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ARF Brings You Cannes Lions 2015

Leaders at Cannes Discuss How Consumers Are Raising the Bar for Everyone

Our goal in these blogs is to go beyond bringing Cannes to Your Desktop and to connect you with the world’s most interesting leaders who are attending here at the Cannes Lions event. This is a quick recap from some conversations held at the hotspot meeting place – The Carlton Hotel on Boulevard de la Croisette.

We asked all how data is helping great creative and ultimately how advertising works today. There were fascinating synergies and differences among the answers.

David Sable, CEO of Young & Rubicam, kicked us off with his view that the essentials of how advertising works have not changed …

David focused on the importance storytelling to connect with consumers and inspire them to take action and change their behavior. David pointed out that even our view of mobile is too narrow. Defining mobile as our desire to take ideas and share them ¾ from that POV, we’ve always been mobile. Our lives are mobile; the new digital tools are simply for helping us to be free. How digital influences our non-digital lives is the real game changer.

Among David’s predictions for the year to come, we will pay less and less attention to screens. Premium video content is better than ever and what screen you see it on will become an irrelevancy.


For Nick Law, Chief Creative Officer at RG/A storytelling was also a foundation but his perspective is that advertising works very differently today. While Nick reinforced the messaging core was great was great storytelling, he felt the old school, top-down communications model was not relevant today. Yet many marketers operate as it is.

Today is no longer about a one-way conversation or even a one-way response. Today’s consumer motivations are more complicated; the right consumer is harder to find as they can tune us out easier than ever. Also consumers are more skeptical than ever. It requires greater collaboration than ever before. Creative is not a solitary exercise. There’s no eureka moment. We need to be involved in the process because we need to be involved not only in what’s delivered but how it is delivered. Predicting the year ahead, Nick hopes that data finds better things to do than just serve more ads but helps direct ways to be more and better connected to companies.

John Osborne, CEO of BBDO split the difference, recognizing that while core elements of advertising have not changed, today we also dealing with the realities that where and when to reach people is a new science. For BBDO, the focus is on understanding the journey, not just to find what to message but to define where along the purchase cycle is the ideal time and place that message.

Looking ahead, John sees a continued explosion and increased of relevance for video. Across all platforms the role of video cannot be understated. The visual word almost more important than the written word.


Haruko Minagaw, Touchpoint Evangelist at Hakuhodo and TBWA/Hakuhodo. In today’s world, really maximizing each touchpoint with the consumer is what’s driving the business model. Looking more at content over platform. Not just this device or that device.

But consumers’ interaction with devices is changing. This makes advertising today different from advertising in the past as consumer are more active in getting information.

Sees data as more friend than foe. Making Big Data not just a friend but a mentor. In Japan all data is becoming more personalized. Ideally, data could be like a child who shows us surprising things and a new outlook on the world. Looking forward, Haruko looks for data to become more creative than functional. Driving not just efficiency but collaborating with data beyond figures to get to WOW!

Not just with our discussions but the data possibilities are the talk up and down the Croisette at the Cannes Lions 2015 and finding harmony between research and driving great creative is more important than ever!