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Martha Stewart, Gloria Steinem and Digital Storytelling

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity — the ad world’s largest trade show and awards event — began on Sunday, June 16, with nearly 12,000 advertising, media, marketing and tech executives in town until next weekend..

Now in its 60th year, the Festival’s first day of programming featured seminars about the explosion of digital and social content.

First up was a Daily Mail Online-curated panel with Martha Stewart, Nick Canon and the Spice Girls’ Mel B, that tackled the instantaneous nature of digital media, the proliferation of social media, and how these celebrities are using the media to manage their own brands. Stewart equated social media with “the wild west,” and said she “can’t be political” when using her various social channels, as it has the potential to alienate subscribes and key partners of her magazine and TV franchises.

Canon, who has 4.3 million Twitter followers, said that social media enables him to communicate directly with his fans, squeezing out traditional media outlets, which previously owned the main channel for connecting celebrities with fans.

All three panelists agreed “authenticity” was a key to successful social media engagement for celebs, something we strive to instill in our C-suite clients when coaching them on social-media best practices. It’s one thing to share your news and use the medium for self or company promotion, but the message is much better received when it comes from a place of truth and shares a real (and ideally provocative) point of view.

Next up was Gloria Steinem, a journalist and early leader of the women’s movement, who took lead in an AOL seminar tied to the brand’s digital documentary film series “MAKERS: The Women Who Make America,” which features real-life stories of groundbreaking females. The conversation, moderated by award-winning journalist Marianne Pearl, centered on the history of the women’s movement in the U.S. over the last half century, where it stands today, and what it will look like in the future.

aol makers

The panel also featured MAKERS Executive Producer Dyllan McGee, and SVP of AOL’s Lifestyle Brands, Maureen Sullivan, to round out the conversation from a branded-content perspective. The two women discussed how “snackable” digital content like MAKERS is helping inform today’s generation about important history events in a scalable way.

Amid the fragmentation of the media landscape in recent years, it was exciting to hear about successful uses of digital and social content by brands –both personal and corporate. Now, if only Gloria Steinem could help get more females on industry award juries, the world really would be a better place!

DGC’s Countdown to the 2013 Cannes Lions

This Friday, the DiGennaro Communications (DGC) team will join the rest of the advertising and marketing community on the ground in the beautiful South of France to celebrate the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity’s 60th anniversary.  We will have the opportunity to spend some quality time with our clients from all over the world and meet with international reporters and industry influencers while attending seminars, special events and, if we can fit them in, maybe one or two cocktail parties…

This year, DGC clients are hosting some standout festival events, including:

Other highlights on the schedule include seminars with such celebrities as Martha Stewart, Nick Cannon and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs (presenting with Translation founder and CEO Steve Stoute) as well as a host of advertising legends, including Lee Clow, David Droga and Sir Martin Sorrell.

In the video below, DGC Founder, Sam DiGennaro, who will be reveling in her own 15th straight year at Cannes, shares a few thoughts about what she is looking forward to this year and gives a shout out to the many DGC clients who will be participating as jurors this year including Johannes Leonardo’s Leo Premutico and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ Margaret Johnson on the Titanium Jury; Susan Bonds from 42 Entertainment on the Cyber Jury; and 11 DDB executives from around the world across various juries. Je vous vois en France!

Cannes: The World’s Advertising Fair

MediaPost’s Editor at Large Barbara Lippert shares her thoughts on how this year’s Cannes International Festival of Creativity has evolved. Barbara describes how she has witnessed this festival transform from a small scale creative gathering into the “world’s fair for advertising”, aggregating clients, media people, and digerati from all over the globe. 

Winning and Building The Cannes Lions Way

Congrats to all this year’s winners at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity!

New for 2012 is the mobile category in which DGC client Goodby, Silverstein & Partners won a gold for the Chevy Game Time app.  More details on the work can be found here.

In the following video, Todd Grantham, managing director of GSP Detroit, discusses the importance of mobile marketing when trying to connect with a young audience.

Cannes is also excellent inspiration for people working with global brands, for people from all over the world walk up and down La Croisette throughout the week.  With so many languages spoken here, one is easily reminded how big the world is, yet so small at the same time.

One such global operation is Commonwealth, created by GSP and McCann Erickson Worldwide to serve the Chevy brand internationally.   As Adweek reported in March: “GS&P has been since 2010 the lead creative agency on Chevrolet in the U.S.—the brand’s largest market— and is behind the “Chevy Runs Deep” strategy. McCann Worldwide has overseen the brand in many global markets including Mexico, Canada, Brazil, India, Japan, China and Latin America (Brazil and China are just behind the U.S. as Chevy’s largest markets).”

The best work at Cannes celebrates human truths and connects with people in a meaningful way, says Todd, and that’s what the Commonwealth team is trying to do for Chevy.  Likewise, the festival provides the opportunity to get together with the broader Commonwealth team so they can plot their course. For more about Cannes and Commonwealth, listen to Todd here:

In Cannes: Teamwork and Activation

Sam DiGennaro, founder of DiGennaro Communications, started going to the Cannes Festival of Creativity 15 years ago. This year, she came with a posse from her PR agency—a testament to the number of clients the agency has added over the past year and who also have a presence in the south of France this year.

