Blog Archives

Lions Entertainment: Bringing Your A-Game and A-List Talent

This year marked the launch of a new Entertainment event at Cannes Lions, introducing a fresh energy and obvious nod to the increasingly blurred lines surrounding branded content creation.

The musical lineup at this year’s festival alone, including artists by the likes of Usher, Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, and Poo Bear, was a clear indication that brands are well on their way to becoming some of the biggest investors in music properties and talent of the future. Their presence also signified that brands are engaging with music in a more meaningful way than ever before, and truly investing in culture with a fresh perspective.

While music will undoubtedly continue to be a prominent fixture in culture, the traditional model of creation is shifting. Music lovers no longer choose to pay for albums or singles, therefore leading traditional labels and publishing companies to take less risks and in turn pave the way for brands to step in and own music from top to bottom. So, with audience attention spans continuing to wane, marketers must bring their A-game when it comes to the type of music they’re attaching to a brand, and consider artists as their own brands while doing so.

This theme rang true throughout a number of sessions this year. A fireside chat between Justin Beiber’s main musical collaborator, Poo Bear, and Jingle Punks co-founder and president, Jared Gutstadt, addressed these issues by explaining the importance of music for brand building today, as well as how essential it is to make music part of a dynamic marketing strategy right at the upfront.

The notion of music as a conduit for brand affiliation can also be seen in television and film, with a whole new revenue stream opening up to artists who get involved in producing tracks for longer-form content, supported by brands/TV shows that no longer simply front the basic sponsorship they’ve done in the past. There is more of an importance for music to win over the consumer and influence behavior and decision-making preferences than ever before, and that sentiment has echoed throughout the Entertainment track.

Amongst winners of the inaugural Lions Entertainment for Music category this year was none other than Beyoncé for her acclaimed “Formation” music video, taking home the coveted Grand Prix Lion Award. While “Formation” may not seem like your typical brand campaign,  the video symbolizes a complete repositioning of the artist’s personal brand, and its impact on issues around race and the perception of women in culture. This win has set the tone with an impossibly high standard for those shortlisted within the category for years to come.

All in all, it was evident at this year’s festival that the role of music in advertising should by no means be underestimated.

Creativity Matters

Thank you creativity.

It’s the clear theme of the 2016 Cannes Lions Festival. And it’s also what you can’t help but feel when you walk inside the Palais or stroll down the Croisette.

No one deserves that thanks more than Spotify’s Daniel who personifies creativity. His passion for innovation has helped Spotify become one of the world’s largest streaming platforms and he is not stopping there.

Video and data are two of the most prominent trends at Cannes – both of which Ek was quick to point out Spotify has in abundance and will look for innovative ways to good use. Spotify’s deep insights into who is listening to what, when and where has impacted every facet of the music business. Bands like Metallica are analyzing what songs are most listened to in each city on their tour to determine what their playlist will be for that particular show.

Creativity has also found its way into the American presidential race. Creativity on the Stump, a panel that featured PR players and writers from Politico, looked at the campaigns of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In a “one-minute” news cycle, Trump’s unorthodox but authentic approach, especially on Twitter, is rewriting political campaigns. Not lost though was Sander’s more traditional TV spot “America.” Borrowing its soundtrack from Simon and Garfunkel, the comparably long (.60) spot demonstrates that even in an age of social media, the power of creative television advertising is very much alive and well. That ad notwithstanding, Politico’s editor in chief, John Harris, did proclaim that Donald Trump might be a better marketer than most everyone in Cannes.

While creativity is essential to winning Lions it’s vital to attracting and winning new business. Flanking the Palais are rows of cabanas where the likes of tech startup Luma hand out cans of oxygen to passersby and host clients and prospects for meetings looking out towards the Mediterranean.  Beyond the Palais are rows of yachts where agencies and their partners like SteelHouse and the Daily Mail have taken up residence for the week hosting clients. On land, SteelHouse’s CEO Mark Douglas looks to discuss how technology is making creativity more intelligent. He’ll be speaking alongside Jose Molla, Founder & co-chief creative officer at The Community and Peter Horst, Chief Marketing Officer for The Hershey Company. Global media agency, MEC has taken imaginative marketing to a whole new level with their welcoming presence at the Carlton Hotel. Throughout the week, MEC plays host to a number of sessions including Breaking the Band which looks at how MEC Wavemaker, its content specialist arm, helped uncover an aspiring new brand.

