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5 Cannes Lions Key Takeaways That Are Already Shaping Tomorrow’s Advertising

By Cassidy Clarke and Hanna Wu

This year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity brought together leaders from across the advertising industry to celebrate last year’s achievements and explore where the industry is headed. It was the event’s first in-person awards since 2019, yet the week-long event demonstrated that creative ideas, innovative solutions, and collaborative partnerships are pushing the industry to even greater heights. To reflect on what we learned at this year’s festival, we collected a list of 5 key takeaways. 

  1. TV’s data players are advancing interoperability through collaboration and new technologies

Interoperability took centerstage as companies like Blockgraph, Experian, OpenAP, and TransUnion shared how they are partnering to enable better audience technologies for TV and other media channels. 

As brands demand greater connectivity between partners and suppliers, the industry at large will need to continue to work together for the benefit of advertisers and their consumers.

  1. Coinciding media and tech events highlight shifting trends  

In addition to the Cannes Lions, several other media-related events took place last week. VidCon and NFT.NYC showcased rising industry trends including video creators, social media influencers, NFTs and elements of Web3 technology. 

Companies such as DraftKings, Coach, and Wrangler decided to attend NFT.NYC, while companies like Chipotle, Nestle, and Tinder attended VidCon. Others, including Facebook and parent company Meta, decided to attend all three.

To have that many concurrent events – on opposite sides of the globe – with overlapping themes and stakeholders, it’s clear that the advertising landscape is about to get even more complicated. As new trends in social media, digital video, and crypto continue to emerge, it will be important to keep an eye on their evolution to determine how it will impact the future of media and advertising.

  1. Entertainment and advertising execs continue to push for true diversity, equity and inclusion 

Building on the highly-anticipated return of the Cannes Lions, several organizations used this as an opportunity to reinvigorate conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

During a panel regarding bias in the industry, Issa Rae, the Golden Globe-nominated star and creator of Insecure, challenged marketing and advertising personnel to not only have diversity in front of the camera but to focus on the diversity behind the camera as well. She also revealed that she mandates that all her sets are at least 60% diverse.

In addition to the talk tracks, the World Federation of Advertisers launched a Global DEI Charter for Change at Cannes that identifies 11 ‘main action areas’ that organizations need to take to ensure the marketing industry is truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive. As the industry continues to address its’ shortcomings in DEI, accountability will be critical.

  1. Marketers are expanding their reach at Cannes using virtual experiences in the metaverse

While Cannes was in-person, brands looking to extend their impact beyond the yachts, beaches and villas decided to take things virtual – reality, that is.

Brands are using the meta verse to create captivating worlds, events, and activities to engage audiences like never before. In fact, McCann Worldgroup used Cannes as an opportunity to create the MWVERSE. Their gallery includes 10 rooms of past and present ad campaigns, with prerecorded discussions from leaders of their creative teams. Post-festival, McCann will be preserving many of these spaces preserved and eventually, plan to use the MWVERSE as a space for their clients to meet, build new campaigns, or host events. 

The Cannes Lions is a celebration of creativity, and now with the assistance of the metaverse, more people will be able to express, explore, and connect.

  1. Advertisers and agencies seek to address the global climate crisis with sustainability initiatives

Advocacy for sustainability held a firm presence at Cannes this year and a prominent theme among many of the festival’s events – as well as stunts pulled by activists – was the call for stronger climate action. 

In light of the global climate crisis, leading figures from the global advertising industry announced at their intent to echo and expand the U.K.’s Ad Net Zero objective internationally, with an immediate focus on the US and the EU. 

The Ad Net Zero initiative is committed to curtailing operational carbon emissions and using the power of advertising to accelerate the shift to more sustainable products and services in hopes of reducing the carbon emissions from advertising operations to net zero by 2030. 

The 2022 Cannes Lions served as a reminder of the resiliency of creativity. Despite the challenges of lockdowns, social distancing, and remote work, advertising and media continue to grow and evolve at a rapid pace. As we look to the months and year ahead, we expect collaboration, innovation, sustainability and DEI will remain a core focus for the industry.  

