Cannes Lions Nine Tracks: A Marketer’s Cheat Sheet

Beginning this year, Cannes Lions has organized its programming into nine tracks—Communication, Craft, Entertainment, Experience, Good, Health, Impact, Reach and Innovation. Here’s what marketers need to know as they navigate the creative festival in search of inspiration.

For more Cannes Lions events, check out our curated list.


The Communication track at Cannes Lions is all about sending those creative ideas out into the world. For marketers, communication is more than writing copy or producing a video, however. It also means effective collaboration and partnerships behind-the-scenes and avoiding fragmentation across channels—not to mention being aware of changes in the world around us that will, or already are, impacting branded communications.

Some Marketers Involved:

Keith Weed, chief marketing officer, Unilever
Bozoma Saint John, chief brand officer, Uber
Fernando Machado, chief marketing officer, Burger King

Some Brands Involved:

Mars Inc, Uber, Burger King, Unilever, Google, WWE

Events You Might Like:

The Rise Of Hackvertising
Remember when a Burger King commercial hijacked Google devices by asking it about Whoppers? Burger King and its creative agency, David Miami will share how to emulate the attitude of hackers in marketing—defining a target, finding a way to “break in” and exploiting it for maximum impact. With the restaurant’s own mascot serving as moderator, this panel should be interesting, if not a bit strange.

Chief Creatives On The Beach
Sit down each day with some of the world’s leading creatives to learn about what inspires, drives and challenges them in today’s marketing landscape. Features a moderated panel and networking opportunities—you never know who you might be sitting next to!

What Creativity Can Do
Google’s Creative Lab gives a peek behind-the-scenes at how creativity is driving what matters next to Google, its partners, and the billions of users it serves.


Craft is the execution of ideas. For marketers at Cannes Lions, this track is about the latest techniques, technology and trends within the industry that impact how ideas are translated into effective marketing campaigns.

Some Marketers Involved:

Stephen Tisdalle, chief marketing officer, State Street Global Advisors

Some Brands/Agencies Involved:

Droga5, Tracks & Fields, Los Angeles Times, Great Guns

Events You Might Like:

Why Are Hollywood’s Stories And Marketing More Effective Than Ours?
A look at how Hollywood approaches creative content distribution, channel planning, consumer journeys and relationship management . . . and how that translates to brands. Features pop quizzes a few surprise guests.

Workshop: Super-Sonic Branding
What does your brand sound like? Music licensing company Tracks & Fields will explore this idea using Cannes Lions as an example. Attendees will learn the tools and methods to develop a music DNA for a brand.

Workshop: Stories In 6
A constructive study of the short form marketing message born to combat super ephemeral social media.


Marketing is now much more than a statement—audiences, constantly being fought over for attention, have come to expect a level of entertainment when interacting with a brand. Entertainment offers new opportunities beyond traditional advertising, but marketers will need to know about channels, technology and the challenges they will face in this growing arena.

Some Marketers Involved:

Zoe Clapp, chief marketing officer, UKTV
Harley Block, executive vice president, head of brand partnerships, Awesomeness

Some Brands Involved:

Hulu, Fuse, Condé Nast Entertainment, ESPN, Amazon

Events You Might Like:

The Future of Storytelling: Engaging and Influencing Next-Gen Audiences
A conversation between Condé Nast Entertainment president Dawn Ostroff, a global luxury brand, and a popular influencer will explore how brands are connecting with a new generation of consumers through content and storytelling.

Giving Filmmakers The Final Cut: What’s In It For Brands?
Discussing opportunities for brands to lean into original entertainment—including feature films and episodic series—and explore how marketers are handing over creative control to content creators.

Telling Your Brand Story Authentically In Esports
Presented by ESL, this session will explore the basics of esports and how marketing to this industry is different than marketing to any other audience.

Future Five: Video Trends That Power The Next Instagram Wave
Pop Sugar shares insights into the popularity of Instagram Stories and how its users interact with brands.


From the customer journey to branded experiences, this track explores multi-channel insight, design and transformation.

Some Marketers Involved:

Tor Myhren, vice president marketing communications, Apple
Claudia Willvonseder, chief marketing officer, IKEA

Some Brands Involved:

Apple, IKEA, Kantar Consulting, IBM IX, Comedy Central

Events You Might Like:

What’s Coming Next In Branded Consumer Experience?
Presented by the International Advertising Association, this panel discusses trends and developments that are shaping brand consumer space in the next 12-18 months.

Meetup: Retail Trailblazers
Networking event for professionals in the retail space to explore how marketers can deliver the “wow moment” and beyond.

The Festivalization Of Things (And Brands)
Comedy Central shares the story of how it found success by turning comedy shows into interactive fan experiences.


Brands come together to make the world a better place. Talks in this track include talks about purpose, change and responsibility.

Some Marketers Involved:

Alex Weller, marketing director, Patagonia (Europe)
Antonio Lucio Global, chief marketing & communication officer, HP

Some Brands Involved:

Patagonia, HP, Droga5, Facebook

Events You Might Like:

Young Lions Meet-up: Girl Bossing, Mischeifing, Leaning In
Open to all delegates, this gettogether highlights progress and opportunities in the female space instead of focusing on the negative, of which the world already has plenty.