Other themes throughout the week remain centered on technology, the blurred lines between agencies and brands and the merits of the work being shown in the Palais. Cannes celebrates all the rapid fire changes in our industry, but holds paramount the one unchanging element that separates the best work from the ad clutter: creativity. That will never change.

Bon Jour, Cannes!

The Ad world morphs at lightning speed. Traditional lines of branded entertainment, advertising, technology and media companies continue to blur, data scientists now sit alongside artists, data has become a crucial part of the creative process, etc. One of the only constants is The Cannes Lions Festival – the industry’s global celebration of creativity. It remains the center point of the ad world– a moment for all of us to look back and honor the best of our industry while simultaneously looking ahead and preparing for the changes yet to come. If the festival has changed at all, it’s only that it’s gotten bigger.

With this year’s event just days away, our team will be on the ground supporting clients and sharing the week’s most exciting news, bringing you insights from industry players, highlighting trends and observations and sharing live content right from the Croisette. As in years past, this year’s festival has attracted top names to the Palais including, Vannes Bayer (Saturday Night Live), Anthony Bourdain, Anderson Cooper, David Copperfield and many more.

Some of the sessions we’re excited about:

  • Tuesday, June 21, 11:00AM: “How to Change The World Through Advertising”, Cindy Gallop, Lions Lounge
  • Wednesday, June 22, 10:00AM: “Fireside Chat with Daniel Ek, Spotify”, Inspiration Stage
  • Thursday, June 23, 3:30PM: “Is Technology Making Creative More Intelligent” Mark Douglas, SteelHouse, Jose Molla, the community
  • Friday, June 24, 4PM: “Music as Marketing: Flipping the Script on Celebrity Talent” Jared Gustadt, Jingle Punks, Inspiration Stage

We expect a jam-packed week with lots of learnings, applauding the best of the best, networking with clients, prospects and friends, and, hopefully, having a moment in all the fracas to take a sip of rose and toast to everyone’s hard work.

Please check for updates on the DGC Hit Board, Facebook, Twitter and our new Instagram feed!

The Best of SXSWi 2016: Top Ten Things We Experienced in Austin

Five days, hundreds of sessions, dozens of unique brand activations and a lot of delicious TexMex and BBQ – this year’s SXSWi has wrapped but we’re still reeling from all the great things we experienced on the ground in Austin.

If you weren’t on the ground (or couldn’t get to everything while you were there), here’s our rundown on the best SXSWi had to offer attendees this year.Full team picture


“Most Inspiring Reason to Create and Innovate”
– President Obama’s Keynote Address: “The reason I’m here is to recruit all of you,” President Obama remarked. He called on SXSW attendees to collaborate on solutions for the country’s biggest problems addressing everything from updating obsolete federal networks to the debate over security versus privacy most recently ignited by the disputes between Apple and the FBI. If you were a lucky SXSW attendee to score a ticket to his address, you probably left Austin wondering how we can move innovation forward to improve our country for the better.


“Best Brand Experience”
– IBM Cognitive Experience: A mix of educational, aspirational, innovation and fun content, IBM created an engaging experience (in partnership with George P. Johnson, a Project WorldWide agenIBM.jpgcy) centered around IBM’s Watson. Upon entering the space, attendees were prompted to input details about th
eir mood and taste preferences, then given a wrist band and sent on their way to experience different stations tied to IBM’s latest innovations and partnerships, including The Weather Company’s latest innovations and Under Armour’s new offering in IoT. SXSW attendees could even play ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ against an IBM robot who got smarter with every move. Or if you wanted to burn a few BBQ calories, you could try some virtual reality cycling. At the end of the experience, attendees were invited to enjoy a “cognitive drink” based on the data in your wristband. Robot bartenders are now a thing – this is the future!

“Best Place to Run into a Trekkie” – The Eyes of Robots and Murders Session: Legendary director/producer/screenwriter J.J. Abrams and his friend Andrew Jarecki, the writer/director of HBO’s The Jinx” spoke about how technology has changed filmmaking for the better and how it has democratized the creative process. Abrams was also quick to point out that technology should be invisible so that the consumer can have an experience that’s as effortless as possible. Ending with a bit of inspiration, Abrams and Jalecki asked that attendees leverage their talents and today’s technology to create: “There’s no excuse to not tell the story we want to tell.”

