Advertising is dead. Long live advertising. Key learnings from Cannes Lions 2016

The sun went down on the French Riviera where brightest minds of the communication industry came together. The week seemed like a strong cocktail in which the organizers poured everything from tech innovators, marketers and creatives to celebrities, movie directors, iconic musicians, fashion designers and many more. And despite the fact that the festival’s glamour resembles the Oscar night, the most impactful thing that the week delivered was knowledge. And there was plenty of it with the hundreds of speakers that graced the stage.

Here are 5 key learnings from Cannes Lions 2016.

1. Creativity may be our last competitive advantage. The advertising business was taken by storm by tech innovations, software and DIY apps that give clients tools to make their own commercials, media plans or business strategies. But there’s no algorithm for creativity yet, so agencies should make it the heart of their business.

2. The agency-client partnership is the real factor of success. And at the center of it should be trust. In the last 25 years in Cannes, the most successful agencies and brands are the ones that stayed in partnership for 5 years or more.

3. Virtual Reality is the next big thing. The androids are coming; virtual reality it’s already very accessible to the general public, both in availability of films and games and in its affordability for homeowners. So brands and agencies should start to create VR content.

4. How to block the ad blocking. A big topic for marketers and publishers was the ad block software that are taking billions away from the industry. But there’s truth behind these software that marketers and publishers need not to ignore: bad content will always get blocked by the mind or software. We have a responsibility to create unblock-ably good content and people will engage with it.

5. The work is still at heart. Every year, Cannes seems like a totally new festival with new and new categories being introduced in the mix. The rate of change will not slow down in the next years, but one thing is for sure, the work and creativity is still the cement that holds the festival together. And this year the awarded work is amazing. Have a look for yourself here.

We are living in the golden age of communication, so let’s make ideas that shine on and off stage.

Alex Strimbeanu
Creative Director