Ever had a question about the LGBTQ+ community but were too embarrassed to ask? Submit your questions anonymously and learn more about inclusion, stereotypes and ways to support this diverse community.

Diversity—A Values Issue And Business Imperitive—Requires Bold Action
A discussion about how diversity is good for business and what companies can do about it.


Healthcare marketing and biotech companies from across the world come together to share insights into the latest trends . . . as well as those disrupting the status quo.

Some Marketers Involved:

Alison Lewis, chief marketing officer, Johnson & Jonhson (Consumer)
Atilla Cansun, chief marketing officer, Merck (Consumer)

Some Brands Involved:

Johnson & Johnson, Samsung, Bank of American, AT&T

Events You Might Like:

Unbreakable Entertainment: A New Way Of Storytelling
Inspired by social media posts about cancer, Unbreakables is an upcoming brand entertainment platform that delivers inspiring content. TBWA and Fox Networks Group share the story of Unbreakables from conception to funding to debut and discuss how to propel healthcare storytelling into a new era of entertainment.

Can Creative Marketing Solve The Opioid Crisis?
BBDO and Ketchum share the story behind its provocative campaign “Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis” share what global marketers can learn about tackling stigmatized healthcare issues.


Marketing impacts many aspects of consumer life and with so much competition, brands strive to make a lasting impression. This track explores the challenges and techniques used to measure, value and impact effectiveness in branded communications.

Some Marketers Involved:

Marc Mathieu, chief marketing officer, Samsung Electronics America
Jason Levine, chief marketing officer, Mondelez
Syl Saller, chief marketing officer, Diageo

Some Brands Involved:

HP, American Express, Heineken, T-Mobile, eBay

Events You Might Like:

Redefining Creativity In The Data-Driven Age
McKinsey will unveil the findings of their latest study, focusing on how the best performing marketing organizations make creativity thrive in the data-driven, agile, post-mobile era.

Advertise Like You Give A Damn: The Future Of Effectiveness
This panel will debate, explore, and argue whether brands should look beyond the economic impact of our work to also measure net social and environmental impact.

Generating Growth Through Cultural Relevancy
This session will talk about the importance of dual media behavior amongst the global immigrant who consumes media from their country of origin in their now country of residence.


Here, marketers will learn about expanding an audience and reaching an intended demographic, as well as demographics they might not have considered in the past.

Some Marketers Involved:

Maria Garrido, senior vice president brand marketing, Vivendi
Jipeng Men, vice president, head of marketing,

Some Brands Involved:

YouTube, WGSN, Pew Research Center, Mars Inc, Snapchat, Twitter

Events You Might Like:

Meetup: Calling All Brand Strategists
Rub elbows with other marketers and share insights about strategic planning to create a brand strategy that works.

Marketing To Deeply Polarized Societies
Experts share the psychology of, and techniques for, reaching an audience divided without sacrificing one side for the other.


In marketing, there is a time for playing it safe and a time to make waves. This track includes a wide range of topics from modern and emerging technology to changing brand perception.

Some Marketers Involved:

Tor Myhren, vice president marketing communications, Apple
Scott Galloway, founder, L2 Inc.; professor of marketing, NYU Stern

Some Brands Involved:

Apple, Tommy Hilfiger, Uber, eBay, PepsiCo, KFC, Lego, American Express, Facebook

Events You Might Like:

Human + Machine: Stronger Together In The Age Of Co-Creation
Microsoft and Adobe discuss future technologies that will drive the unprecedented opportunities of human and machine combining forces to co-create.

Biometrics: The New Frontier In VR Brand Experience
A look at how live biometrics create a real-time design feedback loop that enhances both creativity and ROI.

F*ck-Ups: The Mother Of Reinvention
Experts share their harrowing tales of failure and how they were harnessed into success. This panel hopes to teach an ability to accept failure, cut through friction, and move on more readily.

Was Bethesda’s “Stream Of Nothing” Trolling Or Marketing?

Bethesda Softworks recently joined a handful of other publishers in proving that you don’t need to do a lot to generate a lot of conversation around a new announcement. As a lead-in to the eventual release of the Fallout 76 teaser trailer, the video game publisher hosted a 24-hour Twitch livestream event featuring a statue of the franchise’s “vault boy” mascot and some other props, but little actually happened. Occasionally, alleged Bethesda employees would come out and silently rearrange props or put on a strange puppet show, but these highlights were few and far between.

Still, the livestream managed to peak at over 150,000 concurrent viewers, and SuperData estimates that the subsequent trailer generated more than 5.5 million views on YouTube within 24 hours despite the fact that neither offered much information about the game. Audiences were essentially being trolled with an hours-long joke that won’t be fully resolved until the company presents its E3 showcase on June 10.

But Bethesda isn’t the first to toy with its livestream audience. In 2015, over 11,000 people tuned in to Ubisoft’s 24-hour long zoom-out of a cave painting before the formal announcement of Far Cry Primal—a stunt that the publisher stuck with even after the title was leaked hours earlier.

