Cannes – Day 5 takeouts

The Future Of Entertainment: Leslie Moonves and Michael Kassan in conversation. Hosted By: CBS & MediaLink

The Entertainment industry session with 2 President / Chairman / CEO’s (sponsored by Citibank where “entertainment is in our DNA” – really?  A bank DNA? Anyway move on…)

The Cannes Lions is now bigger for the entertainment industry than the Cannes Film Festival. Evolving their focus to be “content creators” as their vernacular has changed. Movies, sport, news, current affairs, TV is now all referred to as content.

Key take out – entertainment can help build a brand – and can achieve this in 30 days, however it can kill it in 30 seconds given the impact of real time media.

Data is used to help establish structures for new content, however gut feel still plays an important role in deciding what gets funding as algorithms are too black and white and miss nuances of film / voice / image.

Data wont provide the context on the content. Sounds familiar….

And authenticity also came back to the conversation. Also advocates of building and owning their own platform – own the customer, own the data, own the journey.


Kevin Plank and David Droga: From Underdogs to Game-Changers. Hosted By: Droga5 and Under Armour

UA started scrappy and still has a challenger mindset.

Stand for something, leverage opportunities. Saw the recent Steph Curry new shoe “outrage” as a great opportunity – rather than panic / retreat / stress / avoid they hit it head on and leant into the issue and took advantage of the noise around the brand. Strong, adventurous.  Started as a college / semi pro product and built into the consumer market as demand grew.

Key take out – Give people what they didn’t know they needed then become something they cant’t live without. Do something with authenticity, emotion and realism to be part of the conversation so you can do something great.

Their big break was being used in Al Pacino football movie “Any Given Sunday”. All product was paid for in the movie and it created an underground demand. They ran a $25k ad when they had no money and got 8000 customer and $800k in sales. Thought a rinse and repeat strategy would continue to drive sales. It didn’t. It doesn’t. Needed to (re)define their point of view.

David Droga said the most intimidating thing a client can do is totally trust the agency as it removes all alibi’s and adds constructive pressure.

The final thought – it takes as much energy to be great as it does to justify being average….


Creativity is the Only Way to Survive. Hosted By: McCann Worldgroup & The Paley Center for Media

Three comedian / writers / actors. Highly engaging and entertaining.

Key take out – creativity needs safety. There needs to be a safe space where ideas can be contained to start with and then owned / catalysed / projected into real ideas / content / solutions. Creative people in Hollywood always work in teams.

The catalyst for creative idea generation is structure and they aim to tell their story experientially and allow the viewer / consumer to interpret it their own way.

Always start with a story / narrative and work from there.


Ogilvy & Inspire: Oscar-Winning Director Alejandro González Iñárritu. Hosted By: Ogilvy & Mather

4 time Oscar winning Director of 21 Grams, Birdman, The Revenant. Previously an awarded Creative Director from his agency in Mexico – A Titanium Lion, 14 Gold Lions, Best in Show (he was aware of his number of awards).

Key take out – make the improbable probable.  And don’t share your secrets (wouldn’t say how they filmed the bear scene in The Revenant….)

Creativity is impacted by the environment  and too often we miss the opportunity around us as we don’t look and see.  When telling a story every second counts – a movement, an image, a gesture and attention to the detail is vital. the structure of creativity needs to hold the tension between the idea and the audience.

Cannes – Day 4 takeouts

A Fireside Chat with Daniel Ek, Founder & CEO, Spotify. Hosted By: Spotify

Key takeout – Spotify see’s itself as a behavioural data platform….

They want to deliver personalised content in a world of infinite choice. The big challenge at the start was to convince a traditional industry to give away their product for free so that ultimately their revenues could grow.  Can just see the CFO getting their head around that…..

Currently 2 million artists, 40 million songs, 100 million active users, 30 million paid subscribers, $2.2b revenue of the $17b industry – so good market share.  30,000 new tracks uploaded every day. The product is being built in to new car models and a whole eco-system of industry evolves around helping artists function.

The behavioural data piece – as demonstration of how powerful the data is – Metallica use the Spotify listening habits of their fans in specific cities to determine the set list for their gigs when they play there….


The Future of Brands. Hosted By: Unilever

Interesting presentation by a gregarious CMO Keith Weed @keithweed

Key takeout – their marketing focus is across three ‘I’s”.  Individuals. Influencers. Impacts.

