As we know, advertising and marketing are continuously evolving. We live in an era in which AI and market research allow companies to learn about customers in a way we never imagined. And every day, brands are changing the way they interact with their customers. To discuss this momentous amount of knowledge and innovation, the best of the communications industry came together at an “International Festival of Creativity.” The festival, also referred to as Cannes Lions, took place June 17-24. Cannes Lions is a place for companies and innovators to network, learn, foster relationships, and share new ideas. The overarching theme of this year’s conference was that “technology has fundamentally evolved the definition of what advertising is.” Collaboration across creativity, data and technology is necessary to create a meaningful message and promote a brand.

Key Takeaways from Cannes Lions 2017: 

#1 Humanity

Last year was focused on VR, AI, robots, etc. A new focus within marketing requires balancing technology and human emotions, or society in general. MaryLee Sachs of Forbes comments that this sentiment may be present due to recent global events, such as terrorism or significant electoral votes.

#2 More Than Just a Good Ad

Today, marketing is much more than coming up with a witty commercial or harnessing the latest technology. It’s about creating an idea that is multifaceted and that can be implemented in different channels to truly relate to the customer and spark more than a sense of interest. The long term vision and ornate marketing campaigns will rule the business world.

#3 Broader Role

This year, multiple speakers put an emphasis on the fact that marketers and advertisers needed more than just a creative bone or inkling. As the creative communications industry progresses, and becomes inherently more advanced and complicated, it also requires an intelligent business mind that understands boardroom and growth issues, and an ability to relate to clients and customers. Antonio Lucio, the CMO of HP states that the industry is now “creativity fused by data,” and that marketers need a wider set of skills than ever before.

#4 Ethics and Equality

Recently, CMO’s, marketers, and customers across the board called for more transparency in the media. In response, a company called Equibity released a transparency measurement and evaluation tool at the Cannes Lions festival for advertisers, once again raising the bar and changing the advertising game. In another effort to move the industry forward, speakers discussed the importance of diversity and equality. Awards were given out and seminars were put on for gender equality, and it is clear that the leaders of marketing and advertising are ready to see and hear everyone’s voices.


See what the judges found to be extra-ordinary, and check out eight of the best ad campaigns that won awards at Cannes Lions 2017.

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