More recently, Overwatch creative director Jeff Kaplan helped celebrate the holidays by sitting motionless in front of a lit fireplace, mostly staring contemplatively out into space for 10 straight hours on a livestream. The December 24 broadcast peaked with almost 45,000 viewers, who were “rewarded” with a faux character announcement at the end—the livestream “breaks up” and becomes unintelligible during the so-called reveal.

“The appeal of live video is that people do not want to miss out on what’s going to happen,” Twitch’s SVP of content Michael Aragon explained to AListDaily. “If you are a publisher of an awesome game, a popular content creator, or there’s a highly anticipated marathon or esports event coming up, there is a good chance fans will hang out in chat.”

Marketers may be attracted to the approach because of its ROI.

“It does not take much manpower or dollars to set up a livestream of Jeff Kaplan sitting in a comfortable chair or a Vault Boy statuette in front of a television,” said SuperData analyst Reggie McKim. “In return, you get thousands of engaged viewers speculating on what is going to be announced, news sites reporting on the strange stream, organic discovery from a portion of the Twitch audience, and increased interest in the YouTube trailer from those who want to watch it again.”

Whatever one might think of them, most agree that these hours-long teasers can be extremely effective conversation starters, which typically begin with chats on Twitch before moving on to other platforms as the media and other fans become aware of the livestream.

“You see this very interesting spread, with eyeballs in different places, even though you concentrated them all in one place with nothing less than 24 hours earlier,” observed Adam Sessler, co-founder of the AI-driven data analysis platform Spiketrap.

Judging by Spiketrap’s data, Bethesda’s Fallout livestream probably peaked when people heard about it and tuned in to see what was going on. There are two large viewership spikes with the second occurring right before the trailer plays, indicating that many eventually figured out the joke, since 2015’s Fallout 4 announcement was preceded by a 24-hour countdown clock, then decided to drop out and return later.  

An “extraordinarily high” number of people remained in Twitch’s chat after the trailer was shown, averaging about 255.2 message per minute, even though they were watching a black screen. There was also a great deal of activity across Twitter, YouTube and Bethesda’s forums as fan speculation led to more chatter about the trailer in anticipation of what might be in store at E3.

“People try to fill the void when given a little bit of information,” said Sessler. “[But] people get in on the joke pretty quickly, and they have fun with that. They might say that they’re being trolled, but they might enjoy it—it’s not an antagonistic relationship.”

Relatively few people had anything negative to say about the long-teasing livestream itself, except for those who thought the whole thing might be a hoax with nothing to do with Fallout at all. Instead, the overall sentiment was positive, but tempered by later rumors that Fallout 76 would be an online multiplayer game—something that fans were not enthusiastic about.

But even with the negative speculation, the long tease provided a big payoff for Bethesda. The Fallout 76 announcement brought in 473,837 engagements, which is almost 3x higher than Rockstar’s May trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2, which revealed the game’s characters, setting and the release date.

Kaplan’s Overwatch Yule Log stream didn’t have as many viewers as Fallout’s, but that could be because of the holiday timing. Another difference is that the number of viewers remained relatively consistent with no major spikes throughout the 10-hour period, possibly because the broadcast didn’t go overnight and people couldn’t guess its duration.

Although there appear to be strong returns, instances of these kinds of livestreams are too rare to predict whether they would work for other brands. Activision’s more straightforward Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 announcement, where a great deal of information was relayed on livestream, generated over 145,000 more engagement than the Fallout 76 stream, and it didn’t need a whole day to do it. But there is a consequence to being forthcoming, in that you give viewers more specific things to misinterpret, become irritated over, and simply be negative about.

“Once you get into specific discussions, you tend to see sentiment drop a little, despite whatever promotional opportunity it is,” Sessler explained. “You’re giving people more reasons to be nasty.”

At the same time, it’s unlikely that Call of Duty’s fanbase would have taken well to being joked with in this way. The Fallout franchise is generally known for having a sense of humor, and it has been almost three years since the last game came out. On the other hand, a new Call of Duty game releases annually, with ties to esports and other endeavors, making informative livestreams necessary. Brands need to carefully consider their audiences before messing with them.

Adam Lieb, CEO at video games marketing and analytics platform Innervate, attests to the effectiveness of the teasing approach. Innervate found that there were over 10 million combined impressions on Twitter for the terms “#PleaseStandBy” and “Fallout 76.”

“More than a tweet or other promoted content, Bethesda created a tune-in moment for their fans, where the community could speculate while sharing Easter eggs from the stream,” said Lieb. “As for downsides, there aren’t many that would turn off existing fans—they are going to make their purchasing decisions based on the game’s content and loyalty to the franchise and studio.”

Lieb further explained that being trolled is part of the experience, and it can even be fun for those who don’t quite get the joke. Stories of people falling asleep in front of their computers while watching an 8-hour stream of nothing makes for tales that might appeal to casual fans. But one risk is that audiences may respond negatively if they feel that they’ve seen this sort of thing before and are “over it,” or if the eventual payoff disappoints them.

But, he also notes that success may depend on a fanbase that will probably purchase a game regardless of this kind of marketing approach.

