Cannes’ Festival of Creativity is the Cradle of MarTech Innovation

Cannes Lions

Cannes Lions, the home of great ideas that gain global exposure, wrapped up with a clear message for marketers and advertisers.

“To inspire creativity, collaborate with the creative community.”

While McCann’s Fearless Girl statue swept the 2017 Cannes Lions with four Grand Prix, others like Superhumans and Graham proved that marketing is no longer a forced feed action but, an inspiring learning engagement for both, marketers and audiences. Five marketing champions , who were at Cannes spoke to MarTech Series about their experiences at the mega event.

Cannes is the Super Bowl for creativity – Daniel Meehan, CEO, PadSquad

Daniel Meehan
Daniel Meehan, CEO, PadSquad

After the Oracle Marketing Cloud’s Modern Marketing Experience 2017, we described the growing prominence of personalization of content. From Cannes, Daniel Meehan, CEO, PadSquad, also had similar thoughts to share.

Meehan said, “Cannes is undoubtedly the Super Bowl for creativity, and if the digital advertising industry truly wants to optimize user experience, it’s about time they start taking creative more seriously.”

BTW, superstars from WWE were at the event too!

Content creation that forms the core of all omnichannel marketing campaigns depends on how marketers analyze data from multiple touch points across the customer journey. Meehan added, “We now have the capability to leverage audience and environmental data to tweak the messaging in a creative based on the individual. For consumers, this results in personalized ads that they can actually enjoy. For brands, real-time insights and the assurance that their ad spend is being optimized.”

Cannes Lions is harbinger of Mobile AdTech Revolution — Emily McInerney, VP, Marketing, Tapjoy

Emily McInerney
Emily McInerney, VP, Marketing, Tapjoy

Emily McInerney, VP, Marketing, Tapjoy, attended the Cannes Lions 2017 to connect with MarTech and AdTech leaders, who are responsible for driving the mobile innovation industry. Emily said, “My goal at the Cannes Lions this year is to benchmark the industry pace towards the much-needed increase in the value of mobile MarTech and AdTech to benefit our customers and inspire our internal teams.

This will be my third time attending Cannes Lion. I went one time when I was on the Agency side at Universal McCann, Australia, and this will be my second time going with Tapjoy. It’s one of my favorite gatherings of the year!”

She added, “We attend Cannes Lions to connect with other thought leaders responsible for innovation in the global industry, and to meet with business partners and customers. It’s one of the best conferences in the world for bringing together advertisers and agencies from across the globe, and there’s always great energy and passion there. As a central player in the mobile advertising revolution, it’s important that Tapjoy is well represented.”

For a marketer, it is evident that Cannes Lions brings enticing opportunities for innovators and technocrats.

Emily said, “I’m following Linda Boff of GE and Keith Weed of Unilever because they are evolving what it means to be a leader in marketing in this metrics-driven world. The biggest benefit (of attending Cannes Lions) is an opportunity to see how the Advertising and Marketing Industry, and especially consumer brands are integrating mobile marketing and advertising into their business strategies.”

Cannes Lions celebrates ideas, creativity, and people — Chris Dobson, CEO, The Exchange Lab

Chris Dobson
Chris Dobson, CEO, The Exchange Lab

MTS: How many times have you been to Cannes Lions?—Who do you plan to meet?

Chris Dobson: I first attended the Cannes Lions in 2001, in my role as Sales Director, EMEA, at Microsoft Online Services and I have taken part in the festival ever since. Back then, Microsoft was the first tech company to have a presence at what was traditionally an event for the creative. Given the increasing number of delegates from tech vendors, it’s clear how the digital landscape has evolved to bring creativity and technology together over the past 16 years.

This year, The Exchange Lab is promoting the programmatic component of digital marketing to current and potential clients. We’ll be hosting a number of events, including a fireside chat with our client InterContinental Hotels Group to explore their programmatic journey and a live debate with industry experts discussing programmatic as the future of media.

MTS: What draws the CEO of a GroupM agency to the Cannes Lions?

Chris Dobson: Cannes Lions celebrates ideas, creativity, and people – and for The Exchange Lab, these are fundamental factors in our quest of achieving programmatic excellence in the service we provide. We’re an independent programmatic specialist serving our clients directly through a consultative and collaborative approach, bringing together programmatic and creativity – and the Cannes Lions is the perfect setting for the conversation.