“Best Off the Track Event” – Brand Innovators Austin Summit: Brand Innovators brought a great mix of speakers and content to SXSW attendees. From Mark Cuban speaking about the future of sports and sharing his candid feelings about the U.S. elections, to leading marketers from Mondelez, Walmart, Coca-Cola, Visa and much more – the venue was packed as any room in the convention center. A particular favorite panel was one featuring Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer moderating a panel with recording artist Kevin Jonas, actor Adrian Grenier, Johnson & Johnson’s Amy Pascal, and social media stars Monica Church and Shonduras. The lively discussion centered on how brands can best leverage celebrities to promote their brands on social media while still maintaining authenticity with millennials and other consumers.

MEC Job Fair

 

“Best Place to Find a New Gig” – MEC Job Fair: Our client MEC took a new approach to attracting talent at this year’s SXSW. The media agency transported its New York office culture to the event through three virtual reality films which gave prospective talent an immersive glimpse into what it’s like to work there. Using Google Cardboard, the first film focused on the agency’s digital teams, highlighting social media operations and some creative work they’ve made. Another showed off the agency’s culture, and the third film highlighted the agency’s creative moments.

 

“Coolest Executive” – a tie between Soulcycle Cofounders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank. Soulcycle’s cofounders just oozed cool, but they definitely had a lot to offer to SXSW attendees. With Fast Company moderating their fireside chat, they addressed the characteristics that make up their brand DNA and how they were able to innovate in the fitness space – (surprise!) it wasn’t with technology but by creating a community for their consumers. Our friends at Fast Company also interviewed Under Armour’s CEO, where he provided one of festival’s best soundbites: “Data is the new oil. The companies that do well are the companies that use math.”

“Best Celebrity Panel” – New Rules of Social Stardom Session: Kerry Washington and InStyle Magazine hosted a discussion on the ever-evolving role that social media plays in the life of celebrities. Though she’s more of a private person, Washington talked about how she interacts with social herself versus when she taps a communications team, the types of content she likes to share (mainly fashion shots and causes she’s passionate about) and the value that lies in NOT reading the comment section: “It’s a tricky balance. For the most part, I stay away from comments, but Twitter is a conversation, so I do occasionally engage…but I’ve realized that comments are not about me. When someone comments, they are revealing something about themselves.”

“Best App Launch at Southby”Kodak – Kodak Moments: To launch its new visual storytelling app, Kodak Moments, Kodak Alaris (in partnership with Junior, a Project: WorldWide agency) created an activation that immersed attendees in their own memories – practically seeing, smelling and even hearing them – in a chamber it called the “Memory Observatory.” How did it work? Upon entering the chambers, participants saw whatever memory-specific image they chose to share projected on a grand scale within the activation, and the colors, smells and sounds corresponded to the emotion in something the brand called an “experience guide.” Robbie Whiting, co-founder of Junior, spoke with Adweek about why SXSW was the best place to launch the app: “SXSW is chaotic. We wanted to create a respite from the noise, a place for meaningful moments from the process of remembering a moment to the articulation of what makes that moment special to the communal experience of all our deconstructed memories, our own Kodak Moments.”

“Best Place to Go If You’re Craving San Fran Vibes” – Mashable House: From a Pied Piper Bar (shout out to fans of HBO’s “Silicon Valley”) and fun meme-inspired temporary tattoos to mingling with CEO Pete Cashmore. Upon entering this space, you were transported to the Bay City. Mashable had several parties and events at the space as well which put a spotlight on different brands and influencers – definitely making this a go-to place during the days and nights during Southby.

“Best Party at SXSWi” – GSD&M: Touted as one of SXSW’s must-attend events each year, we were lucky enough to get an invite and so glad we did. From unique art and live music to delicious food trucks and specialty cocktails – our last night in Austin was well spent on our GSD&M client’s compound.

 

Face-to-Face With Mobile’s Future

Mobile World Congress 2016

Day One has closed on the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the largest conference in the world dedicated to the art and science of mobile technology. It’s a gathering of the greats who believe passionately in unlocking mobile’s untapped potential.

Mobile video was a headline theme of the day and the topic of a colorful debate in the “Mobile Video Explosion” panel discussion. It was an all-star line-up of the industry’s best mobile players – from Facebook to YouTube to Viacom to Netflix – each sharing their unique points of view.