The bigger question is whether it can drive attention for players who aren’t already fans of a franchise and if it can convert them to customers.

Other publishers are likely to emulate this long-tease approach and offer their own twist, which is almost sure to eventually wear down its novelty. Lieb advises brands to creatively find ways to spread their message while determining what works for their community and their company voice.

Aragon also affirmed that the Twitch community is always ready to reward creativity and showmanship.

“I wouldn’t say that it’s a slam dunk every time, and we don’t know how many times it can be replicated before it becomes normalized,” Sessler added. “But I think it engenders goodwill with a different type of excitement that’s easy to exploit.”

Sessler believes that teasing the audience works when handled correctly. When viewers get a sense that the publisher and developer are having fun, even at a subliminal level, it can be infectious. All the speculation and anticipation will pay dividends in the final reveal, when all the uncertainty is dispelled and questions are answered.

But he also notes that, “Trolling without confidence is a bad idea. If you’re willing to go down this path, you need a sense of confidence in your product and community.”

Right now, novelty, combined with a fanbase that appreciates the joke, appear to be key factors. There’s no telling how audiences will take to the long tease in the future, especially as more entertainment brands experiment with the approach.

For instance, HBO got thousands of viewers to watch a block of ice melt with the Game of Thrones seventh season premiere date inside, but some media outlets and viewers wrote equally chilly responses to it. Similarly, some found Far Cry Primal’s stream worrisome, since the mystery was revealed midway through but Ubisoft still persisted with a ruined joke.

“If this strategy becomes the norm, the consumer may become fatigued with keeping an eye and ear on the livestream for hours,” said McKim. “Instead, they may just wait for the YouTube trailer to release or for multiple news sites to report on what happened.”

Facebook Begins Investing In News Content

Originally published at VideoInk.

It’s official, Facebook will be paying a select list of news publishers to create content for the company’s video platform, Watch. While there have been murmurs about the social media giant upping its efforts to produce premium, reliable news content (especially after being heavily criticized for allowing the spread of fake news during the 2016 election), the company confirmed the rumors today in a blog post.

“Earlier this year we made a commitment to show news that is trustworthy, informative, and local on Facebook,” wrote Campbell Brown, Facebook’s Head of Global News Partnerships. “As a part of that commitment, we are creating a dedicated section within Watch for news shows produced exclusively for Facebook by news publishers.”

It’s unknown how much the social media giant will be paying the publications, which include ABC, CNN, Fox News, Univision, ATTN:, and Mic. When the company first launched its Watch tab in August 2017, it was reportedly paying publishers somewhere between $10k to $250k per series to fund content, according to Reuters who cited sources close to the company.

But even with the funding, will anyone watch the new news content? When Facebook first launched its Watch tab, its premium content experienced massive growth followed by a massive drop. A&E’s Watch Series “Bae or Bail,” for example, garnered over 30 million views on its first episode, but its next four consecutive shows didn’t touch three million. The same happened with Bunim/Murray Production’s “Ball in the Family.” After the first episode accumulated over 26 million views, its next several episodes achieved less than three million.

Luckily for the company, news is relevant to a wider audience than a reality TV show where couples play pranks on each other (“Bae or Bail”).  The push into premium news content also comes at a time when younger generations are spending less time on Facebook. Recent data from the Pew Research Center found that roughly half (51 percent) of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 use Facebook, when just a few years ago that number stood at 71 percent.  With older generations slowly migrating to Facebook and younger generations leaving, news content could prove more successful than the company’s last effort in original content.

The upcoming programming, which is expected to launch this summer, could also be the push needed to shift the viewing habits of older generations from broadcast to social media. Additionally, It could be an effective way for news networks like Fox and CNN to reach younger (24-50) audiences.  According to recent data from Nielsen Media Research, in 2017 CNN’s median age was 60, while the median age of the Fox News was 65.  With Facebook having over 100 million users ages 25-44, the social media site is the perfect place to attract younger viewers.

A Guide To Cannes Lions 2018 Events

Cannes Lions events are everywhere and there is so much to see and do for marketers, it might seem overwhelming. We’ve got your back—here are some of our top picks for marketing-focused events happening during the week.

Monday, June 18

Wake Up With The Economist

Each morning on the beach, a panel of three leading global CMOs from different sectors share insights into their industries and how they overcome challenges.

When: 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Where: Cannes Lions Beach, Outdoors


Marc Mathieu—CMO, Samsung Electronics America

Syl Saller—CMO, Diageo

Godert van Dedem—VP and CMO EMEA, eBay

Moderator: Rosie Blau—editor, 1843

Biometrics: The New Frontier in VR Brand Experience

This session explores how the effect of biometrics on brand/audience engagement while measuring VR campaign efficacy. Guests will learn how to to use live biometrics to create a real-time design feedback loop and learn about how the technology is used within the VR marketing space.

When: 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Where: Interactive Stage, Palais II


Graeme Cox—CEO, founder, Emteq

Adrian Leu—CEO, Inition

Disruptive Creativity: The New Model For Marketers

This session will identify the link between creativity in communication and the innovation in products, services and business models by unicorns such as Tesla, Uber and Airbnb.

