WMG Cannes Wrap 2019 – 25th June 2019

WMG hosted our Cannes Wrap 2019 this week. It was a hugely enlightening and insightful panel discussion about the key themes and ideas that arose from Cannes Lions 2019. 

Our panel was: Chair; Alex Delamain, SVP, Head of Sales & Client Services, EMEA, The Economist; Alex Altman, President, Global Client Operations, Wavemaker; Alison Harbert, Head of Marketing & Branding, EMEA, Nomura; Johanna Mayer Jones, SVP Partnerships, The Atlantic; Joe Mayes, Brexit & Media Reporter, Bloomberg; Will Nicholson, Founding Partner, The Vision Network; Vanessa Pymble, Head of Global Marketing, Edelman.

Detailed below are the main topics of discussion:

Thoughts from Cannes

  • The pendulum has to some extent swung away from the idea that ‘data is king’, and that at Cannes there was recognition that while smart use of audience data is important,  that  ‘human experience’, trust and engagement were of at least equal value.
  • Purpose – seemed to be the key word of Cannes – brands must be seen to have specific purpose. 
  • Social good was another key theme but it needed to go beyond simply social good and strive towards actual government policy change.
  • After a drop in attendance in 2018, 2019 seemed busier although there was concern within the panel that there was more focus on American work and less international work was shared.
  • Cannes 2019 was described as the year of ‘Business Consultancy’ 
  • It was suggested that marketeers by continuing to spend ad budget on social media are either consciously or unconsciously accepting that their advertising is facilitating social media channels to host ‘fake news / damaging content’.  Only by advertisers withdrawing ad funding will they force the social media to clean up their act.
  • All of the panellists attended Cannes but only half actually went to the main Palais.  Alex Altman recommended that all attendees should spend at least 2hrs at the Palais looking at the creative work, as a source of inspiration for the coming year.  

Looking towards Cannes 2020

  • It was felt that Cannes is split into 2 halves – ‘creative’ and data.  The organisers need to work to bring the 2 halves together.
  • The panel felt strongly that Cannes needs to be more environmentally friendly and diverse and that the infrastructure is not set up adequately.
  • Social media platforms need to be held to account – Have they delivered on their promises to clean up their act?
  • It was suggested that there are just too many Cannes Awards so less awards and more clarity would be beneficial.
  • It was suggested that companies should consider sending more of the young up and coming staff – as an inspiration, as well as their senior exec team.

Photo Credit: Jane Clipston

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