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Cannes Lions Festival in Focus

TSW’s Ed McDermott, from our strategic planning team Pathways, shares his highlights of the festival of world-class creativity

Storytelling & Identity in the Changing Media World

As “new media” continues to grow and evolve, brands and traditional content providers are being challenged to be innovative. Whilst VR could be on the cusp of wider adoption, social media has already become an essential arm of any brand or content producers daily work. These social platforms have improved the way stories can be told, and publishers and brands alike need to be known for developing their story.

Ron Howard expressed his excitement for storytellers, with the development of latest media platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Click here for the debate. These new subscription models have changed the playing field for creators, who now don’t need to cater for the masses, but can talk intimately with niche enthusiasts.

For instance, athletes are becoming increasingly more aware that they do not need to be the best in order to be the biggest brand. Social media and digital tools have allowed athletes to communicate their own brand values that will ultimately outlast their time on the field. Therefore the more they invest in their social equity during their playing career, the stronger their brand value can be in the long-term.

What new innovations will flourish in the future may still be un-clear, but what is clear is that for traditional media the future is not about defending itself and fighting the rise of new media, but embracing new platforms, new opportunities and the reach that new platforms can offer.

Diversity, Representation & Inclusivity

One of the panellists recommended that to make these changes, advertisers need to be brave working in spaces that may have traditionally been a haven for such stereotyping. A great example of this was Tecate, a Mexcian beer company, who partnered with the Local Government to take a stand against domestic violence to women, promoting that “the measure of a man was not defined by his image or strength, but that he is defined by how he treats a woman”. Click here for the ad.

By operating in un-expected environments you can make a lasting and larger impact than any big television spot or paid environment. It is this earned work which will organically thrive.

‘Fearless Girl’ (pictured above) has been raved about throughout Cannes. The statue placed on Wall Street as a symbol of the power of women in business has cleaned up, after collecting 4 Grand Prix awards and 18 Cannes Lions at the festival. It was commissioned by a financial company at the heart of the financial world. Wendy Clark (Jury President), explained why it has gripped the Festival’s attention; “while it is a girl, it elegantly captures women’s journeys and our path to empowerment. It also encapsulates our hopes and ambitions for every little girl in the world”

While there has been plenty to celebrate regarding diversity at Cannes Lions, the general message resonating throughout is that the industry still has a long way to go.

For more information contact Ed McDermott:

[email protected] or 01761 234 832