When: 1:00-1:45 p.m.

Where: Innovation Stage, Palais II


Emily Kraftman—head of marketing, UK and Ireland, Deliveroo

Sherry Li—general manager of global brand and PR, BYD

Vineet Mehra—CMO,

Moderator: Doreen Wang—global head of BrandZ, Kantar Millward Brown

Future Consumer 2020

Analyst firm WGSN predicts what consumers might be like in the not-to-distant future and what marketers can do to gain their attention.

When: 4:15-4:45 p.m.

Where: The Forum, Palais II

Speaker: Andrea Bell—director of insight and executive editor, Americas, WGSN

Tuesday, June 19

What’s Coming Next In Branded Consumer Experience?

Experts share the latest trends and developments that will impact marketing over the next 12-18 months.

When: 10:00-10:45 a.m.

Where: The Forum, Palais II


Tim Kobe—Founder/CEO, Eight, Inc.

Nancy Kramer—chief evangelist, IBM iX

Moderator: Felix Taturu—chairman/world president, International Advertising Association

Wake Up With The Economist

Each morning on the beach, a panel of three leading global CMOs from different sectors share insights into their industries and how they overcome challenges.

When: 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Where: Cannes Lions Beach, Outdoors


Andrew Clarke—chief marketing and customer officer, Mars, Inc.

Marc Pritchard—chief band officer, P&G

Raja Rajamannar—chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard

Moderator: Rosie Blau—editor, 1843

Taking Risks And Building Brands

These three women discuss how they’ve built, and in many cases rebuilt, their respective brands, the challenges they’ve had to overcome, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way, which has led them to blaze new trails in predominately male-dominated industries.

When: 11:00-11:45 a.m.

Where: The Forum, Palais II


Bozoma Saint John—chief brand officer, Uber

Lilly Singh—YouTube content creator, entrepreneur

Stephanie McMahon—chief brand officer, WWE

Future Brands

Davis shares insights into Glossier’s growth strategies and what brands must do to keep up with their customers.

When: 4:00-4:45 p.m.

Where: The Forum, Palais II


Carla Buzasi—managing director, WGSN

Henry Davis—president and COO, Glossier

Wednesday, June 20

Wake Up With The Economist

Each morning on the beach, a panel of three leading global CMOs from different sectors share insights into their industries and how they overcome challenges.

When: 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Where: Cannes Lions Beach, Outdoors


Antonio Lucio—chief marketing officer, HP

Elizabeth Rutledge—chief marketing officer, American Express

Moderator: Andrew Palmer—business affairs editor, The Economist

Fearless Change: A New Era Of Boundary-less Marketing

Jipeng Men will explain how retailer focus needs to change with the merging of marketing and technology.

When: 11:00-11:45 a.m.

Where: The Forum, Palais II

Speakers: Jipeng Men—vice president and head of marketing,

Future Five: Leveraging AR And Gamification To Bring Brands To Life

Snatch shares the top five ways brands, music and films can journey through the real world with augmented reality.

When: 2:00-2:30 p.m.

Where: Trends Stage, Palais II

Speaker: Joe Martin—founder, Snatch

Thursday, June 21

A CMO’s Zeitguide To What Matters

This session is exclusive to senior marketers attending Cannes Lions. Bringing together insight from his work with CMO clients, and the conversations throughout the week of Cannes Lions, Zeitguide’s Brad Grossman will cover the cultural and business forces commanding leaders and their organizations to embrace transformation.

When: 10:15-11:00 a.m.

Where: The Brand Marketer’s Creative Summit, Palais I

Speaker: Brad Grossman—CEO, Zeitguide

Wake Up With The Economist

Each morning on the beach, a panel of three leading global CMOs from different sectors share insights into their industries and how they overcome challenges.

When: 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Where: Cannes Lions Beach, Outdoors


Dario Gargiula—chief marketing officer, Diesel

Alison Lewis—chief marketing officer, Johnson & Johnson

Diana O’Brien—global chief marketing officer, Deloitte

Moderator: Zanny Minton Beddoes—editor-in-chief, The Economist

Chief Marketers’ Learnings From Cannes Lions

Following the annual Cannes Lions/ANA CMO Growth Council summit at the Festival, this session will see a panel of leading global CMO council members explore the key highlights from their meeting and core areas of focus for the future from the global marketing agenda.

When: 11:00-11:45 a.m.

Where: Salle de Presse—The Brand Marketer’s Creative Summit, Palais I

Speaker: Marc Prichard—chief brand officer, P&G

The Future Of Immersive Content And Marketing

As technology advances, immersive mediums will become essential engagement channels for brands. Join Greg Furber to learn how marketers can break through the clutter with these new engagement tools, and get hands-on with some tech.

When: 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Where: Interactive Stage, Palais II

Speaker: Sol Rogers—CEO and founder, Rewind

Effectiveness In Marketing And Creative Agencies—What’s The Future?

Two panels: one agency-side and one client-side, will address the issues and opportunities facing our industry in bringing to life the real value of creativity in the boardroom.

