Tag: Cannes Lions

We’ve all just had a stern telling off and you need to hear it

By Amy Taylor

Randall Rothenberg, President & CEO of IAB, opened the discussion on obliterating adblocking through creativity, by stating that consumers are not targets, they are human beings. They have likes and dislikes, with control over advertising more than ever before. What are they doing with that control? Downloading adblockers to eliminate it from their view and get on with their daily lives.

DUNN DUNNN DUNNNNNNN *the heavens fall in, the ground swallows us up and I need to find a new job*

In come Mark Thompson and Jess Greenwood to explain this a little bit further. Mark says that we can only blame ourselves, with digital ads being slow to load, intrusive and targeting incorrect users (His technical term being “a shit user experience”). Jess Greenwood’s great metaphor put adblocking into context: if a friend is intrusive, repetitive, careless of our privacy and just plain annoying, then we’d block them from our lives.

They talked through some clear pointers for change:

  1. For our campaigns, we need to think like programmers, creating an experience that consumers wants to engage in.
  2. For our industry, we need to produce fewer, faster and punchier units.
  3. For our consumers, we need to educate them that advertising is the main way of funding the journalism and content that they enjoy.

What do I think? Adblocking is the global warming of advertising. We got over excited, went a little bit crazy on the high of our own invention. We were oblivious to the destruction we were causing to ourselves until our version of the ozone layer became apparent. Similarly, this is not an issue to ignore. As Rothenberg says, it’s “everyone’s responsibility to get it right”. Let’s start by working together with our creative agencies, and start educating the industry to make clean decisions with “creativity first and everything else second”.

Originally posted at http://www.omdukblog.com/cannes-lions/weve-all-just-had-a-stern-telling-off-and-you-need-to-hear-it/

If you don’t evolve, you dissolve

Talent. The biggest issue facing agencies and clients alike. So it wasn’t a huge surprise to see why it was such a common theme running through many of the key presentations at the Cannes Lions so far this week.

First, I went to watch Ryan Seacrest interview Usher, courtesy of iHeartRadio, at the Lumiere theatre at the Palais expecting to hear the usual chatter about music and money (as we heard a few years back with Kanye West) but was pleasantly surprised to witness themes of nurturing talent, mentoring and philanthropy. Usher was smart, articulate, amusing and incredibly humble (the complete antithesis of the aforementioned West). He talked about how he developed his own prodigious talent through a series of failures, which ultimately became the catalyst for his own success. His advice? “Lean into it, fail fast and get up like a winner”. And at the same he was keen to pass on the message to the auditorium that one should always “be benevolent in your pursuit of success”.


He went on to talk about how constant change was the only way to keep developing whatever talent you may have. Or, as he so eloquently put it:“If you don’t evolve, you dissolve”. Wise words.

And that same sentiment was echoed at the OMD Oasis in the ‘Purpose Driven Brands’ session fronted by the likes of The Guardian, PepsiCo, Impossible Labs and P&G. The panel discussed the ‘war for talent’ and those: “Spiky, irreverent 27-year-olds who understand mobile and video”.

Arguably a much better description than that horrid catchall of a ‘millennial’. So what were the three pieces of advice offered by the various members of the panel?

  • They will interview you, not the other way around. The best talent wants to work for Google, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
  • Accept that they will leave. Probably within a year. Just aim to get the best out of them in that time.
  • You need to understand what your personal and company purpose is. They need to be inspired by it and by you. If they aren’t, they will never join you.

And finally, we had a session hosted by JD Heyman from People magazine who interviewed Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth confirmed that she is done with acting for now and is focused on her e-commerce business, Goop.


Gwyneth talked about how her new venture, an online foray into skincare, apparel, homeware and expensive dildo’s (her words not mine). She was very honest about how Goop has become the biggest challenge of her life. Her acting has only been a “platform” for Goop and her new role as Chief Creative Officer has been the most “difficult but enthralling period” of her life. She covered similar themes to Usher when she discussed the need to be authentic and true to your beliefs – plus she has the same expectations of the people who work with her.

