So, you missed Cannes AND Creative Social’s Cannes round up? Fear not, here’s a write up of Creative Social’s round up.
Creative Social held their 5th annual ‘Creative Stories … from Cannes’ (previously Mini Cannes) on 18th July. Partnering with audio network and The IPA, they brought together a whole host of Cannes speakers to talk about the trends and tips from this year’s festival.
A rather blurry image from Scarlett and Charlotte’s talk
First up on the agenda was the role of brand purpose. And buzzwords they most certainly are not. Charlotte Cramer (Strategy Consultant, Co-Founder of CRACK+CIDER, and Author of Be Bad, Do Good) and Scarlett Montenaro (Creative, 18 Feet and Rising, and Co-Founder of CRACK+CIDER) teamed up again for ‘Advertise Like You Give A Damn’ (www.alygad.com), urging the industry to reconsider effectiveness. They argued that effectiveness isn’t effective when it’s largely based on ROI. Return on Investment may sound like a pretty solid measure, but it fails to consider real social impact. Take makeup brands, according to their ROI they’re performing well but where is the consideration of impact on young girls’ confidence? Advertising is not doing enough. The pair called out industry bodies, arguing that they need to set horizons further. Awards for positive impact need to be given on a longer-term basis, not for work based on a short annual cycle.
Some of the biggest winners at Cannes were purpose-driven – from Edeka’s ‘The Most German Supermarket’ (picked by Charlotte Williams, Director of Content at Cannes Lions) to Carling Black Label’s ‘Soccer Song For Change’ by Ogilvy Cape Town. Both are stellar examples of provocative and impactful work.
The panel touched on some of the issues surrounding brand purpose, with Al Campbell of We Are Social urging brands not to do something with purpose for no reason. Brand purpose has to be, for want of a better word, authentic. Brands like Shell greenwashing just won’t cut it. The rest of the panel were in agreement, with Natalie Graeme (Co-Founder, Uncommon) arguing that brands need to evaluate whether they deserve to exist, and Katrina Dodd (Head of Trends, Contagious) reaffirming that if you’re going to embrace some kind of purpose, it needs to be central to your brand.
AI and Data
The machines aren’t coming for our jobs just yet. Charlotte Williams led her AI discussion with a pearl of wisdom from Alicia Hatch, CMO of Deliotte Digital – “AI is good at patterns, it’s the job of creatives to connect the dots”. Charlotte called for an end to the paradigm of data vs creativity, urging agencies to recognise that data is not an end but a tool to be utilised. Karen Boswell’s (Head of Innovations at adam&eveDDB and Founder of TwoSpeciesLtd) pick of standout work was Ogilvy’s work for Forbes with Transparency International, an AI-centred campaign raising awareness of corruption.
The panel questioned the future of AI, with Simon Gill (Chief Creative Officer, Isobar) considering the potential for a breakthrough piece of work in VR and AR. He also mentioned the addition of Social & Influencer as a category this year, linking to the largely unexplored territory of virtual influencers (cue audience groans). Katrina closed with a positive note, reminding us that, as with previous technological advances, we’ll find a way to figure things out.
Transparency and Trust
Brands have to show transparency and clarity. What does this actually mean? As Charlotte Williams points out, people trust brands who share their beliefs. This also means brands need to ‘fess up when they mess up. Case in point is that KFC FCK ad. If you’ve been living under a rock this year and haven’t seen it, it’s well worth a look.
Another stellar campaign was ‘JFK Unsilenced’, winner of the Creative Data Grand Prix. What does this have to do with trust and transparency, you ask? Well, Rothco was tasked with repositioning The Times as a paper that represents many voices. They used existing audio of JFK to recreate a speech he had written which called for America’s leadership to be “guided by the light of learning and reason” and to challenge those who would “confuse rhetoric with reality”. With technology that could now have a huge positive impact on ALS sufferers, The Times’ speech that never happened sits just on the right side of fake news.
Surprise and Delight
Shot on iPhone using Cheetos Vision. Yes, that’s my dog.
Last up, some tips on the work that surprised and delighted the speakers. Jo McCrostie (Head of Creative, Global Radio) champions her medium, noting how “audio is the place you can really afford, as a creative, to be playful”. With that in mind, she picked ‘Break The Taboo’ for Sociedad Argentina de Urologia Buenos Aires by Grey Argentina as a piece that really surprised her. Rectal examinations aren’t often advertised in a non-visual medium, so it’s a great spot if you’re interested in writing for audio and perfecting the ‘twist’ in your script.
Candace Kuss’ (Director of Social Media, H&K Strategies) pick for surprise and delight was Bihor Couture by McCann – a true David and Goliath tale that proves creative work doesn’t need “giant media buy” to be charming an impactful.
Karen Boswell’s pick was “surprising and fun”, reminding the jury not to take themselves too seriously amid all the talk of brand purpose. She chose Cheetos Vision, an AI camera that finds Cheetos snacks in everything it sees. Bonus points for parodying Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’.
Panel highlights included ‘Bodyform Blood Normal’ by AMV BBDO (preach!) and Kiwi Shoe Polish’s long copy ad. Ogilvy Chicago’s work, featuring the shoes of greats like Muhammad Ali and Amelia Earheart is a welcome reminder that long copy is not dead. As Katrina points out, our tube journeys would be nothing without all those ads to read (I’m looking at you, Jack Daniels). Long live the written word.
So, there you have it. Brand purpose, AI, data, trust, and some tips for work that will surprise and delight.
Written by @sophielockx