When: 4:50 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Where: Salle de Presse—Effectiveness Uncanned, Palais I


Dan Burdett—senior director of marketing innovation and head of EMEA Marketing Lab, eBay

Adrian Farina—senior vice president of marketing, Europe, Visa

Tracey Follows—chief strategy officer, Wired Consulting

Janet Markwick—global EVP commercial operations and production, Y&R

Brent Nelson, chief strategy officer, Leo Burnett North America

Debarshi Pandit—head of multicultural business and special projects, Sky Media

Kathryn Patten—head of marketing strategy, IPA

Alexander Schlaubitz—vice president of marketing, Lufthansa

Moderator: Harjot Singh—chief strategy officer, McCann Worldgroup EMEA

Friday, June 22

Wake Up With The Economist

Each morning on the beach, a panel of three leading global CMOs from different sectors share insights into their industries and how they overcome challenges.

When: 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Where: Cannes Lions Beach, Outdoors


Nick Drake—executive vice president of marketing and experience, T-Mobile

Anuraag Trikha—global director of marketing communications, Heineken

Moderator: Andrew Palmer—business affairs editor, The Economist

From Viral Product To Leading Brand

Ride-share giant Uber discusses the pitfalls and the future of performance marketing and brand building at data-driven tech companies.

When: 12:00-12:45 p.m.

Where: Innovation Stage, Palais II

Speaker: Patrick Stal, head of marketing EMEA, Uber

Nielsen: CMOs Increase Digital Spend But Crave Better Insights

Nielsen’s first annual CMO Report finds that marketers prioritize digital media channels in terms of importance, but don’t necessarily find them the most effective.

For the Nielsen CMO Report 2018, roughly 3,000 US marketing executives were interviewed and surveyed about trends impacting their industry.

Digital media spend is expected to increase over the next 12 months, according to 82 percent of respondents. An increase in perceived importance has been placed on digital compared to traditional media, the Nielsen found. In fact, only 30 percent plan to increase spending in traditional media over the coming year, and 44 percent plan to decrease spending.

When asked how much of their marketing budgets were allotted to traditional vs. digital media, 30 percent indicated that digital accounts for between 20-39 percent and traditional accounts for less than 20 percent.

Nielsen asked how marketers felt about digital channels in terms of importance and effectiveness. Across the board, social media was considered the most important, with 79 percent naming the channel “very” or “extremely” important. Interestingly, Only 69 percent named social media “very” or “extremely” effective.

“Our research shows that while digital media had relatively high confidence scores when compared with other media, there is still a lot of room for improvement,” Nielsen says alongside its findings.

Only four percent of respondents claim to be “extremely” confident in their ability to quantify digital media ROI, while 22 percent said they are “very” confident and nearly half—48 percent—feel “somewhat” confident in this ability.

“If you take into account the respondents’ high digital media effectiveness rankings, this suggests that marketers may believe they are generating good ROI, but are not fully convinced they are measuring it accurately,” Nielsen noted.

Despite its challenges, marketers are pushing forward onto digital channels, with only four percent indicating that spending would decrease on the channel.

Greyhound Launches New Campaign Aimed At Young Travelers

Greyhound is updating its brand image to appeal to younger travelers by partnering for social media content and its first TV campaign in nearly two decades.

“You Don’t Have to Go Far to Go Far” highlights US city-specific activities that can be reached by Greyhound bus at a low price. The campaign will include customized videos for each of its 17 major markets including New Orleans, Fresno and Cleveland that focus on experiences to be had.

To help convey the intended message of adventure and discovery, Greyhound will launch partnered content this month with travel site Matador Network and Vice.

This new campaign marks the first time Greyhound has run ads on TV in nearly 20 years, with spots running on local network and cable channels including Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS, Bravo, BET, Cooking Channel, ESPN and MTV.

For “You Don’t Have to Go Far to Go Far,” Greyhound will also invest in online video, digital radio, display ads, paid search, out-of-home, mobile, social media, native advertising and influencer content publishers. The campaign is expected to run through March 2019.

“Our goal with this campaign was to challenge the perception that you need to travel far away or spend a lot of money to have an unforgettable experience,” said Darrin Rowe, senior director of marketing, Greyhound Lines, Inc. in a statement.

The century-old transportation brand began updating its image in 2007 when the company was acquired by FirstGroup. Greyhound upgraded its terminals and buses with a new logo and features like power outlets, reclining leather seats and extra legroom. At that time, the brand debuted a new ad campaign targeting 18 to 24-year-olds and Hispanic demographic.

Last year, Greyhound began offering e-tickets that users can order with their mobile phones, similar to how airlines offer boarding passes through mobile apps.

Other legacy brands are catering to the social network savvy “millennial traveler” by giving themselves an image overhaul or creating brand offshoots.

Last year, Air France launched a new airline called Joon that focuses on digital technology onboard and Marriott introduced Moxy—an experience-driven hotel brand that partners with local hotspots and offers in-house entertainment like concerts and improv comedy.

Pepsi Steps Up ‘Uncle Drew’ Marketing Ahead Of Film Release

Pepsi has released a new “Uncle Drew” spot featuring NBA star Kyrie Irving that ties the upcoming film and Pepsi’s Generations campaign together.