So what have we learned? Well, talent is a precious commodity, difficult to attract, arduous to cultivate and almost impossible to retain. Tough gig. Any takers?


Cannes SnapChat Diary 2016 – Day One

Straight from the heart of The Cannes International Festival of Creativity 2016, our CANNESdidates winners, Justin and Vaida are sharing their individual perspectives from the first day via a SnapChat Video Diary.



Keep checking in to see what else lies in store for our intrepid duo tomorrow!

Originally posted on the Manning Gottlieb OMD blog at http://blog.mgomd.com/cannes-snapchat-diary-2016-day-one/


Thomas Friedman On Slowing Down

The day could only be described as a perfect mix of breeze and sunshine. Visitors of the OMD Oasis gathered around under the smooth sunlight to make small talk just moments before noon; the air bubbling with murmurs and the occasional laughter; a representative sample of the atmosphere around the Palais here in Cannes.Presentation2

Nothing could’ve made the moment any better than the pleasure of listening to an insightful and deeply human talk by multiple-Pulitzer Prize winner and The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

Using some of the thoughts in his upcoming book “Thank You For Being Late” as a starting point, Mr. Friedman went on to give a thought-provoking overview of the forces he deems are shaping the world today.

His talk, titled “A Brief Theory Of Everything Transforming Our World”, pinpointed these forces as Market, Mother Nature and Moore’s law.

The rapid changes in these three forces are shaping the world, he said. “Geopolitics, politics, the workplace, ethics and morals” are all being transformed, Friedman added.

What Our Industry Can Do

Although the talk gravitated towards politics more frequently than media, marketing or advertising, it was easy to draw parallels and insights into practices that could very well translate.

“Ideas circulate faster today than ever before, and opinions now change at a quick rate,” Friedman stated. Technology is accelerating faster than we can adapt. The real challenge becomes our ability to change. But humans, says Friedman, cannot adapt as fast as technology is moving.

How does one deal with these forces? According to Friedman, the trick is in slowing down. He quotes “The Eye”, a song by one of his favorite singers, Brandi Carlile, the chorus of which goes “You can dance in a hurricane/But only if you’re standing in the eye.”

Advice For Content Producers

You can’t fight the hurricane, Friedman advised, “You can create an island of serenity in the eye. Don’t fight the changes. Take your energy from it.” In his book, he calls it “pausing”.  It was easy for me to see how the changing landscape of content, for example, could benefit from his advice.

In a world where people are bombarded with so much content and information online, it is our challenge to convince people to grant us their time or attention. We talk about best practices and video durations, but what ends up happening is that we lose the story for the form. We want to finish so quickly that we miss out on delivering substance.

What we ought to do, by Friedman’s advice, is to slow down, make real human connections, and take our time to tell our stories.

Purposeful Marketing

Friedman raised the interesting point that the purpose of successful technology is to reduce complexity. “The only way we can manage this is if we turn Artificial Intelligence into Intelligent Assistance. Allow people to operate at a higher level of complexity,” he explained.

The phone we have in our pockets allows us to do so much more with a single touch, he pointed out. It has reduced the complexity of our tasks by minimizing our efforts. Friedman’s talk made me think about brands that make people’s lives easier versus brands that simply want to sell.  The future is in purposeful marketing.

In a related point, he argues that the ideal governing body today unit isn’t the state. He says it’s far too behind on technology to be able to govern. “It’s not the single family, either. It’s too weak [against technology]. “ It’s at the community level, he said. Communities can respond at a local level, to relevant problems, and using the right technology.

Once again, that relates to our marketing efforts, as we take brands from being a state —from being just another company trying to dictate its values— to being a community. Only when operating at a community level, with real on-ground insights into what moves its consumers, can a brand make meaningful contributions.

Slow Down And Connect

The most touching and personal part of Friedman’s talk came at the end when he responded to a question by elaborating on how he interacts with the world. “Don’t get me wrong, I love my [phone]. But I’m not active on social media platforms. The New York Times tweets my column. But when it comes to learning, I prefer to keep it slow.” He points to the gentleman who asked the question, then points back at himself. “This…this is how I like to learn.”

