27th June 2019

Our thoughts on Cannes Lions Festival 2019

Last week saw the global creative industries descend on France for the annual Cannes Lions Festival. As ever, there was much up for discussion as professionals, creatives and technology titans took the opportunity to network, exchange ideas and highlight some of the key challenges for the year ahead.

Here are some of the key trends from this year’s festival:

Responsibility and integrity

“Woke-washing” was a term dominating the headlines as Unilever CEO Alan Jope warned against brands and businesses running purpose-driven campaigns but failing to take real action. Whilst this mostly seems like a concern for consumer brands, B2B marketers would be wise to think about the importance of authenticity in any comms campaign.

Putting people first

Another theme that emerged was the importance of the human touch – something we discuss often with our clients. AdWeek explains that “empathy, inclusiveness and authenticity were the connective tissue of this year’s Cannes Lions”, and it struck us that these values are the connective tissue between businesses and their target markets too. Yes, adapting to new technologies and outshining your competition is critical but your comms strategy will only hit the right key when you take a people-centric approach.

Food for thought for future campaigns

A trend we’re seeing with our clients is the need to balance data and creativity, so it caught our attention when Aline Santos (Executive Vice President, Global Marketing and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Unilever) said: “Data is black and white. Creativity is colourful. Data is more rational, creativity is more emotional. But you know what? They are not independent to each other. They can be together. And I think data is a tremendous source of insight for us today and data can be a powerhouse to make our creativity magnified, amplified and brought to consumers.”