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Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity: Top 10 takeaways

By Paul Smith

June 26, 2013 | 5 min read

Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity took centre stage online last week, generating over 107,000 posts from Sunday 16 – Sunday 23 June 2013. Cutting through the noise, what can we learn about this year’s global gathering? Here Paul Smith, VP Salesforce Marketing Cloud in EMEA, looks at his top 10 takeaways.

1. Creativity is king

It’s no surprise that creativity was at the forefront of online conversation at Cannes. However, with discussions frequently referencing big data, and big ticket technology companies such as Google and Facebook in attendance, it is clear that new technologies are becoming increasingly relevant to the creative community.

2. Ogilvy ruled the roost across mentions and hashtags

Ogilvy’s 12 nominations for this year’s awards put the company in a strong position to dominate the conversation earlier in the week, but it maintained this momentum throughout, keeping it over 9,000 mentions ahead of its closest overall competitor, YouTube.

This was largely thanks to the team’s frequent tweets from the Festival and IBM’s Vice President presenting Ogilvy’s award winning smarter cities poster during its big data and analytics discussion on Friday.

3. Canvas for creativity paints a pretty picture

Although the Clear Channel Outdoor’s mural wasn’t a match for Ogilvy’s social might, it still generated over 1,800 posts throughout the week, with a large number of tweets describing it as “wonderful”, “stunning” and “creative.” That’s no easy feat when we consider the vast array of news and insights flooding out of the event each day.

4. YouTube drove the most substantial peak in conversation

Its presentation exploring the evolution of a fan led world, which is no longer solely driven by 30 second TV ads or embedded advertising content online resonated well with this year’s audience. The company generated 1,965 mentions when the company took to the stage on Thursday alone.

5. Advertising went big

If YouTube’s discussion on the evolution of advertising and consumer engagement wasn’t enough, the growth of the internet, mobile devices and social networking placed advertising as this year’s buzz word to watch, generating over 6,000 mentions throughout the week.

6.Bringing data to life

Twitter’s new TV ad targeting tool saw visualisation take a substantial portion of the limelight on Thursday, pushing the buzz word into second the place that day. It serves as a great indication of how companies are constantly striving to make data easier to consume, using these insights to inform overall strategy in quick and easy ways.

7. Mid-week peak

With the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter on stage, as well as celebrity appearances from Conan O’Brien and Sean Combs, it’s not entirely surprising to see Wednesday garnered the most posts. However, it was the rise of both advertising and creativity for the first time which is most interesting, as this was the day the seed was planted for the big theme for this year - using data and new technologies to inform creativity.

8. Sir Martin Sorrell on the Cannes walk of fame

Sir Martin Sorrell’s continually high profile in the industry and allowed him to give today’s more traditional celebrities a run for their money on Friday, generating five times more mentions than the likes of global icon Vivienne Westwood.

9. Vivienne struts ahead in the celebrity stakes

However, overall it was Vivienne who gave the last faire la bise this year, securing the most overall posts out of her fellow celebrities at 876. She was closely followed by Jack Black, who garnered 727 as a result of his presentation alongside Yahoo, pushing attendees to avoid clichés and take risks with their campaigns.

10.Coca-cola bubbles with engagement

As the fourth most mentioned brand at the Festival overall, Coca-cola kept online tongues wagging throughout the week, most notably for its appearance on stage alongside Sir Martin Sorrell to debate a range of issues. This included this year’s key topic – the role of creativity and how to harness data, in this case to benefit a global business’ marketing strategy. The discussion proved particularly popular as it gave brands inspiration for how they too can implement creative campaigns at scale using social media. While social is firmly on the radar for most enterprise businesses, we found the demand for fresh ideas and behind the scenes insights of successful campaigns remained top of the agenda for senior marketers at Cannes.

The company also generated engagement by distributing an array of special edition Cannes Lions bottles around the festival, celebrating both Cannes 60th anniversary and the company’s award for Creative Marketer of the Year.

A breakdown of Cannes Lions online conversations can be found online.

Cannes Lions Sir Martin Sorrell Salesforce

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