He’s talking about real, slow, and human interaction, like that taking place on this sunny day at the OMD Oasis. One that is not interrupted by the fast-paced technology that keeps us operating at a much higher speed; a speed at which it would be nearly impossible to make meaning of information, and build real relationships.

For more information about the #OMDOASIS at Cannes Lions, go to cannes.omd.com.

Love thy enemy

By Lisa Johnson

Insight Publicis Nigeria’s Feyi Olubodun and Chima Okehimkpe spoke this weekend at Cannes about how they (or we) should view the African consumer. There was a lot of talk about ambition, modernising versus Westernising and confusing the context of ‘touching a Brazilian’, but presenter Familusi Akin Babajide (AKA Mr. FAB)’s message really stood out: “Let my enemy live long”.

So are enemies good? The quote ends: “so he’ll see what I become”. To a marketeer trained to think about crushing and outsmarting their competitors, it’s refreshing to hear. Hope your competitors do well so you can do even better – and they see you succeed.

The speakers also made clear that no matter a Nigerian’s social status, it’s his culture and history that shapes him. Like the Nigerian who moved to New York and set up a cab company called Dominion. Even in a new world, he never forgot the spirituality and aspirations of his past.

Knowing your audience is a simple sentiment, but in a world so obsessed with the next new thing, perhaps paying attention to the past is the most radical approach of all.

Sunday’s Make Some Room discussions, hosted by SapientNitro and PRETTYBIRD, echoed this. Jordan Brands’ Desmond Marzette and i am OTHER’s Mimi Valdés each spoke about diversity and placing cultural experts in the right positions, so that their unique understanding can ensure brands fit authentically into areas they might otherwise be uncomfortable in (see: HTC’s take on how to speak hip hop vs. Samsung’s Lil’ Wayne spot). In the same way, Mr. FAB believes that if an advertiser understands their consumers’ thinking, they’ll be better able to communicate. A picture says a thousand words but it doesn’t necessarily say the same words to a thousand people.

And the best way to advertise to an African?

“Let an African do it”.

How to build a Beta Agency in three steps

By Clare Elder

Masaru Kitakaze, Worldwide CCO of Hakuhodo, shared his guide on ‘How to Build a Beta Agency’. A new agency structure built around the principles of Silicon Valley and prototyping.

Step 1- Create the way we create

Choose something core to your business and re-create the way you do it. Less is more. Create maximum impact with minimum action.

For Japanese agency Kettle, who were trying to create more integrated campaigns, they were held back by hierarchical and confusing  job titles so they got rid of them.

Now everyone has a job field or specialism but not a title. This flattened their hierarchy, encouraged collaboration and made everyone accountable for creativity.

Step 2- Start pivot prototyping

Beta agencies need to have two legs. A pivot leg that’s fixed in a core discipline and one to explore new frontiers. The secret here is to give anything and everything a go but always in the context of your core business.

Kettle refers to their work as “method neutral”. Kettle is no longer just an advertising agency, they’ve published books, made chandeliers and latterly wrote science papers on the oxytocin levels of Mums to sell a beauty cream. Their frontier leg has moved them into other industries. They will always be an advertising agency but next week they might also be lawyers, hotel managers or even dolphin trainers.

Step 3- Have a go at being the world’s first failure at something

Try something new, push it so far that you will be the first person to have ever got it wrong. Once you’ve done it wrong, keep refining it until it works. Make sure you cultivate a culture where failure has no shame. Create a culture where people can really test and learn.

Note for next week: go and have a word with OMD UK’s CEO Dan Clays about trying something new and awesome!

Agency Beta

Originally posted at http://www.omdukblog.com/cannes-lions/how-to-build-a-beta-agency-in-three-steps/

How China has the ‘next big thing’ in the palm of its hand

By Amy Taylor

This year we have a group of Young Lions reporting live from the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. They’ll be bringing us all the breaking news as it happens.