Facebook’s Head of Global Tech & Telco Strategy, Jane Schachtel shared her views on how video is pushing the boundaries of innovation by creating immersive experiences for people and businesses. Facebook is seeing numerous brands seizing upon this opportunity and firmly believes that video is, “the” global medium that transcends language barriers and sparks great creativity. image1.jpeg

“We’re building a canvas for businesses,” said Schachtel. “If the content is relevant, people will create it and continue to discover it. The richness and relevance on your newsfeed is what’s helped drive such explosive video growth at Facebook.”

Alex Wellen, CNN’s chief product officer, explained how the app, CNNgo, is tracking every story in real time, each minute of the year, annotating real frames with every piece of live content that augments the story.

But there are challenges at the 24 hour news network. CNN “needs to be a technology and storytelling company at the same time, and it’s really tough to be famous for both,” mused Wellen.

There’s good news, though: “People are now binging on [Anthony] Bordain, when no one had consumed news programming like this in the past.”

David Benson, Director, Brand Strategy EMEA for YouTube, agreed about binge watching mobile video content, which he said is driving deep change in the market. Benson added that 400 hours of content are uploaded via YouTube every minute.

“The way in which we consume and connect has been rewritten by mobile,” Benson added. He posited there’s no more water cooler chatter and comparing notes about, “what you watched last night.” In its place, we have become a culture of spoiler alerts and binge-watching.
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“We’re having less sex as a result,” said Benson, who cordially invited us to chat with him after the panel for more info on the “sex” stat.

The consensus among all the panelists: Mobile is exploding and there’s an obligation to continue to make great content — via stellar storytelling — so that people will to want to engage.

In his day-one closing keynote, the one-and-only Mark Zuckerberg took the video discussion to the next level saying that video will have to get increasingly better for virtual reality; in particular, resolution will have to be very high.

Zuckerberg closed with something important to consider, “Video is just as big in 2016 as mobile was in 2012. Bandwidth opens up desire to make and consume videos, which makes the developers want more, which ultimately perpetuates demand.”

 A great finish to a great opening day.

 I am looking forward to a week of seeing and hearing about the technology and creativity that is going to reshape our world.

 More soon.  #MWC16 #MWCVID

 

 

RESULTS, REVENUE, & REINVENTION: OUR LOOK AT THE AD AGE A-LIST

Creative work that drove results. Double-digit revenue growth. Throwing open the doors to reinvention.

That was the formula that propelled ten agencies to the heights of this year’s Advertising Age A-List.

In looking at the winner’s circle, we analyzed some of the traits that helped comprise the winners who are shaking us out of comfort zones and reshaping the advertising industry.

Blazing the way was Droga5, winning both Ad Age’s and Creativity’s Agency of the Year award. Described by Ad Age as “restless”, Droga5 found ways to extend the reach of dynamic brands like Under Armour and Google, as well more conventional ones like insurance giant, Prudential and toilet paper manufacturer, Great Northern. The marketplace embraced Droga’s creativity as seen by several new client wins which contributed to a jump in revenue growth from $78 million in 2014 to $126 million.

Double-digit growth was a factor common to all members of the A-List ranging from a low end of 10 percent (McCann/VML) to a high of 62 percent (Droga). A-Listers were able to ratchet up their growth through organic, as well high profile client wins.

The ability to inspire new and innovative ideas was also on display in this year’s round-up. In 2015, Los Angeles based 72andSunny expanded its in-house incubator, 72U, while launching Brand Citizenship, an offering that connects​ ​with consumers on a cause to build brand love. R/GA partnered with Owlet, a product of its own “accelerator program,” to develop a sock that monitors infant’s vital signs. Already it has been attributed with saving three lives. These are tremendous ideas that serve as industry benchmarks.

Beyond the A-List, was another group of agencies that are solving client challenges and are poised to take a shot at top slots in the future. WPP creative shop Ogilvy & Mather was recognized as an Agency Stand Out for landing a piece of Coca-Cola’s media business coming out of one of this year’s biggest media reviews – further evidence that big, bold ideas and pushing the boundaries always prevail .

Daring to take a fearless and ambitious approach to marketing contributed to The Community’s Multicultural Agency of the Year recognition. Their work for brands such as, Corona Extra and Modelo Especial, were so well-received that they’ve now moved into the mainstream market.

While the DGC team is very familiar with the submission process and the standard form agencies fill out is imperative, the process truly begins at early on each year. All of the winners in this issue, and in the past, had been eyeing Ad Age’s A-List as soon as the prior year’s results were published. It is no easy feat – a huge effort that demands excellence from all aspects and areas of agency business: creative, strategy and finance. Fostering relationships, sharing news, ideas and agency developments with Ad Age throughout the year (both on and off the record) will keep you on their radar and put you in prime position for the 2017 A-List submission.