Webinar Replay: Get Ahead of the Next TV Revolution with Catalina and Cadent

As many marketers know all too well, the next TV revolution has arrived, and with it has come an endless stream of both challenges and opportunities. Recently, Cadent VP of Advertising Solutions, Andrew Horlick, and Catalina VP of Omnichannel Media Solutions Jessica Lan spoke with Adweek about how the convergence of data-driven linear TV, addressable TV, and connected TV is changing the face of omnichannel marketing.   

Watch the full conversation below. 

Adweek Webinar: Get Ahead of the Next TV Revolution

The Critical Value of Broadcast TV in a Cross-Screen World

The TV ecosystem has grown increasingly complex in recent years as a result of audience fragmentation, ratings decline, supply inflation, and measurement difficulties. Contrary to some opinions, broadcast TV is alive and well, and despite a shift in viewership, the reality of how people watch TV today may surprise you. 

A report recently published by TiVo found that a “significant gap still exists between planning to cut the cord and actually doing it” – or put another way, I’m sure you’ve heard people complain about the increased cost of their TV provider’s packages, but they still love the programming, and so the benefits outweigh the costs! Still, audience fragmentation, delivery fragmentation, and measurement fragmentation remain a challenge, so, what is a marketer to do? 

Savvy advertisers continue to keep Broadcast TV in the cross-screen mix. This highly relevant and proven marketing channel offers advertisers unparalleled reach and so much more. To tackle the problems marketers are facing in the evolving TV marketplace, here are a few reasons why broadcast TV should be a part of every media plan. 

The Value of Local 

Advertisers need solutions that solve for targeting and reach. So, how can you achieve local relevance on a national scale while network pricing hits an all-time high? Cadent’s broadcast offering provides advertisers with access to loyal local audiences in core genres like news, syndication, and sports at efficient rates – a critical component for the cross-screen mix.  

A survey from Pew Research states that 75% of U.S. adults have at least some trust in the information coming from local news organizations compared to 58% from national. In fact, across the U.S., broadcast news programming delivers vital audience reach, as nearly half of adults prefer to get their news on TV rather than through the internet, radio, or print publications.  
Similarly, the TiVo report determined that 84% of respondents said viewing local content is important to them. But local news is far from the only local content out there. Local sports command a passionate audience of hometown fans. When it comes to local TV, consumer sentiment speaks for itself – just as viewers recognize the importance of local content, advertisers must work with partners that can deliver the true value of local content. 

There’s Something About Syndication 

Broadcast networks continue to face stiff competition from streaming platforms. However, syndicated content is giving streamers a run for their money. Ratings show that Jeopardy is the most-watched non-sports program on TV, averaging 9.2 million viewers per night, with Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud, tied for second, drawing 8.4 million viewers per night.  

To put these ratings in perspective, compare Jeopardy with the NFL draft or NBA playoffs which drew only half that number of viewers. And it’s worth noting that the average age of Jeopardy viewers has been trending down over the past decade – before 2010, the average viewer was 70, and by 2019, it had gone down to 65. As of 2022, “among those who watch on a regular basis, nearly 4 in 10 are under the age of 35. Only one-quarter are 65 or older.”  

Other syndicated programs, like Live with Kelly and Ryan, Rachael Ray Show, and Dr. Phil have held their ground with daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54.  

Building Your Cross-Screen Mix 

Unified, cross-screen TV campaigns are designed to deliver your ad to audiences, no matter what screens, devices, formats, and services they are viewing. 

If you are already investing in cable, broadcast is the perfect complement. By incorporating local news into plans focused on national news, advertisers can extend their reach to a larger segment of their target audience. Cadent offers an unparalleled depth of partnerships and coverage across top-ranked stations in all major markets. 

If you are activating on OTT/CTV, broadcast can extend and amplify your reach to a much wider audience. Fluidity allows you to blend the benefits of both channels while combatting the issues of finite inventory and increasing demand. 

Ultimately, broadcast remains the fastest way to build efficient reach. Current viewership trends show that more than 60% of consumers’ total TV viewing time was spent watching linear programming, and forecasts predict future decline will be very gradual. In short – broadcast isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! 

Learn more about how you can incorporate broadcast into your next media plan on Cadent’s Planning & Optimizing page.