Written by
Jonny Spindler
Published
July 2016
Topics

The marketing world is a big community, containing many diverse points of view. We know it’s important to listen and learn as widely as possible, so this week we’re starting a new series “Letters from the Guest Editor”, which will allow leading industry practitioners to share their insights and experience.

For our debut package of Letters we are delighted to hand the reins to Jonny Spindler, Chief Innovation Officer at BBDO Europe. Fresh from Cannes Lions, he will share his thoughts on the hot topics at the Festival and gives some personal reflections on the challenges and opportunities presented by online video and Virtual Reality.

Postcard from Cannes Lions -
My Personal Reflections

Friday shocker – I came out to Cannes at the start of the week and suddenly 'home' feels a lot further away with the news that the UK will no longer to be part of this beautiful continent. One interpretation of the vote is that the people of Britain have rejected the idea of the global society we live in – but at least I can be cheerful that much of the work at Cannes and many of the conversations demonstrate that the advertising community is more involved and inclusive than ever.

The Glass Lion awards was created last year to recognise campaigns with social good at their core – it was won by Brooke Bond Red Label Tea’s 6 Pack Band campaign that created India’s first transgender pop group. It’s heartening that increasingly the best work in the world includes a social purpose as a default. It's great to see the brands, agencies and creative teams that work on these projects striving to give something back to society wherever possible.

“It seems advertising may be about to have a second Golden Age, whereby great stories are devised to prompt action and do good for individuals, society and the world as a whole.”

The ‘Golden Age of Advertising’ in the 1960s-80s was all about using emotion to help sell brands and their products, as agencies produced powerful stories that depicted the 'feeling' of the product or the given brand. After losing its way for so many decades, it seems advertising may be about to have a second Golden Age, whereby great stories are devised to prompt action and do good for individuals, society and the world as a whole. This is a far more purposeful vision, which should inspire younger generations to want to work in the industry. In recent years, working in advertising has not offered the sense of fulfilment it once did, but I feel this is changing, and hope young people will see it as a creative and meaningful industry in which to work.

“The jurors of the Creative Effectiveness Lions have highlighted the need for stronger metrics and links to true business performance.”

There was some negativity last year as to what Cannes Lions is really about, and the question has been asked: ‘Does Cannes Lions recognise real, effective work or is it just a fashion show for the ad industry?’ This year it feels like the awards juries have responded to this criticism and more 'real' work is winning. However, there is still progress to be made and the jurors of the Creative Effectiveness Lions have highlighted the need for stronger metrics and links to true business performance, rather than the still somewhat soft metrics agencies are using to determine effectiveness.

The appearance of venture capitalists and start-ups at Cannes and the second year of the Lions Innovation strand exploring data and tech, shows the festival’s intent to be a serious competitor to CES, Mobile Media Summit and SXSW for technology leadership on the global conference circuit.

And the England football team continue their trend of being utterly disappointing when playing during Cannes week – witnessed two years ago and again on Monday!

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