His role is 2 tiered – Chief Macro Officer – all the broad based communications for brands and products and as Chief Micro Officer – engaging in language, culture, segments in real time.  

Their goal is to have a relationship with a billion people – so the macro / micro balance is paramount.  Lots of video – heartstrings,big brand ambition.


Anderson Cooper & Anthony Bourdain: Creative Inspiration. Hosted By: Time Warner

Two friends having a random conversation…. Never watched either in their day job, so now might do it once.

Key takeout – authenticity.

Bourdain has a brash position and vision that he knows exactly what he wants and exactly how he wants it shared.  He recently had an episode where he had a meal a meal with President Obama in a noodle joint in Hanoi. Its what he wanted and controlled the process to get it.  

Single minded outcome focus.

Stories then built around this focus.Considers video to be a great form for essayists. He sums himself up as “self indulgent without being arrogant”


Predestination: Wired’s Kevin Kelly on Where We Are All Heading. Hosted By: PHD Worldwide

If Google’s telepathy dimension is realised we could predict through “sensing” the long term future. The concept is micro computers inserted into our bodies that provide significant data into our “operating system”.

Key take out – the most influential and transformative process we fave is “Virtuality”.  

This is a topic over hyped at a consumer level however under hyped for our long term future. The next platforms will evolve to Immersive VR and Presence MR (mixed reality). Current “swivel” VR will evolve to Roaming VR to provide a greater total experience. Difficult to deliver but that isn’t / shouldn’t be the hurdle.

A “felt” experience will make VR significantly more effective.


Inside the Innovator’s Mindset. Hosted By: Forbes Media

Two entrepreneurs who feature on the Global Forbes 30 Under 30. One was an eBay power seller at 12 – now runs MikMak which is changing the Infomercial

The other an operating sculptor at 9 who now creates jewellery that has health benefits. ..

Key takeout – Thinking like a disruptor is based on a process – cannot be successful if it is random.

The process should focus on finding things that people are overlooking (where solutions become apparent – how about that for a name!) Successful disruptors are intrapreneurs as well as entrepreneurs – and are built from teams with eclectic and complementary skills where interdisciplinary thinking comes together to create unique and interesting outcomes.

They talked about frictionless creativity where available open source solutions allow reducing reinvention and focus on outcomes and outputs as test environments.

Cannes – Day 3 takeouts

Razorfish and Contagious on what is creativity – according to data.

They took 15 years of Cannes entries data and used multiple data analytics tools to identify

  • most creative country according to return on entries / New Zealand.
  • most creative make name – Marcello (Marcelo with one “l” in 93rd)
  • most creative female name – Veronica
  • client relationships greater than 10 years are 2 times more likely to win an award.
  • 1.7% chance of bronze. 1.3% chance of silver. 0.8% chance of gold. .007% chance of Titanium. That means 96% chance of nothing…


The Pursuit of Impact – Edelmen in conversation with Will Smith

Charismatic and insightful.

Key takeout – Focus is on the “relatable core” – this becomes the core reason and purpose to create and stories can grow from there.

No longer live in a world of smoke and mirrors and “bad movies get called out in 10 minutes of screening via social media”

Key elements “authenticity and integrity” . The deeper the comprehension of the audience the better the product will be. Shift the focus from product to people, and they will buy into the product because they buy into your values.


Managing to Present and Inventing the Future – DDB

New CEO for North America – ex CMO of Coke Aerated beverages.  20 years a client and 169 days an agency person.  No-one told her that what she was presenting is what agencies have been discussing for the past 3+ years….

That said, the key take outs is the need for speed – the dissemination of information means messages need to be in market faster than ever.

Be creative. Be courageous. Be together.


Why you don’t need an innovation department to foster innovation – 72 & Sunny.

Key take outs – core elements are Mindset, Space and Timing.

Need to design for “creative collisions”.

Patterns and structures is not equal to creativity and innovation. Innovation needs change, surprise and chaos to foster and thrive. Chaotic behaviour needs space for the collision of ideas. And you need to “surf the wave you get”.

Waiting for the perfect wave means missing out. Make something out of nothing – a small brief, an insight, an opportunity not connected to an activity.


Anyone can have an idea. Few have THE idea – Barton F Graf.

Key take out…. Difficult to really say.

