we discuss themes such as inclusivity and diversity, it is difficult to take these learnings and implement them in your own work. No matter how much you wish to work sustainably, diversely, and equally, it’s difficult to know where to start. This means the focus on these matters was music to my ears, as actionable insight is, in my opinion, the best way to learn.

Where were all the publishers?…

When running over his thoughts of the festival, Tom Jenen, Chief Revenue Officer at Brand Metrics, spoke of his surprise that there weren’t more publishers in attendance. He said: “One surprise was the heat; it was intense and I’m glad I survived! But besides the heat, I was also surprised at how few publishers were there. The Daily Mail yacht wasn’t to be seen, for instance, although sales teams were all out in force.

“Presumably there has been less investment from publishers this year. I suspect this has much to do with the economy and the fact that people are retrenching slightly…”

I found this especially interesting; the conversations taking place around the ongoing issue of data is especially important for publishers. That’s not to say there weren’t any publishers in attendance – there were a few discussions between advertisers and publishers that took place over the course of the week – and it seems data was the most common word out of their mouths.

Speaking of data, Alex Ginn, Director of Sales at Adverty said: “Significant challenges and clouds on the global economy notwithstanding, the tone in Cannes, at least, is optimistic. What’s more, despite the glaring reality that this industry is at the precipice of enormous change, with cookies soon to be obsolete, the fact that the industry is thinking about attention, engagement and measurement is positive news.

“Perhaps more importantly, it feels that, now, the industry as a whole is listening. It’s not just about the flashiest ads, but some of the industry’s thorniest challenges – and these are, finally, being tackled.”

Next year, Alex is hoping to hear more about the Web 3.0 world. Here’s hoping that, by then, there is some genuine progress and examples of what the future of marketing looks like.

“It feels, here in Cannes, that we’re at the start of something exciting, about to launch off a springboard into the Web 3.0 world.”

Make sure to check out our sister publication, Talking Influence’s coverage of the event, with a focus on the creator sphere…

If you attended Cannes Lions and noticed anything you think we’ve missed, please get in touch and let us know. We’re passionate about ensuring we’re covering the topics our readers are keen to expand their knowledge on, and we can only continue to do so if we hear from you!

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