When I sat down to listen to MRM Worldwide's session entitled Five Technologies That Will Transform Marketing Creativity, I expected to hear just that. Instead, all I got was an endless litany of the same old marketing blather concerning how everything is changing, how agencies and marketers need to break down the walls and blow up the silos to adjust to those changes and pointless platitudes pathway we all have to take to get there.
Will.i.am rambled on semi-coherently about how he'd rather be using his phone during the session instead of a microphone because the microphone is old and doesn't let him do all the things his phone allows him to do. Driving that point home, he said, "Why are we still rockin' it like it's 1999?"
Valid point but if I wanted to watch five people on stage madly manipulating their phones instead of focusing on the task at hand, all I'd need to do is look at the people sitting next to me madly tweeting instead of actually paying attention to what was being said on stage.
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As we make our way around Cannes this week, we've noticed a few things we thought we'd share.
- Everyone smokes. A lot. Constantly.
- Everyone leaves the ringer on their phone on. Totally annoying!
- The cacophony of multiple languages is more pleasing than expected.
- For some reason, a lady hands you a small piece of toilet paper when you enter a port-a-potty...which already has toilet paper in it.
- Everyone in France, and most other countries, dresses way nicer than most Americans.
- Almost every car is a Mercedes of a Peugeot.
- Pellegrino and Evian are the norm for bottled water.
- Bartenders don't use much ice when making drinks.
- People dance alone.
- Everyone is more beautiful than in "regular" life.
- Men's and women's rooms have the same entrance.
- Female cleaning staff have no problem walking into a men's room when it's occupied.
Facebook Global Marketing Solutions VP Carolyn Everson took the stage in the Debussy Theater at Cannes for the last session Wednesday where she shared with delegates some of Facebook's advertising initiatives for marketers. Topping the list was Sponsored Stories, a new product which leverages the power of word of mouth by placing a Liked page in the right hand column of friend's pages.
In terms of the power of word of mouth, Everson noted research that showed 75% of new parents would rather get recommendations from friends on Facebook than anywhere else and 74% who make purchase are influenced by friends. And 68% are more likely to recommend a product if the ad is on a friend's page. Hence leveraging these recommendations are what power Facebook Sponsored Stories.
Wednesday night during the Lions Awards at Cannes, Google was awarded a Grand Prix for its Wilderness Downtown site for Arcade Fire. R/GA won a Grand Prix for its Pay With A Tweet work for Innovative Thunder and Wieden + Kennedy won a Grand Prix for the Old Spice Body Wash Response Campaign.
For Wilderness Downtown, Google released a new Chrome Experiment in partnership with the band Arcade Fire which resulted in an interactive music video for the band and a chance to demonstrate HTML5 programming technology. By drawing on data from Google Maps and Google Streetview, The Wilderness Downtown integrated visuals of the viewer's childhood home into the narrative, creating a unique, emotional experience. Spread across multiple browser windows that opened and closed as the experienced progressed, The Wilderness Downtown worked towards changing the way the web (and music) can make people feel.
R/GA's Pay With A Tweet was an attempt to create a social payment system where people would use the value of their tweet to spread the word about a product and, in return, get the product.
Wieden + Kennedy's Old Spice Body Wash Response campaign resulted in dozens and dozens of customized videos featuring Isiah Mustafah who responded to people's tweet, videos, emails and blog posts.
Wednesday night at Cannes, Chicago's Digital Kitchen nabbed the Design Lion Grand Prix for its Digital Experience work for The Cosmopolitan.
In the words of Digital Kitchen, "The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is an iconic luxury brand. For DK, this presented us with our own mission: bring The Cosmopolitan to life. Give the building itself a personality, a perspective, a voice. Our solution was to transform each digital display into a living art canvas. From the marquee, to the casino, to the elevators, guests encounter a beautifully immersive digital experience. This experience culminates in the main lobby, where first impressions matter most. Every visitor is greeted with truly unique blend of architecture, contemporary art, and cutting edge digital technology."