MTS: Which section of the festival are you particularly interested in?

Chris Dobson: I’m most interested to see if the creative industry is closer to understanding how it might use programmatic more effectively, and the benefits this can bring about. The aim of my first Cannes Lions experience all those years back was to bring creativity and technology closer together, and in my opinion, this has been a slower relationship than initially anticipated.

MTS: How do events like Cannes Lions portray the advancement of programmatic?

Chris Dobson: The Cannes Lions Awards are much more about engagement now than pure creativity, which I believe is a core feature in the advancement of programmatic which has facilitated interaction between the consumer and the brand. The idea of engagement has now changed, the progression in technology and the cross-device nature of our online habits mean that there’s so much more involved now– such as, is a campaign right for the device or channel? The dynamic creative that we use for our clients – where the creative is changed based on the consumer’s behavior demonstrates the advancement of programmatic.

By using data generated by consumer interaction, we’re able to take our clients on a more personalized and relevant journey to deliver the highest level of customer experience.

MTS:  Who are you looking forward to hearing speak at the festival?

Chris Dobson: I’m looking forward to hearing the thoughts of the leaders in the field of programmatic, but also in presentations focused on examining the blend of art and technology– The ‘Biology of a Creative Idea’ stood out as a thought-provoking session for me.

It was also interesting to hear from Chris Tung, CMO, Alibaba Group and his views on brands engaging with consumers.

MTS: From the MarTech POV, what are you looking forward to at the event?

Chris Dobson: Ultimately, The Exchange Lab hopes to continue supporting the education around programmatic. We want to carry on spreading the mantra that programmatic is as much about the people and talent as it is about the technology, and there’s not a more fitting place than Cannes Lions to deliver this message.

“Cannes Lions fuels both the left and right hemispheres of my brain” — Gil Klein, Managing Director, Mobfox

Gil Klein
Gil Klein Managing Director, Mobfox

Gil Klein, MD, Mobfox, who is also a C-level executive at parent company Matomy Media Group, had a totally different take on the Cannes Lions 2017. For him, it’s the mix of science and art that galvanize marketers and advertisers to create inspiring marketing campaigns.

MTS: How many times have you been to Cannes Lions?

Gil Klein: This is my second year attending the Festival of Creativity. With so much genius in one room, how could I stay away?

MTS: What draws the Managing Director of a mobile MarTech company to the Cannes Lions? Which section of the festival are you particularly interested in?

Gil Klein: I am interested in exploring new innovation in my space and meeting partners and industry colleagues.  It’s a privilege, in one week I have the opportunity to hear insights regarding their current focus, what’s trending and their plans for the future. This is very useful for me as I can go back and ensure that Mobfox accommodates, strengthens, and supports these aspirations. I am also always looking for new partnerships and what better way to do that than over a glass of rosé at Cannes.

MTS: How do you think event marketers can use a mobile monetization platform to better customer experiences? Has Mobfox worked on any such engagement or digital campaigns?

Gil Klein: Marketers should use a mobile monetization platform to make customer experiences more targeted, more personal and in a word, better. Data powers the experience and allows for a sharper and crisper understanding of your audience.

Through data analytics, you can gain a lot of very helpful insights on the interests of the users, which events they like, and even preferred locations. All this means that users will have a better experience as they will have access to more information about the things that matter to them.

MTS: Who are you looking forward to hearing speak at the festival?

Gil Klein: I was extremely interested to hear Adam Bly, Vice President of Data at Spotify, speak about the incredible benefits that exist to users because of Spotify’s granular understanding and the interpretation of data. I’ve been watching Spotify as they just started making audio inventory available to programmatic buyers which tells me that they also understand the rocket ship that is mobile programmatic. Obviously, this resonates with me as understanding our audience through sophisticated data-analysis and powering it with mobile programmatic advertising is central to the work we do at Mobfox.

MTS: What is the expectation you have from the event, especially from a MarTech POV?

Gil Klein: This event fuels both the left and right hemispheres of my brain– data science and creativity showcased on their best day. The beating heart of Mobfox is technology and data, packaged creatively. So, Cannes is the best place to be surrounded by like-minded professionals which always leads to exciting new ideas, best of breed innovation and fruitful collaborations.

