Top 4 final, important Cannes Lions takeaways
After the first in-person Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity since 2019, Yahoo's chief business officer Iván Markman tallies the top takeaways for the ad industry.
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It has been a while since the biggest names in media, technology and advertising gathered in Cannes, and it’s safe to say not many could have anticipated what would change between then and now — for the industry and for the world alike. Here are a few key takeaways from four days on the Croisette.
Sights are set on advanced TV
The advanced TV landscape — from addressable to streaming — has seen tremendous growth over the past year, but continues to grow more complex for buyers, publishers and audiences.
Audiences have more options than ever when it comes to deciding what to watch and on which screens to watch. This leaves the future of streaming in a fragmented place, challenging advertisers and media owners alike. Netflix’s own entry into the ad-supported video on-demand category is expected this year and will further upend the market, attracting record-spend.
Simplifying this complexity is, in part, what our team focused on at Cannes, albeit on the addressable side. The goal: to help reduce fragmentation for advertisers seeking to buy addressable inventory.
Dynamic creative for a dynamic world
Last year, it was predicted that there would be a resurgence of dynamic creative technology like QR codes, which continues to pan out. The technology behind QR codes aligns with the post-pandemic lifestyle, and it makes it easier to put brand experiences into consumers’ hands. It's no surprise that Coinbase’s famous floating QR code ad from the Super Bowl was a big winner at Cannes.
There is also a growing demand for contextual shopping experiences that feel less like advertising, either via native ads, dynamic product ads or dynamic creative. Last year there was a 32% year-over-year increase in advertisers running dynamic creative campaigns, ultimately generating stronger engagement than those who ran standard pre-roll creative. What's more, these types of ads have been shown to perform well, driving conversions and sales. Strategic advertisers and agencies will lean into this data to deliver on evolving consumer expectations.
The intersection of brand safety and news
As our world takes more concerning twists and turns, brand safety continues to be top-of-mind for advertisers. At Cannes, panels abounded on the topic of brand and content alignment against the backdrop of Ukraine and Russia, Covid-19, gun safety and more.
The main takeaway: yes, brands and publishers must find a way to approach these topics in a safe way. However, doing so must not occur at the expense of news publishers or campaign reach. The Brands4News campaign launched during Cannes is a good example of how the industry is evolving on brand safety to not only become more sophisticated in ad-blocking, but to turn support of journalism into a brand equity asset.
The power of meaningful connections
If there's one thing Cannes vividly brought back to life, it is the power of meaningful connections — among people, businesses and consumers. With activity that far exceeded what we experienced pre-pandemic, the quality of interactions, the creativity and inspiration that stemmed from sessions and the re-building of relationships, it's clear that a relentless focus on meaningful connections — especially in this ever-changing landscape — will help us all move forward and drive growth.
These were just some of the major topics discussed at Cannes this year. All in all, it’s a busy time for companies as the industry tries to grapple with countless issues, and the landscape could be quite different when we reconvene for adland's biggest festival in 2023.
Iván Markman is chief business officer at Yahoo.