The world’s top brands and agencies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft gathered last week in France at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to discuss creativity in modern advertising.
The Cannes Lions Festival is the world’s largest celebration of creativity in communications. One of the main focuses of this festival was ways that advertising industries are preparing for a digital future.
It became clear at the festival that we are about to see an absolute explosion of new types of advertising from brands. While this process is already flourishing, we may just be scratching the surface.
A number of brands discussed the ways companies use technologies, such as reality apps and data exchanges with touch, to connect with consumers through experiential marketing.
“It’s more effective to feel the brand, not see it,” noted Martin Lindstrom, brand futurist.
Nike has been one of the few brands that have taken advantage of experiential marketing. Nike has had a 55 percent drop in television advertising spending over the past 10 years. To fill this absence, they have sponsored over 200 club teams, offering innovative mobile technology for runners and have created over 10,000 pieces of original content.
Coca Cola has been able to emphasize vibrant storytelling to create numerous connections with their audience. Coke is greatly increasing its investment in many varieties of content production to help create buzz and increase its popular culture relevance.
Throughout many conferences at the festival, it was consistently illustrated that today’s on-demand media consumption way of life require brands to create content that people choose and actually want to watch and share, rather than shoving unwanted commercials on its audience.
“Stop taking orders from Silicon Valley,” said Tim Armstrong, former Googler, referencing the importance of creating unique advertising content rather than simply settling for traditional ads.
There is a new generation of passionate online groups initiated by brands. Foot-locker recently created Sneakerpedia, a Wikipedia-style site, intended to stimulate “sneakerheads” worldwide to document the history of their own sneakers. This site has created a lot of buzz and is a great example of how a brand can promote something around topics people are truly passionate about.
The festival award for the most overall positive mentions went to Lady Gaga. The Gaga brand has quickly become globally known thanks to Gaga brand-building tools.
Lady Gaga drew in her fans by naming them “The Little Monsters” on Twitter, numbering over 11 million followers. The Gaga brand has original content with Gagavision, a video series leading up to her new album release. Gagaville has created a gaming experience that allows audiences to win song tracks by beating game levels. She is also working on product development with Poloroid on a new product line. Lady Gaga has uniquely used digital tools to distribute her content and broaden her fan base that other brands are taking note of.
The Cannes Lions festival made it known that the way of advertising is ever-changing. Brands are in need to be creative and modern to target audiences in a personal way to prepare for a digital future.
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