The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity wrapped up this past weekend and I’m so happy to see some of my favourite ads from the past year on the Grand Prix winner’s list! Among them are Volvo’s “Epic Split” featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow” a follow up to their previous winner “Back to the Start” and British Airways’ “Magic of Flying” real-time billboards that react every time a BA flight flies by overhead.
But beyond being a showcase for advertising from around the world, the Cannes Lions is also a venue for discussion. This year, the festival featured over 48 hours of talks, as well as workshops, screenings and exhibitions.
One of the strongest themes of this year’s festival was the importance of storytelling. With all the technology that is available to us today, an authentic human story is still the best way to break through all the clutter. Stories allow you to connect with your consumers on an emotional level. Some of the best ads from this year and past year’s winner’s lists are there because of their ability to move their audience through the stories they tell.
Executive Chairperson and Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather South Asia Piyush Pandey puts it best, “Advertising has gone from being literal to connecting with the heart.” (Source: Huffington Post)
Of course, telling a good story is only the beginning. Social engagement can tell you how well your content was received. People only share something when they feel an emotional connection to it.
“Social is the gateway for what to watch and when.” – Maker Studio (Source: Huffington Post)
So if you’re struggling to find your story, just look to your audience. What are they interested in? What are they sharing? What resonates with them?
Coca Cola uses a similar strategy – “We produce 15 percent of the content. Consumers produce 85 percent.” – Wendy Clark, Coca Cola Marketing Chief (Source: Huffington Post)
It’s important to remember that a social strategy means give and take. You give valuable content to your followers but you also gain valuable insight and perspective from your audience in exchange.
The marketing world is always evolving and changing – events like the Cannes Lions are a great opportunity for the world’s creative minds and brands to share insight and to start a dialogue and exchange of ideas. And for those of us watching from afar? It is a source for true inspiration!
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