It’s Riviera Time
Posted: June 1, 2012 | 9:31 ET by Nick Parish
The ad world is preparing for its annual pilgrimage to the French Riviera to laud its best achievements. That’s right, we’re just two weeks out from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (nee Cannes Lions International Festival of Adveritising) where the world’s best gather to meet and do business under the auspices of celebrating great work.
Aside from the plethora of good times on the Croisette, there indeed is a lot to celebrate. Every year at Contagious, we make predictions as to the communications that’ll clean up at the show. This is the perfect time to share some of them with you.
Typically, we collect around 20 campaigns and stake our reputation on them doing well. And we’ve been pretty good in the past, running about 80% successful. Unfortunately, there’s not a bookkeeper in the world (that we’ve found) that’ll take our action.
Constantly categorizingOne consistent part of the festival experience is the expansion of categories. As soon as any media emerges as having the potential for an advertising concentration, Cannes adds it as a box you can check on your entry, and, for an additional fee of course, receive consideration in. But the best of these efforts move between multiple categories. They can work in PR or Mobile or Cyber or Promo.
So it’s not very fruitful to say ‘Here’s the best Mobile effort’, because it may well win in a bunch of different categories. So we divvy up potential winners by trend as opposed to the arbitrary media they use as a mode of movement.
Social business, or letting the guts showThis is one of our favorite recent trends, because it deals with finding parts of a marketer’s business that previously didn’t communicate and using them to build messaging on. Domino’s is a great example. It’s been doing tons to revamp its image, in a friendly genuflection to human taste buds. Its Pizza Tracker app from a few years ago used existing systems to convey the pizza’s steps towards your door.
This year, a great piece of digital signage in Times Square did similar. As people received their pizzas through the Pizza Tracker, they are encouraged to leave feedback. Feedback goes to the people who made your pizza, of course, but in this case it also went to a crawl on the bottom of the sign. So you got reviews like “Needs to be cooked more” or “Too much garlic” along with a star rating augmenting the advertising, which spoke plainly about how the brand was working on making things better.
Integrating entertainment, or the :30 rides againThe much ballyhooed decline of the :30 spot continues, but some of our favorite campaigns are about how paid media can activate a whole different set of options for brands. This is especially true when it comes to a home viewing environment where there might be a tablet handy.
A multitude of social, mobile and interactive applications are making it possible for broadcasters and brands to enhance the traditional TV viewing experience, which is a huge opportunity for brands and broadcasters eager to boost engagement, amplify buzz and drive sales.
The came through best for Coca-Cola’s Polar Bowl, which took two of the brand’s friendly mascots and turned them into rivals on the couch, with one supporting the New York Football Giants and the other the New England Patriots. The bears would react to each team’s successes and failures appropriately, and even had reactions to the halftime show, and other advertising. Chrysler’s epic Americana spot with Clint Eastwood caused them to stand and salute, for instance, and work from PepsiCo had them either leave the screen in disgust (Pepsi Cola) or fall asleep (Doritos).
The brand built a fearsome triangle of paid, owned and earned media, and had stellar results: over nine million people tuned in to the polar bears, with an average session time of 28 minutes. At the going rate of Super Bowl advertising, we’d say that’s a huge win for attention and engagement.
Say 'Hi' if you CannesAs always, we’ll be flying the Contagious flag during the festival, and have a few events lined up. The most worthwhile, and the one you should try to attend, is our Monday session in the Palais at 4:30. The session is called “Better with the Brand" and deals with an interesting topic:
“Emotional, entertaining and creatively enthralling ads will always have their place, but in today’s on-demand, digitally democratic culture people expect deeper meaning, useful services and transformative experiences from the brands they choose to engage with. Put simply, it’s all about generating emotional and practical value.
“The result is a fundamental recalibration of what marketing means and the new types of value being exchanged between brands and the people they serve. Now lasting relationships are being prioritised over one-off transactions. There’s an urge to create value in society, not just in shareholdings. ‘Social’ is being used to define business models, not just media strategies.
The upshot? The brand is no longer a badge worn by a company – it’s an interface through which the lives of real people can be made better.”
We hope you’ll be able to make it out to see us. Drop a line if you’re going to be attending, or let us know what your favorite Cannes hopefuls are.
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