Yes We Cannes

Shane Ginsberg, SVP of corporate development at Organic, said this year mobile came into its own as a category and as an advertising and experience platform. It will be increasingly important.

Ginsberg also said he enjoys the serendipity of the Cannes Festival of Creativity, getting to meet and work with new people from all over the world. Being surrounded by so much creative work is a source of constant stimulation, he said, and he was looking forward to the Organic Story Slam in which people would speak extemporaneously about their worst day in advertising.


The Pause that ‘Freshes’

Sara Arnell, CEO of Omnicom’s Arnell Group, explains the concept of “freshing” as it applies to brands. She says the approach is much less risky than a complete brand overhaul: “It’s about taking baby steps forward, following your marketplace, following your audience and trying new things.”

Which Brand Would You Refresh?

 Sara Arnell, CEO of Omnicom’s Arnell Group is a strong advocate of the “freshing” process as it applies to brands. Here are some examples:

  • Rolex is creating a tiara logo for women’s watches to complement the crown on its men’s watches.
  • Western fast-food restaurants are using apps so customers in India can suggest the regional foods they’d like to see on menus.
  • The Cannes Festival of Creativity is vigorously spreading the word about its festival app so that more delegates know they can use it to find out information on seminars.

Arnell said during a workshop last week in Cannes that “freshing” is a long-term approach to brand health. The examples were suggested by the festival delegates who gathered into small working groups after Ms.  Arnell’s brief presentation.

“Freshing is based on how we live our lives,” she said.  “Every time you upload a photo, change your relationship status or ‘like’ a news article you are keeping yourself fresh, relevant and in the news with your friends.”

Likewise, brands should continually evolve and invest in small changes over time to amplify their brand presence, she said.  Big projects and campaigns that take months to plan and produce keep brands out the public eye.  While not foregoing larger projects, brands should take on smaller projects to continually refresh themselves, Arnell said.

In this risk-averse economy, she argued that “freshing” helps brand managers and creative teams move forward with an acceptable budget and acceptable amount of risk.

Arnell cited M&M’s as an example.  The Mars, Inc. candies were not getting new colors but rather brighter colors—an incremental step in the brand’s life. The company made packaging and even candies black and white as part of a promotion to “help M & M’s get their color back.”

Reebok, a brand that has long skewed female because of its popular aerobics shoes, also did some freshing to appeal to young males. The guy-oriented Rbk sub-brand worked with  Olympic hopefuls (less expensive than professional athletes) to create new graphics at retail and gifts with purchase as part of a series of relatively easy executions to get in front of a male audience.

Freshing, Ms. Arnell said, helps brands respond to:

  • Economic conditions
  • Consumer desires and values
  • Competitive marketplace
  • Gut instincts
  • Budget limitations

And perhaps the Cannes Lions delegates really dug her final rationale for freshing: “It ensures creatives don’t fall into a rut or routine. The immediacy keeps them nimble and current.”

Cannes Lions Day 3: Round Up

Goodby Silverstein & Partners held a panel in Cannes about the launch of the new Chevy Sonic… The San Francisco-based agency also picked up a Mobile Gold Lion– for the Chevy Game Time app. More details on the work can be found here… Congratulations to WPP’s MediaCom, whose offices in Germany, Israel and the U.S., won a combined total of six Cannes Lions this week: In the “Other Consumer Products” category, MediaCom Germany nabbed a Silver Lion for its Hasbro campaign, “Office War: Helping Germany Have Fun at Work.”  A Bronze went to MediaCom Israel in the “Best Use of Ambient Media (Small Scale)” category for its “Danger! Dog Poop” initiative for Mokesh – The Coalition For Mine-Free Israel. MediaCom USA and its WPP sibling Grey Group won a Gold Lion for the Canon “Project Imagin8ion” campaign. Three other Bronze Lions went to MediaCom on campaigns for Mars Wrigley, VW and P&G… Blast Radius was in Cannes represented by, among others, Jeroen Matser, Head of European Strategy, and Gurval Caer, CEO and president. Click here to learn what inspires Matser’s creativity and Caer’s thoughts about digital—“Digital is dead,” he says. “Long live engagement.”



Cannes Lions Day 3: Round Up

Organic’s CEO Marita Scarfi talked to The Drum about Twitter’s entry fees for Cannes, saying that the 14 million pounds spent is “a lot more than most European digital budgets”… In another Drum article, Organic’s head of strategy, Steve Kerho, talked about how many tweets it took to sell a case of Healthy Choice frozen TV dinners… Congratulations to McCann Erickson in South Asia for its Gold Lion in the Outdoor category. The shop won for its work on behalf of Western Union… A Silver Lion went to McCann Erickson Romania for its “Romanians Are Smart” campaign in the low-budget category. The campaign has also picked up awards from the IAB Mixx Awards, Effie Awards and BestAds… J&J’ Kim Kadlec gave a presentation in which she likened the ad landscape to  “a digital tower of Babel”…  WPP Group chose the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity as the place to announce its acquisition of digital shop AKQA, which wants a larger global footprint…

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