Congratulations to all of the winners, we’re especially delighted and proud that so many of our clients are on the list…you know who you are!   

And That’s A Wrap!

social media team

Another Advertising Week has come and gone!  This year proved to be just as eventful as years’ past.  Our team on the ground seemed to have do and see it all (although we know that would be impossible…)

We wanted to summarize a few of our top highlights, but be sure to check out the rest of our social channels to see all of what we were up to throughout the week (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter)

The UCB Comedy: Seriously Funny session was hosted by none other than the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy theater. For those not as familiar with the New York comedy scene UCB is one of the most notable and prestigious theaters in the city (and country) and was the starting place for many famous actors in the industry, not to mention launched by Goddess Amy Poehler. This session was run by UCB Director/Producers Nathan Russell and Julie Gomez and covered the business side of the theater. Some may be surprised to learn that in addition to their hilariously innovative shows the organization also works with both brands and marketing/advertising agencies to create unique branded content that breaks through the clutter by way of comedy. Some takeaways? Collaboration is key, and when pressured about ROI metrics make the brand/product seem as approachable as possible. — Emily Donoho, Junior Designer

I attended a few sessions over the week, but there were two that really stuck out to me. On Thursday, I attended the ‘From Minibar to Megahit’ panel, where Partners + Napier’s CEO and Associate Director, Marketing & Business Development were on stage with the Co-Founders and leading lady entrepreneurs of on-demand, alcohol delivery service, Minibar. The four ladies led a compelling conversation, on what the road to success looked like for Lara Crystal and Lindsey Andrews, as they took on the challenge of opening their business. One of my favorite moments of the session, were when the ladies admitted that the challenge of opening an app in the alcohol space is often intimidating to business people, but Lara and Lindsey saw it as intriguing and took the industry by storm. Check out their app and get your drinks for tonight 😉 — Peyton McCarthy, Account Executive

At Project: WorldWide’s “Stories of Creative Invention” the audience was exposed to a wide breadth of innovation from engineering blocking with Little Bits’ founder, Ayah Bdeir to street art with Bradley Theodore to fitness-like business clothing with Aman Advani.  It became abundantly clear that creative invention is around us more than we might have originally imagined.  Each speaker radiated inspiration; each story just as captivating as the last.  Advertising Week is programmed with many sessions that discuss the future of advertising, the problem with ad-blocking, the new creative talent, and so on and so forth.  That said, to attend a session that put pure creativity and inventive spirit on the stage was a breath of fresh air to say the least.  Leaving the session you couldn’t help but think, “What am I doing wrong with my life?” — Jackie Berte, Senior Account Executive

The political season was alive and well at Advertising Week. During the panel on how technology is shaping political advertising, panelists explained that too often, we frame how we see politics through the lens of the presidential campaigns themselves which includes advertising. It’s all about the messaging during these campaigns and the media serves as the most popular delivery mechanism. Speaking of media, Facebook is making a name for themselves on the media side with 61% of millennials consuming their political news on the platform. “The Donald” was a hot topic. Thoughts from the panelists across the board? When we call Trump a master of social, we’re doing a disservice to those who are doing it right and that we “confuse noise with signal.” And who is doing it right? All panelists agreed that Ben Carson has a strong presence across the board on social platforms. But what is king during ads in this election season? Creative. The quality of creative is key to delivering the message that will ultimately win voters over. — Ali Colangelo, Account Director

My other favorite panel of the week was the ‘Creative & Technology: Lorraine Twohill & David Droga in Conversation’ on Wednesday. From the Google side, it was super interesting to hear from Lorraine, the tech company’s SVP of Global Marketing on the brand’s recent logo change, especially since she was a leading force behind the change. The audience learned a few fun facts about the change, like the ‘e’ is tilted, simply because the guy behind Google’s doodles every day, asked for it to look like it was smiling. The conversation was also centered around Droga5’s relationship with Google as a client, and the work that the agency has done of late, including the adorable ‘Friends Furever’ spot which came out earlier this year and took a different and more loving approach for a tech company ad. David also discussed some of the agency’s other famed work, like the Under Armour spots with Misty Copeland, where he dug deep on the ways that Droga5 thinks about advertising and looking beyond just content itself, but looking to when and where consumers will be consuming the content before creating an ad. As a lady who was inspired by the spots, learning more about the creative strategy was a huge takeaway for me. — Peyton McCarthy, Account Executive

