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The Drum @ Cannes: Wharton's Catharine Hays looks ‘Beyond Advertising’ with new creative framework

Wharton's Catharine Hays believes that in the future of advertising content and context will co-reign and that arguments over which one is “king” are moot.

“There are presentations here at Cannes that say that ‘context is king’ or ‘content is still king’ but we think that they reign together. They are both really important,” says Hays, co-founder and executive director of Wharton’s Future of Advertising Program.

Only the two together will inform how brands will develop to reach and influence customers of the future.

Ahead of her Cannes Lions keynote “Raves and Mades: New Creativity Standards for the Future" Hays spoke to The Drum, in partnership with AudienceScience, in the video about a new model for brand success created through the Program.

The four-part framework has been influenced by more than 200 thought leaders from around the world who were each asked just two questions: what could, or should, advertising look like in 2020; what should we do today to get ready for that idealised future?

Contributions informed a book “Beyond Advertising: Creating Value Through All Customer Touchpoints”, co-authored by Hays and published earlier this year.

“We were asking them not to paint the entire picture, but their vantage point so we could mosaic together,” she adds. “Sometimes we get so caught up in the day to day and in a reactionary mode that [it was nice for them] to take a step back and reconsider how we’re going about things.”