What were the key themes you saw at Cannes Lions Live?
A key theme for me this year has been a move from the personal to the collective, the move from social status to social connectivity, the move from standing out to belonging and I think we’ve seen that in the talks as well as the work itself.
In terms of the talks, there was really interesting research from Activision earlier today about the importance of gaming and the main motivation for gaming being the importance of that social connectivity. That move from standing out as a person to belonging to the collective is something that has been quite important this year.
What surprised you?
I think what surprised me this year is just how many of the prizes were about cause marketing. I count that two thirds of the Grand Prix and Gold Lions in the Media category were related to some kind of charitable cause.
There was some really great work in there but I think that also means that it’s becoming more difficult for brands who are just doing good marketing, that add value to people’s lives in more personal and everyday ways to actually win one of the high prizes at Cannes.
What really impressed you?
I really like the campaign from Tinder that was called the Swipe Night and it won the Grand Prix in branded content this year. I think that Tinder realised people had a bit of swiping fatigue from swiping from one picture to another on Tinder.
They decided to create a bit more of an entertainment campaign and bring the best of dating and the best of entertainment together by creating this mini-series in which you’re the hero and you make decisions about where to go next and they were actually matching people according to their compatibility - whether they were making the right decisions within the arch of a story or not.
And so it was really interesting in terms of creating those more meaningful connections but what happened as well was that Swipe Night was happening for three hours every Sunday night so it was just a great way for singles to come together by having fun together around that entertainment platform and find possible matches at the same time.
What have you seen that will have the biggest implications for our industry over the next 12 months?
I think for me it has to be the importance of simplicity. I think the way we worked as an industry for the last 18 months remotely has made it really important to be very clear with each other and have a real simplicity of thinking, so that we can communicate our ideas very effectively.
I think we’ve seen the benefit of that in the work itself, so the work is becoming simpler and really focusing on what matters. I hope that is something that is going to remain moving forward.