Released on Tuesday, “Timeless” shows Kyrie Irving as Uncle Drew, drinking Pepsi and playing basketball through the 1970s, 80s, 90s and modern times. The vignette features a limited-edition retro Pepsi can that will be available this summer.

Showing Pepsi through the decades is clearly a nod to the brand’s “Generations” ad campaign that debuted during Super Bowl LII. In the upcoming film Uncle Drew, the aging basketball legend must team up with members of his and the current generation in his quest to win the Rucker Classic streetball tournament and prove he’s still got it.

The character of Uncle Drew—a feisty old man with serious basketball skills—was created in 2012 for Pepsi Max in 2012. Irving, donning age make-up, hustled some local basketball players in a pick-up game in tune with the Pepsi Max slogan, “zero calorie soda in disguise.”

Irving’s acting debut went viral, and Pepsi responded with three more Uncle Drew chapters followed by 11 spots timed around NBA All-Star Games, NBA Finals and the NBA Playoffs.

While conceived by Pepsi, the character has taken on a life of its own. In fact, Irving’s fans have been known to yell “Uncle Drew” at his games. Pepsi is counting on this enthusiasm to translate into “buckets” of ticket sales when the film hits theaters June 29.

While Uncle Drew was made by PepsiCo’s Creators League Studios, it remains to be seen how much Pepsi will actually appear in the film itself.

PepsiCo recently announced additional investment in its marketing strategy to keep up with its life-long competitor Coca-Cola. After a slight drop in North American sales during the first quarter, the food and beverage giant expresses plans to “step up investments” in its core carbonated soft drink division.

Report: National TV Ad Revenue Up 4 Percent

Standard Media Index (SMI)—an advertising intelligence firm specializing in calculating ad spend and ad revenue for several international markets—has released its April national advertising revenue report. In the report SMI notes, most importantly, that national TV ad revenue is up 4 percent in April YoY. Other notable upticks were in sports, primetime original programming, and cable news.

In addition to national TV seeing growth, the digital, radio, out-of-home ad revenues were up at 18 percent, 13 percent, and 45 percent, respectively, with only print seeing a significant drop at -33 percent YoY.

Primetime original programming—which is defined as new episodes of drama, original comedy and reality shows across both broadcast and cable—ad revenue was up 11 percent YoY in April. The big winners for broadcast television include singing shows American Idol and The Voice taking in $48 million and $60 million, respectively, Empire, and Scandal. For cable, AMC’s The Walking Dead earned $17 Million.

SMI also notes that reboots, prequels and spinoffs were a big trend in broadcast TV programming. In terms of ad costs per 30-second spots: “the four most expensive comedy programs this month were: CBS’ The Big Bang Theory charging $267,267 … followed by NBC’s revival of Will & Grace at $205,829, then CBS’ prequel Young Sheldon at $183,408, and ABC’s revival Roseanne at $167,159.” ABC canceled Roseanne last week, but there are reports a spinoff (without Roseanne Barr) could be in the works.

Cable news was also a winner, the report says, “the big three cable news networks—FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC—have maintained the strong growth they have seen this year, earning 24 percent more ad revenue than April last year.”

Overall, cable channels’ ad revenue was up 6 percent while broadcast channels remained static. It’s important to recognize a report like this is not all-encompassing in terms of TV watching. Note that HBO and Netflix would not be included in this report because these companies are subscriber-based and do not run ads.

To compile the report SMI sources “advertising spend data directly from major media holding agencies.”

‘Deadpool 2’ Regains Top Global Box Office Position As ‘Solo’ Slips

Deadpool 2 retook the number one global box office spot this weekend thanks to creative marketing, a strong opening in Japan and dwindling viewership for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Compared to its predecessor, Deadpool 2 holds its own in the box office and, not adjusting for exchange rates, is only three percent behind the original in like-for-like markets. The Ryan Reynolds vehicle is now an established film franchise, which may have given its marketing team license to go all in for strange and unusual campaign ideas.

“I think the marketing for Deadpool 2 was even more creative, daring and original than it was for the first installment,” Karie Bible, box office analyst and film historian at Exhibitor Relations, told AListDaily.

The character of Deadpool is self-aware, which gives him license to break the fourth wall, barge into other franchises and talk about pop culture that doesn’t necessarily exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Illustrating this idea, 20th Century Fox created custom DVD and Blue-Ray sleeves for Walmart shelves that replaced all film characters with Deadpool. The character video-bombed a birthday wish video from Hugh Jackman and in one promotional video arrived at the home of soccer star David Beckham. Espolòn tequila staged a Twitter takeover in which crudely-modified ads were shared, replacing brand names with its own, a person’s face with Deadpool’s and product images with bottles of Espolòn. For the music video “Ashes,” Céline Dion sings on stage while Deadpool dances in stiletto heels. When he asks for a second take of the song, Dion tells him off and calls him Spider-man.

Marketing for the film also included a wide variety of engagement tactics from answering Google questions to appearing in 7-Eleven stores via augmented reality. 20th Century Fox invited fans to join “Deadpool Core,” a parody of the old Mickey Mouse Club that offered home projects like coloring pages and Valentines.

