The 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity took place last week (21st – 27th June), creating the renown annual buzz in the creative communications and advertising industries. In 2013, the festival introduced a new awards category; the Innovation Lions, honouring the data and technology that facilitates creative communications. So what did the festival have to offer its adtech gurus?
Indicating just how prominent technology has become for the industry, the festival launched an app with Apple’s iBeacon technology to offer attendees a personalised experience, relevant content and meet-ups with fellow event-goers. Delivering customised interactive experiences and event information in real-time the app’s features strived to get attendees to events of personal interest and to build relationships through a Tinder-esque platform called ‘Icebreaker’, matching LinkedIn profiles to orchestrate meet-ups. In addition to providing an easy and productive festival experience, the app introduced iBeacon’s close-proximity and individualised messaging abilities to potential investors.
As numerous adtech companies descended upon the festival, there was an environment in which to talk deals, meet key decision makers, raise capital through the demonstration of USPs and acquire global marketplace exposure. With offerings in data-informed ad targeting, new digital creative capabilities and location-based mobile technology, some were wary that technology was invading the creative celebrations; advertising is innately about familiarity, not originality. However, adtech companies of all shapes and sizes simply argued that their software mattered to creatives more now than ever; they’re the means through which creativity reached the right people in the right way at the right time.
Tinder’s advertising product has been something of the spotlight lately, as has Instagram’s; both investing in native solutions, seamlessly integrating brands into the consumer’s experience. Tinder’s Sean Rad announced that they were in the process of securing a patent for the act of ‘swiping’ in any direction, as a means of performing an action. It’s therefore clear that they have their minds set on further ‘swiping’ activity in the advertising arena. Amidst this market, what Snapchat’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, had to say about advertising was clearly of interest. Stating that they cared about ‘not being creepy’, he said that targeted advertising that ‘follows’ a user was not of interest to them, and that their 3V offering allowed ads to fit the content of the Stories they told. Snapchat’s Stories are created by human editors with UGC, adding a mortal and understanding element to advertising.
No doubt, the 3Vs, vertical, video and views will play a prominent part in Snapchat’s new venture with DailyMail and WPP; Truffle Pig, the first global content marketing company. The initiative aims to combine the best of global agency, newsroom and social media talent offering pioneering content planning, development and creation and, amplification through digital media sites and platforms. Jon Steinberg, CEO Daily Mail North America, said the venture would be an ‘evolution not a revolution’ of the way content agencies work. Providing story-driven marketing on relevant sites through innovative formats like Snapchat, brands will find real value in Truffle Pig, which Steinberg said ‘finds the rare and tasty’.
Statistics show that consumers are engaging with content faster than brands are creating it. The merging of these three media giants therefore comes at an exciting time, likely to enhance the content products currently being churned out with novel improvements. Sir Martin Sorrell stated that the organisation would address the fact that consumers crave quality in a content saturated digital market. With Cannes Lions as the chosen platform to announce ventures like this, the question arises as to whether future developments of creative communications rely on the ever-progressing adtech industry, as advertising begins to serve technology more than people.