In Byron Sharp’s talk ‘What if everyone is doing it wrong?’ he referenced the current trend of innovation. We are constantly on a relentless pursuit for the next movement that will solve our problems or create new joys; viral videos, virtual reality, user generated content, to name a few. Cases of whiplash have increased tenfold over the past 10 years from vigorous searches for the next big thing (I joke).

This was interesting to consider when hearing about China’s number one software company, Tencent. By analysing the mobile lifestyle of the Chinese consumer, they created a software that satisfies all of their needs. With convenience in mind, they were inspired by apps that were already popular in the western world, revolving around functionality or improving communication.

To simplify instant messaging, with the over 60s in mind, they created an easy walky-talky voice record feature in their app WeChat, similar to Whatsapp. To meet the needs of millennials, often travelling away from home, they created a feature similar to ‘Find My Friends’ and ‘Happn’ to aid mingling in a new city.

They eased complicated public service requirements like renewing their passports and paying bills and users can easily transfer money to friends. Simply scanning a QR code allows them to pay for a tea in a high street cafe.

In addition, Tencent identified a cultural moment that could be upgraded to the digital world. Every Chinese New Year, red envelopes (red symbolising luck) containing money are received from family and friends. To add a share of life element to their billing and payment feature, Tencent provided the ‘red packet’ so that they can virtually deliver their New Year tradition.

Creating a loyal base of users, with 97% of them using the service 10 times per day and one-third visiting 20 times per day, Tencent now has reams of data on their user base’s interests and purchase behaviours, providing unlimited targeting opportunities. Through a quick service update, users can experience their version of the ‘next big thing’, making it easy for Tencent to ensure that they are always current, relevant and innovative – eliminating potential threats from other emerging themes in the mobile market.

Originally posted at http://www.omdukblog.com/cannes-lions/how-china-has-the-next-big-thing-in-the-palm-of-its-hand/

What do porn and Donald Trump have in common?

By Daniella Murphy

This year we have a group of Young Lions reporting live from the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. They’ll be bringing us all the breaking news as it happens.

No, this isn’t an education on the virtues of self-love.

According to James Herring and Peter Mountstevens (of PR powerhouse Taylor Herring) in their keynote “Zen and the Art of The Publicity Stunt”, both have something to teach us about winning hearts and minds with little money and a whole lot of chutzpah. Or, as us OMDers love to call it, earning share of life.

Trump, who so far has made an astonishing $2,000,000,000-worth of press coverage with less than an 8th of the budget of Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign, reminds us that media spend (or morality) doesn’t dictate what we talk about at the dinner table. And while porn is an unlikely guest at most social gatherings, Pornhub (biggest archive of “nothing”) shows how a NSFW brand can get mainstream coverage with a wink, a nod, and aWankband.

They’re not the only ones either. Herring and Mountstevens also gave a shoutout to the likes of:

Ikea and their beautiful disregard for the preconception that ‘nobody tweets a billboard’. The living billboardcertainly got people chatting.

Uber, who remain open to the most illogical brand partnerships (UberKittens for animal shelters) and prove red tape and challenges aren’t an excuse for boring work.

HBO Game of Thrones, who don’t isolate stunts to launch strategy. With Bring Down The Kings and a food truckmenu lifted from the show, they’re consistently surprising and creating things people want to get their cameras and hashtags out for.

It’s entertain or die (to get all GoT on ourselves). If Taylor Herring reckons brands should put 10 per cent of their budget into doing something magical, perhaps it’s this 10 per cent that will keep them alive.

Originally posted at http://www.omdukblog.com/cannes-lions/what-do-porn-and-donald-trump-have-in-common/ 

Cannes Lions 2016 – will they roar or whimper?