In the US, Deadpool 2 dropped roughly 56 percent for the weekend ending June 3, but Bible says that is normal for tentpole IPs or comic book movies, especially on this particular weekend after Memorial Day. These types of movies tend to be “front-loaded,” she said, meaning that studios expect a large turnout from fans at the beginning, followed by more casual moviegoers that don’t mind waiting to see it later.

“Most people are off work on Memorial Day weekend, which is why it tends to yield big box office,” said Bible. “The next week people are back at work and it is pretty normal to see a drop.”

Bible pointed out that the original Deadpool dropped 57.4 percent in the second weekend and the sequel dropped 65.4 percent in the second frame, which she said is not a vast difference.

“Another reason for the post-Memorial Day panic may well be the poor reception for Solo,” she noted. “[Also] the Johnny Knoxville movie Action Point was the lowest opening in wide release of his career.”

While Deadpool 2‘s creative advertising strategy undoubtedly spread awareness for the film’s release, there is no hard and fast rule for film marketing, Bible said.

“Often times a great deal of hand-wringing, anxiety and analysis (Monday morning quarterbacking) happens as people attempt to put their finger on what hit or missed and why,” said Bible. “Essentially the movie business is a calculated gamble. It always has been and always will be. There is no precise formula or guarantee of success.”

With Deadpool 2 leading the global box office, studios may be more willing to take such a gamble on R-rated comic book films.

“Time will tell if the success of the R-rated Deadpool is a stand-alone phenomenon or a template for future films,” said Bible. “It will have to depend on the film. Last year Logan was R-rated and opened with $88.4 million before going on to a domestic gross of $226.2 million.”

Cannes Lions: Interview With Content Director Charlotte Williams

Written by Steven Wong

This year, Cannes Lions is working to make the festival more relevant for brands and agencies, putting the correlation between creativity and share price front-and-center.

“Creatives are at the heart of the festival,” said Charlotte Williams, content director for Cannes Lions, “and [we’re] making sure that it’s all focused on the work rather than the celebrities.”

In previous years celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Demi Lovato were invited to be speakers at Cannes Lions, but in 2018 the festival is taking a step away from celebrity to make room for brand creatives from Amazon, Apple and Uber, which are first-time speakers at the event. Rising Chinese companies such as Tencent, Alibaba and iProspect, whose global impact is being felt, will also be present.

Given that the event’s core audience is creative agencies that want to connect with clients, attracting more brand advertisers was a “no-brainer” for further distinguishing Cannes from other marketing festivals and conferences.

“We’ve designed a program where more creatives are put on stage—more people responsible for the work—than before. We thought it was better to have the creators and brand marketers on stage” explained Williams.

The festival is expecting over 70 brands in attendance, sharing their approaches to make creativity work and ROI for their marketing efforts. Cannes Lions is also being streamlined from eight to five days with its content and awards organized around nine different tracks that cover sectors such as communication, craft, entertainment, experience, impact and reach.

Cannes is also hosting an inaugural Marketers’ Summit developed in coordination with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) to discuss predictions and trends.

“It’s about the sweet spot of creative effectiveness—seeing the value of creative work, and how it can drive growth,” said Williams about the Summit.

Exclusive to marketers, The Marketers’ Summit will include a closed-door event called the CMO Growth Council, an initiative by the ANA where about 30 marketers sit together and discuss issues that include measurement, brand purpose, the future of marketing and more.

The event is attracting some notable marketers to speak, including Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard, and Matt Biespiel, the former McDonald’s senior director for global brand development, who is helping to curate the Cannes Lions Masters program for brands with a focus on future consumer trends.

Williams said that the festival will continue addressing ongoing themes such as diversity, especially with the rise of initiatives such as #MeToo and #TimesUp, with submissions around LGBTQ topics, toxic masculinity and the role of brands in social movements.

“We’re looking more at the measurement of diversity initiatives and the hard end of it,” said Williams.

An example of this is a session hosted by HP and Omnicom Group which will discuss how data measurement can help businesses improve their diversity initiatives, thereby enhancing their creative output and become more relevant to customers.

On the technological side, the application of blockchain and the opportunities it presents for the creative industry is a major focus at Lions Innovation. Augmented reality will have a strong presence, where virtual reality and artificial intelligence were the primary technological themes of previous years.

Other major topics include future consumers, and how marketers can be everywhere at once and personalize at scale.

Meanwhile, the Entertainment track will cover how brands can better collaborate and co-create with artists from music, film and more.

According to Williams, this year’s show is more feature-facing in terms of predictions and trends, with a strong focus on people taking away tangible learnings from each session.

The evolution of the Cannes Lions Festival to remain relevant for its attendees is in step with the changing marketing landscape.

“Creativity is about more than just creative agencies nowadays, and I think everyone would agree that there are more players,” said Williams.

“There are entertainment companies, new production houses, up-and-coming shops, technology providers, innovators and startups. It’s about recognizing all the different players in the ecosystem, which is much more complex than it was 10 years ago.”