June 26, 2011

Apres Cannes – trends for the coming year

As the dust settles and the sun sets on the Cannes Festival of Creativity (significantly this year the word “advertising” has gone) it is worth looking at the Cyber Lion winners to get an idea of some of the trends we might see for the year ahead.

Three grand prix winners this year and they couldn’t be more different. First up is The Wilderness Downtown from Google Creative Lab showing that being creative with code can result in powerful emotions. This is digital marketing as art, helped enormously by the music of Arcade Fire. Could this be the start of a new wave of emotionally driven digital campaigns that are highly personalized?


Secondly the accolades keep coming for Old Spice and the responses campaign by Wieden + Kennedy. Not really a complex digital campaign but one that really capitalized on the popularity of its star. In their own words they “created an interactive experience in which our Old Spice Guy personally responded to fans on the Internet in real time. Instead of using traditional paid media, we leveraged social platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter—ultimately creating an effort that would become one of fastest-growing and most popular interactive campaigns in history”.


After two Grand Prix winners that succeeded through engaging with the audience personal level we have a third winner that shows creativity in how we can turn word of mouth into a powerful currency. As winning agency R/GA explain – “Pay with a Tweet is the first social payment system, where people pay with the value of their social network. We launched Pay With A Tweet with the release of our book “Oh My God What Happened And What Should I Do?”. It’s simple, people who have something to sell simply add the Pay With A Tweet button to their site, and people simply click on the button and tweet about the product. They are then able to download it: a book, album, or whatever. What began as a promotion became a whole new way to trade content online”.


One thing to remark, all three grand prix winners were from the USA while in other Cannes categories we see countries such as China, Korea and Romania taking the top spot. Does this show that in digital only clients (and agencies) in the US are being brave enough to try new things? Budget could also be a factor. Hopefully the examples of these successful US campaigns will inspire other countries to put more money into digital and allow daring creative ideas to see the light of day.

In a follow up post I’ll look at the other winners in Gold, Silver and Bronze to see what other trends are emerging.