Our team was both inspired and awed at Sheryl Sandberg’s poise, knowledge and overall demeanor during her fireside chat with Bloomberg’s chief content officer, Josh Tyrangiel. Sheryl’s session touched on a variety topics, including the risks people take in business, why Facebook is the place to be for television advertisers, feedback within the work place, leadership and talent. In a moving moment towards the end of the session, Sheryl discussed how expressing herself on Facebook helped her in the days and weeks after her husband’s death, stating “when we know and understand each other, the world becomes smaller and more peaceful.”  She cracked jokes, rattled off impressive facts around mobile and advertising, and discussed navigating Facebook’s role in the rest of the world, including India and China.  The session was an-hour long, but it was packed with information and inspiration.  Our team sat in awe as we watched Sheryl, and left ready to tackle our own jobs with the same fire that Sheryl tackles hers.  — Lexi Hewitt, Account Executive

We’ll soon be preparing for next year, but until then…adios!

DGC’s Picks from Day 1

After Day 1 of Advertising Week, DGC pulled together our top picks from the first sessions of the week.  Check back here each morning for some of our favorite content from the day before.

At the “Breaking Down Social and Mobile” Mobile Media Summit session with Bob Hall (SVP of RadiumOne) and Shenen Reed (President, Digital, MEC North America), both offered unique insights. Shenan shared that positive brand association, rather than number of shares, is a strong indicator of campaign success. Bob spoke about how 72% of sharing happens on a desktop, but 54% of viewing is happening on mobile. — Scott Berwitz, VP

During the “Impossible to Ignore” panel with DDB New York’s CCO Icaro Doria, there was an insightful discussion around how advertisers and marketers should always stay on top of what’s current and culturally relevant to create content that’s ‘impossible to ignore’ by the audience. Icaro said, “When it comes to ad blocking, Apple just made bad advertising go away really fast so only good ads with a compelling message can stay.” — Sylvia Zhou, Senior Account Executive

“The Power of Sports: The How and Why of Fan Passion” took a look at the sports stories that often get overlooked in mainstream news coverage. Ryan Eckle, VP of Brand Marketing for Dick’s Sporting Goods talked about some of Dick’s original content and “building brand through cause.” — Ali Colangelo, Account Director

Deep breath in, deep breath out.  As odd as it seemed in the midst of the craziness of Advertising Week, that was how this reflective session started. In this session, MEC’s Global Chief Talent Officer, Marie-Claire Barker and panelists explored mindfulness in the workplace and how companies can use it to improve overall employee happiness and workplace culture. Panelists agreed that it’s not about the industries, but about the human beings in these industries, and that the people are what companies need to focus on if they truly want to be “mindful” in the work place. — Lexi Hewitt, Account Coordinator

At the Cross-Screen Summit: Why Does Context Matter? Because Context Matters! session with Hulu, ESPN, @radical.media, Olson and TubeMogul, there was a lot of discussion around how marketers now must produce multiple creative executions of a campaign around a unifying theme to better meet the needs of today’s multiplatform and multi-device audience. With the industry’s focus on using data for its targeting abilities, Hulu’s SVP Advertising Sales Peter Naylor remarked on the necessary components for ad effectiveness, saying, “Marketers have to have a healthy dose of data and context.” There was agreement among panelists that data needs to be used to inform creative, but that telling a relevant story for the target audience still has to be the primary foundation of any campaign. — Lauren Leff, VP

There was no shortage of amazing content on Day 1, but for me the main highlight was definitely Margaret Gould Stewart, Facebook’s Director of Product Design at IAB MIXX. Margaret discussed the importance of maintaining humility in design, and following “desire paths” to design not only for people, but with people as well. A great example she shared was the “Missed Call” product Facebook developed in India to meet the demand of how people throughout the country were calling each other and hanging up, to avoid being charged. Different numbers of missed calls mean different things, almost like a modern day Morse code. Facebook recognized this and incorporated it into their features, allowing people to connect more easily to the people who matter to them. — Megan Sweat, Senior Account Executive

One of the first sessions of the day was the unveiling of new research by Ogilvy & Mather. The session titled, “Do Brands Still Matter”? was posed to the audience before diving into the findings from the study. Colin Mitchell, Ogilvy & Mather’s Worldwide Head of Planning discussed the research findings which revealed that brands do still matter… just not like they used to. It’s an interesting topic they tackled that also engaged in further discussion with guest speakers, Jennifer Healan of Coca-Cola and Hope Cowan of Facebook — both very different, but extremely relevant brands in the lives of consumers today. Both Jennifer and Hope shared various examples of how and why their brands are successfully mattering to their targets today – from happiness to helping people stay connected – it was evident that they were hitting home on the top factors of mattering in the lives of today’s consumer. — Kelsey Merkel, Account Director

Enjoy Day 2 – it’s already off to a great start!

