The Buzz

Let's talk the carnival that is Cannes Lions. It never fails to impress and inspire. This year, it highlighted for me just how much has changed in our world. Our world used to revolve around the traditional 4 P's of marketing: price, product, placement, promotion. Not anymore. We have 4 NEW P's: platforms, performance, pedigree, and partnerships. It's no longer enough to focus on consumers consuming content. Instead of competing with brands and categories, we're competing with everybody—the creators, curators, and critics.

The Buzz

There were a few big themes that stood out everywhere this year:

Ad blocking: Unless we invent something in scaled media, ad blocking will continue to be on everyone's minds. The top country for ad blocking is currently Poland, followed by Argentina. It is the topic du jour, my friends.

AI: I'm not talking about people losing their jobs because the machines are coming—we're not anywhere near that—it's about machine curation. How do we use artificial intelligence intelligently? The best examples have proven to be when a wide story narrows down to context, like the print version of a magazine The Drum assembled, that was all machine-learned.

Virtual reality: VR is all shock and awe. It captured a lot of attention this year, and it's continuing to grow and change the industry, the question is whether people will adopt it en masse.

Favourite quotes
My two faves came from two Aussie mates:
"Change when you are on top. You can't wait till disruption destroys your business"
- Nick Law
"It takes same amount of energy to do great as it does to justify average"
- David Droga

The work, work, work, work, work

For me, it's all about the work, and the work was amazing. With 15,000 attendees, 24 award categories, and 43,000 entries, there are so many deserving winners. However, the work that stood out for me were simple ideas executed beautifully and many of these utilize the emotional quality of sound and very few (if any) words. Cherry picking a few of my favourites:

Brand of the Year. One of our strategic partners, Samsung is the celebrated brand of the year, and they were everywhere.

Glass. The Glass Lion is about how you break through the ceiling—connecting with the people who consume the ideas. Check out this year's Glass Lion winner, Marriage Market Takeover—a huge win for our Nordic team along with P&G and Forsman & Bodenfors.

Outdoor. It's been around for a thousand years and new things are still being invented. Check out how DB Export is reinventing the game, and saving the world by drinking beer. Works for me!

Health. It is a tough category to talk about great ideas, but the simple idea of bypassing the social rules of no women's nipples, Manboobs succeeds in raising awareness for self examination.

Film and Film Craft. With the development of new production technologies, craft has been top-of-mind for me. I love the quality of Under Armour and the simplicity of using CCTV for Harvey Nichols.

Titanium. Pure simplicity that echos a brand DNA is truly celebrated by REI and their #OptOutside.

The Third Force

There's a trifecta emerging in Internet advertising, and Sir Martin Sorrell called AOL the "third force"—one of the industry's primary players. Cannes Lions is about celebrating creativity, delivering amazing content, diving into open relationships, and fostering creative connections. For more on that, check out our insights hub.

Lastly, while in Cannes, my Shingerview series features 13 amazing people, please check them out on my AOL ON page.

Until next time, stay cool.