“Keep an eye on the impact on user experience” –Tobin Ireland, CEO and Co-founder, Smartpipe

Tobin Ireland
Tobin Ireland, CEO and co-founder, Smartpipe

Tobin Ireland, Co-founder and CEO of Smartpipe and former Chairman of Adbrain touched on the  issue of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Ireland spoke of learning to think outside the box and using technology to reach an audience in an entirely new way at the Cannes Lions.

MTS: What draws the CEO of a MarTech company to the Cannes Lions?

Tobin Ireland: Innovation and creativity are at the heart of the Cannes Lions which are also two qualities the MarTech industry is trying to nurture in unison, so the two are starting to share a common language. As a company with an innovative technology, we need to be at events where the ecosystem meets – specifically the brands and agencies, particularly as the use of data is a key topic for marketers right now. With new laws such as the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive on the horizon, we wanted to get the message across about how the industry prepares for massive changes, and where better to do this than at Cannes?

MTS: Which section of the festival are you particularly interested in?

Tobin Ireland: I always keep a close eye on the awards. Brands are making use of new technology all the time and it’s great to see what has resonated with the judging panel. Burger King brought home the chips with its clever use of Google Home – in the ad a Burger King team member asks Google Home devices about a Whopper – triggering real devices in its audiences’ homes to read the Wikipedia description of the burger. Thinking outside the box and using technology to reach an audience in an entirely new way is inspirational, although I’d encourage the Burger King marketers to keep an eye on the impact on user experience too!

MTS: How do you think marketers at Cannes can use mobile data to better customer experiences? Has Smartpipe worked on any such engagement or digital campaigns?

Tobin Ireland: On both sides of the Atlantic, regulations controlling the collection and use of data have been a hot topic. As a result, the value of data has never been higher for marketers, so being able to use it in a sustainable way for the benefit of consumers and brands is essential. The key is having access to the best quality data and using it in a transparent and secure manner, so that the customer feels informed and protected, and is targeted with the right information at the right time.

Smartpipe’s data is driving campaigns and keeping first party data safe and secure while protecting data. We are working with a number of mobile operators to monetize their data, safely and securely, across open digital advertising ecosystems. Our platform dynamically de-identifies telco subscriber data – hiding personal information behind a transient token. This transforms subscriber data, such as demographic, behavioral, and location sets, into audience attributes, ready for targeting against programmatic campaigns. This protects consumer data while still allowing Mobile Network Operators  (MNOs) and advertisers to use it to engage audiences with relevant information.

MTS: Which speakers at the festival impressed you?

Tobin Ireland: The highlight was the MasterCard Ad Intelligence Event panel, chaired by Jay Sears, a panel of smart people talking about data and consumers – the view of the challenges facing the industry and the steps we all need to take was underpinned by both insight and foresight.

There was an emphasis throughout the event on data driven identity leading to more relevant communications with consumers, which was refreshing to see.

Also worth a mention is Jason Heller talking about the economics of creativity, and founder of Lab of Misfits, Beau Lotto discussing the controversial subject ‘data is meaningless.’

MTS: From a MarTech POV, what you were you expecting from the event?

Tobin Ireland: Now in its 64th year, Cannes has carved out a special place in the marketing world as an opportunity for the whole industry to come together. As well as celebrating success, marketers are just as willing to bring to the table the challenges they’re facing. In such a rapidly-developing sector, there are always new lessons to be learned. Although perceived constraints such as the GDPR are worrying some marketers, Cannes was an opportunity for us to encourage them to seize the opportunity by improving their data management processes. Mobile data monetization is on the brink of a quiet revolution, so we were reassured to see that this piqued marketers’ interest at the event.

Cannes Lions 2017 Makes Creative Connections Last a Lifetime

Inspired by the attention marketers and advertisers give to the speakers and visitors at the event, it is apparent that brands are tapping such mega events to amplify their social noise and selling with a touch of personalization.

This event reveals how can CMOs learn new tricks in mobile marketing and advertising and amplify their campaign ROI?  Marketers have to — “Listen, listen and listen…” to what partners and customers are saying.

The winning quote came from actor and activist, Sir Ian McKellen who said—

“There’s never been a more important time to be aspirational; to tell a story and tell it from the heart, so if we can unite brands with that purpose and come behind them, I think we could change the world, and save people’s lives.”

From resisting gender labels to embracing video as a social connection, the Cannes Lions 2017 proved that the future of MarTech depends on how effectively brands communicate their impactful message through every touch point, big or small.

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