Advertising Week is Here Again…

It can be all too easy to lose sight of the big picture in our “have to,” ultra-packed, always-connected day-to-day workflow that has the power to both energize and tire out the average advertising executive.  Where is the industry going? What are the key issues that are re-shaping the business?

Enter Advertising Week, the industry’s once-a-year, week-long event that brings together the brightest minds from brands, agencies, tech companies, startups, etc. to take that much-needed step back and have the broader, high-level conversations that are as needed as they are rare. Next week kicks off the 12th Advertising Week, and it will no doubt continue to spark the exciting conversations and ideas that have made it the coveted tent pole industry event it has become.

As always, DGC will be on-site, supporting a vast array of clients at this year’s festivities and tweeting, Instagram-ing, Facebooking and Hit-Boarding (read: blogging) about the most exciting news and insights offered by this year’s incredible roster of speakers – which includes Sir Martin Sorrell, Gloria Estefan, Elizabeth Vargas and Ryan Seacrest, to name just a few.

Here are some of the sessions we will be attending:

  • Do Brands Still Matter — Monday, 10:00am at the Liberty Theater
  • Capitalizing on Mobile Video — Monday, 10:00am at Times Center Stage
  • Breaking Down Social and Mobile — Monday, 2:05pm at the Grand Hyatt New York
  • Connecting in a Mobile World: A Conversation with Sheryl Sandberg — Tuesday, 10:00am at Times Center Stage
  • Frito Lay: The Intersection of Marketing & Technology — Tuesday, 10:15am at Liberty Theater
  • People, Not Pages: What Does “Buying Audiences” Mean for Media and Marketers — Tuesday, 2:00pm at the Metropolitan Pavilion
  • Stories of Creative Invention — Tuesday, 3:00pm at B.B. King
  • Getting Away: Inside the Vacation Mentality — Wednesday, 3:00pm at B.B. King
  • Are We On Target?: Making The Most Of Mobile’s Unique Power — Thursday, 9:15am at the Metropolitan Pavilion
  • The Instagram Effect — Thursday, 10:00am at Times Center Stage
  • WIRED CMOs — Thursday, 12:00pm at the NASDAQ
  • Two Start-Ups, One Mission — Thursday, 4:30pm at Times Center Hall

Please find our take on the most compelling insights on news on the DGC Hit Board, as well as on our Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram feeds!

#CannesLions — Everyone is a Creative Director

How and from whom is creativity generated?  At the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, it may seem odd that something this fundamental is actually being asked.

Yet, in an industry where mathematicians, statisticians and engineers now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with art directors, answering that question is not as straightforward as one would think.

For the first time, Cannes Lions today unveiled its Lions Innovation event.  Described as a “festival within a festival,” Lions Innovation is a two-day event where data, technology and creativity intersect.   On its site, Cannes Lions describes itself as the industry’s “mirror” – acknowledging that “data and technology are driving creative solutions in ways never seen before.”   It’s a theme that has permeated much of the week’s programming.

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In fact, during a Microsoft/Fast company panel  yesterday entitled “Creativity That Matters – How Brands and Agencies Drive Impact” Wendy Clark, President, Sparkling Brands & Strategic Marketing, Coca-Cola North America, said something that really struck a chord.  Strategists – not artists – are developing the most incredible creative work.   Panel participants, Kathleen Hall of Microsoft and Sophie Kelly of The Barbarian Group, were in full agreement as well.

Driving home the point, Audi’s Luca De Meo told a packed audience during his talk “The Moon.  Land  of Quattro,” that the most creative people play not just with words, but with numbers as well.

Today’s creativity comes from some unlikely places.  From data.  From technology.  From strategy.  In the past, that may have seemed more than a little counterintuitive.  But at the 62nd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, it’s becoming abundantly clear.  Everyone in the industry – whatever their title – is a “Creative Director.”

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