Was a chaotic comedy routine of 3 guys on stage in a king size bed who emphasised all ideas should pass the “overnight shit test”. May need to re-watch the video as am sure there was more to their story – but everyone was too busy laughing…


Can your brand keep up with speed of culture? Andrew Benett – Havas and Troy Carter – Atom Factory

Key take out – brands suck at connecting compared to celebrity as they lack authenticity.  

That word “authenticity” was repeated at least a hundred times by Troy Carter .

He started working for P. Diddy as a runner / gopher, then branched out into music promo and managed Lady Gaga from 2007 and connected LA to Silicon Valley at a time that the music industry was suing the tech industry for piracy. Key priority is to have an own platform where all data and information is controlled and allows conversations to be built on. Highly data centric.

He succeeded and has become an angel investor in companies like – Uber, Spotify, Dropbox, Warby Parker, Misfit, Lyft, Wish – so has done pretty well even though his is disappointed in missing Airbnb (isnt everyone) ….

Cannes – Day 2 takeouts

Disruption by Design – R/GA

Key take outs – disruption is based on taking a risk.  

And this needs to happen when business is good, not when it desperately needs a change.

R/GA have evolved to cover *Communication * Products / Services * Business Transformation Belief that what’s next is that as we are in a connected environment now, there will be an intelligence layer attached to everything that we use and do. Computer based image recognition is now more accurate than the human eye…..


Sex, Lies and Advertising. Maddona Badger.

Take out. Emotional roller coaster.

Her first public keynote. Her birthday. Her story from Chief Creative Officer at Calvin Klien to starting her own agency and having 3 amazing kids and a house in Long Island. Then – house fire. 3 kids and parents die.

The entire audience was in shock.

So she spent a few years in the wilderness as you’d expect and can back into the business to honour her daughters and initiated the #istandup campaign which is about removing the sexualisation of women in advertising and the impact those public images have on children.

The entire room stood up. She cried. Standing ovation. Amazing speech.


Airbnb founder and CEO.

Fascinating. Restarted the business 4 times. Wanted $100k for 10% of the company. No one was interested as it was the GFC. Company now worth $25 billion.

Great campaign about people using Airbnb to live in places not spaces. Bought to life by a program with Chicago Art Institute. They recreated Van Gogh bedroom from the famous painting. Put it on Airbnb for$10. A month sold out in 2 minutes. Ran another month. The Van Gogh exhibition was over subscribed by 250%.


Cannes – Day 1 takeouts

The Hidden Stories Behind the Internet of Things – presented by Chiel Worldwide

Take-out: The 4th Revolution – where physical and virtual connect.

Where products become services. Example of a blind swimmers rubber cap being able to vibrate as the swimmer approaches the wall to turn so they don’t hit the wall where previously a stick tapped them on the shoulder to trigger the turn.


The Art of Curating – Mike McCue – CEO of Flipboard and Adam Weinberg – Director of Whitney Museum of American Art

Take-out: Curating by algorithms makes content popularity led – no shades of grey.

Algorithms can’t identify cool, beautiful or intriguing. Museums want the initial reaction of people is to not like something as it makes them reconsider values / tastes / favourites / routines….


What if Everyone is Doing it Wrong – Mark Pytlik – CEO Stink Digital and Professor Byron Sharp – Head of Ehrenberg Bass Institute of Marketing Science (Adelaide)

Take-out: Reach and Creativity are not options – must align to make brands grow.

A consumer of Coke who has 3+ serves per year is a heavy user, so business growth comes from infrequent users buying again – not loyal users buying more….

Empirical data shows that volume should be the foundation in all activity (TV people loved this…) Target marketing is wrong as it doesn’t provide a brand with the breadth it needs. Fragmentation causes challenges for volume. (Food for thought).


How Purpose can get your Mojo back – Hosted by BBD Perfect Storm Jamie Fuller – Chairman of Skins (Australian sport compression company) and Ben Johnson – disgraced Olympic 100m champion from 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Take out: Brands need to stand for something and have a purpose.

The founder / CEO of Skins agitated a change in UCI (cycling) due to rampant drugs in sport – then they focussed on IOC after the cover ups of positive drug tests in 2012 Olympics. Ben Johnson was used as the anti-hero being used to say “25 years on, nothing has changed” – evidently 6 of the 8 in that 1988 final all tested positive to PED’s…

Skins are now targeting FIFA corruption by going after the sponsors and questioning why they would associate with the corrupt leadership…