The annual advertising industry equivalent of the Oscars, the Cannes Lions (now in its 63rd year) takes centre stage this week. So as the Gutter Bar commences chilling copious amounts of Rosé I’ve taken a quick look at the agenda to see what’s on offer…

Recent years have seen the star quotient rocket with the likes of Kim KardashianJared Leto and Iggy Pop making live appearances on the Palais stage. This year, the swarm of superstars has gone stratospheric with Hollywood A-listers such as Gwyneth PaltrowWill Smith and Chris Pine on the agenda this year talking about (amongst other things) content, creativity and branding. Not enough sparkle for you? OK then add to the list Channing TatumSpike Jonze and David Copperfield (be interesting to see whether he walks off the stage or simply disappears in a cloud of smoke).

kim k cannes

Beyond the main auditoria of the Palais, there is plenty of additional activity taking place. Naturally I am somewhat biased but the OMD Oasis (now in it’s third year at Cannes) is the pick of the ‘off Broadway’ style events. Located right on the Croisette, the beachside cabana hosts a myriad of exciting speakers including the aforementioned Ms PaltrowRyan Seacrest, and Anderson Cooper. Added to that, there are a plethora of industry heavyweights such as Brad Jakeman from PepsiCoRoel de Vries from NissanTim Armstrong from AOLRich Raddon from ZEFR and Carolyn Everson from Facebook to name but a few.

Future Partnerships

Elsewhere along the main boulevards and beaches of Cannes, there are a variety of dedicated areas largely dominated by the various agency groups plus the social and tech guys. Unsurprisingly there is a highly noticeable presence from the likes of Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Spotify, Twitter and LinkedIn who have all descended on the town determined to make an impression on the estimated 12,000 delegates (and I suspect, attempt to outdo each other). Their legendary parties will be equally spectacular with various rumors circling about which singers and bands are performing. In previous years we’ve witnessed the likes of Elton JohnJohn Legend and Mariah Carey so who they can bring in to top that. Elvis maybe?

But the parties are not the main reason why we are here. It’s to celebrate creativity in its multitude of forms (no honestly, it really is). And if 2015 is anything to go by, then 2016 will have to really roar. Some of the notable campaigns at the Lions last year included the Volvo ‘Live Test’ campaign featuring that epic split between two trucks by Jean-Claude Van Damme, the John Lewis Christmas campaign featuring a very cute penguin called Monty and the rather excellent Apple ‘Shot on an iPhone6’ work.

Cannes-Festival (1)

Over 300 judges from around the globe, including some of our very own OMDers, have descended upon Cannes to deliberate on a record 43,101 entries and the early indications are that there is some spectacular work on view across the three main buckets of Health, Innovation and Entertainment. Adweek have already previewed some of the work and listed their top 25 campaigns which they believe will win big at the festival. Work from the likes of McDonalds, Southern Comfort and Xbox is already being lauded so don’t be surprised to see these campaigns picking up a slew of gongs.

For more information about the OMD Oasis please visit cannes.omd.com

What to expect at this year’s OMD Oasis at Cannes

The Cannes Festival will soon be upon us and for the last three years the OMD Oasis has had the unprecedented reputation of offering our clients and guests exclusive access to some of the most exciting thought leaders, tech and media partners, along with visionaries from across our industry. These trailblazers are known key players in the redefinition of ours and our clients’ business.

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These trailblazers are known key players in the redefinition of ours and our clients’ business.  This year, OMD will focus on how we define, inspire and action brands with purpose and authenticity; with talks on storytelling, insight-led marketing, diversity and innovation involving clients and partners from the worlds of television, tech, social and Silicon Valley.

In addition to the most forward-thinking industry leaders, we’ve confirmed a number of A-List celebrities, themselves important brands—Gwyneth Paltrow, Ryan Seacrest, Anderson Cooper, Brett Favre, to name a few … who will talk about the real and immediate need for authenticity.

A number of our global clients including Activision, Bacardi, Barilla, Google, HPE, Intel, Nissan and PepsiCo will give us first-hand insight into what has become a truly transformative era in our industry and how they are embracing these challenges and drive growth.

We hope to see you there in-person, but if you are unable to attend, you can join us online as we will bring you real-time coverage of the OMD Oasis and the Lions Festival at the Palais across the entire week. Please join the conversation by following the hashtag #OMDOASIS or point your cursor to cannes.omd.com for the full agenda and roster of speakers.

Thank you from all of us at OMD!

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