Seems to have paid off.
Some moments after I sat down with SapientNitro's Worldwide Chief Creative Director Gaston Legorburu and Creative Director John McHale, I got a hard sense of what our time together would be about.
"Our secret weapon is our culture," Gaston said. And the culture is bred and nourished with conscious attention.
They reflected that they've never actually discussed their culture with the press before, and maybe because of that, they sat and outlined the entire blueprint.
The SapientNitro Positioning Statement
A mystique surrounds SapientNitro's culture, in part because the "agency" -- if you can call it that -- came from left field, blindsiding traditional agencies and digital players alike.
Sapient's roots lie in business and IT consulting, two specialties that still heavily impact its culture. It's technology, hardware, organizational management -- universes that traditionally have nothing to do with creative. But two years ago, when it started building touchscreen "Happiness" vending machines for Coca-Cola, followed by machines that dispense Unilever ice creams when a person smiles agencies began to worry.
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Tuesday night in Cannes the party scene really and truly kicked into full swing. With all the delegates in town combined with the fact Tuesday was Festival of Music, the Croisette was jam pack with people eight months old to 80 years old. Making way from one party to another was quite the challenge.
We again visited Le Rooftop, Fast company's series of parties/sessions. Last night Omnicom CEO John Wren made an appearance to speak about the state of the advertising agency and the fact he'd be happy to helm Omnicom for as long as they'll have him. A delicious dinner was served before heading out to the Croisette and the other parties.
Aside from the fact many sessions at Cannes are simply veiled commercials for the brands and agencies that host them or an excuse to have a celebrity on the panel, Mofilm's panel, Can Crowdsourcing Build Big Brands?, offered up a semi-amusing point from Jesse Eisenberg (Celebrity. Check) who likened ad agencies to Hollywood's large, disparate and convoluted studio system and independent film making to Mofilm (celebrity endorsement?)
Nothing like slamming the infrastructure that forms the lion's share of the Cannes Lions Festival. But, hey, Eisenberg is right. The Holy Trinity of Omnicon, Publicis and WPP are big, bloated and slow moving. Which is probably why all kinds of people are all over crowdsourcing, the topic Mofilm's panel today.
Read the rest on Yahoo! Scene.
Tuesday night in Cannes, New York's Droga5 took home the Outdoor Grand Prix for its Microsoft Bing work, Jay-Z Decoded. The campaign placed pages from Jay-Z's autobiography on outdoor boards, posters, kiosks and, where existing media didn't exist, customized placement such as pizza boxes, plates and burger wrappers, in relation to the autobiography's content. Fans could locate particular pages of the campaign by playing an online game which would give clues, via Bing's mapping and search functionality, as to the boards' locations.
All of the Outdoor Lion winners can be viewed here.
For its darkly strange and surreal radio campaign for Mercedes, BBDO Johannesberg brought home the Grand Prix for Radio Tuesday night at Cannes. The agency last won a Grand Prix in 2009 for Virgin Atlantic. The campaign, Accident Avoidance Features, has people who've been in car accidents taunted by the people they hit.
The copy is wickedly weird. One spot reads, in part, "For my birthday, he sent me a half sheep and 27 emotionally fraught mix tapes. He is intimately acquainted with the contents of my bin. I know he's touched my earbuds. And he likes to knit things for me too. Things like ponchos, cat suits and eye patches. To think, if I'd been driving a Mercedes-Benz with Lane Assist, that nifty accident avoidance system, we never would've met."
Other Gold Lion winners include:
- Y&R Bangkok for Mai Tan
- Network BBDO for Galderma
- Lowe & Prtners for Samroc Paint
- Three Drunk Monkeys for IKEA
- LatinWorks for Cin Las Americas
- Grabarz & Partners for Modern Music School
- DDB CoNetwork BBDO for lumbia for Armed Forces Columbia
- Jung Von Matt for Noah