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Cannes Connected

Technology enables different types of connections everywhere, and opportunities for them were abundant at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity last week. As the Festival evolves and agencies are joined by brands, media platforms and a variety of other companies, a spirit of openness, sharing and connectivity emerge.

At a festival full of Art and Creative Directors equipped to engineer the perfect shot, it was interesting to see selfies reach a whole new level of saturation. Samsung’s Oscars Selfie – which propelled selfies to galactic heights – even picked up a Cannes Lion for L.A.-based ad agency, 72andSunny.

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Selfies in full force in the Grand Audi and on the Palais red carpet

Technology stepped in, once again, to solve the most difficult thing about a selfie: the positioning. “Selfie sticks” were distributed to help festival-go’ers turn their too-short arms into a passing-by photographer.

Fabulous pictures of the industry’s finest put Facebook and Instagram front-and-center. Upon arrival, delegates were encouraged to connect their Facebook account to their delegate information and on-ground photographers pushed shots to Facebook in real time throughout the Festival.

Instagram provided the photo filters many need after late nights of rose, with a little more sharing intimacy and cool factor, to boot. The Galerie d’Instagram was stationed at the beginning of the Jetée Albert Édouard outside the Palais, displaying Insta-beauties, swag and the opportunity to be shot on the Instagram set.

For DGC, WhatsApp was the communication weapon of choice. Schedules at Cannes are moving pieces, and information comes in thick and fast so keeping everyone on our team updated with one flick of a quick message was essential. WhatsApp is a simple, easy-to-use app that made our lives so much easier.

But all of this is nothing without connectivity. A quick shout-out to Anker for their brilliant Astro external charger that helped our team and many others with an injection of much-needed juice – how does a mobile phone drain quite so quickly?

The real star, however, was XCom Global for their invaluable global mobile hotspots. The Palais wi-fi struggled to keep up with the demands of so many delegates and with much of the business being done on the Carlton Terrace, one needs to be connected past the perimeter of the Palais without racking up ridiculous bills on data roaming.

The devices are small, slipping easily into a pocket and connect up to five devices, with unlimited data for a flat daily rate. It’s a nice thing to offer clients and potential clients during meetings. The only downside was that the battery lasts only a few hours (enter, Anker charger!).

In a business so reliant on relationships, it was interesting to see how the “Oscars of the creative industry” stayed connected and shared through the Festival. Technology is a blessing!

Detroit in One Word: Indomitable.

Amid the global participants at Cannes, the Lowe Campbell Ewald: Detroit – Reboot City seminar opened with an observation that a lot of reporters tour Detroit, take a few photos of the run-down, empty buildings, write their headline that ‘Detroit is dead’ and then leave.

What they fail to understand is the mecca of creativity, art, grit and inspiration that encompasses the city. It’s the type of creative energy that drove Lowe Campbell Ewald to return to downtown Detroit from the suburbs earlier this year after asking themselves what they could do to change their culture. Lowe Campbell Ewald’s Chief Creative Officer, one of the seminar’s speakers, felt the creative ‘can do’ spirit of downtown would offer an inspiring recharge to the agency’s more than 500 employees. And so far it has done just that.

Since making the decision to move its offices, the 103-year-old agency has taken the city’s rejuvenation as a personal crusade – developing campaigns that show local entrepreneurs and creatives in action, and in turn, bringing about a local pride that not many cities in the U.S. can attest to. Lowe Campbell Ewald’s dedication to its city is something familiar to Mark’s colleague Jose Miguel Sokoloff of Lowe SSP3 Colombia, another one of the seminar’s speakers. His campaign helped bring true change to Colombia, helping to demobilize FARC guerrillas in the country.

At the seminar, and by blanketing the streets of Cannes with “Detroit vs. Everybody” t-shirts, the two award-winning creatives brought global attention to Detroit’s local game changers. From entrepreneur Veronika Scott, whose not-for-profit The Empowerment Plan employs former homeless women to make puffy coats that turn into sleeping bags to help the homeless of Detroit battle the brutal winter, to Shinola Detroit, a watch factory with a laser focus on bringing manufacturing back to the U.S.– it’s clear that Lowe Campbell Ewald is onto something good by surrounding themselves with the like-minded sheer determination to rebuild Detroit.

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Seminar participant and famed DJ Carl Craig cited drum and bass as a new genre of music that was emerging around the time he was carving his own career in Detroit. Craig spoke about Movement, an electronic dance festival held in Detroit each Memorial Day weekend, and how it had contributed to the culture of the city.

Ghetto Recorders, explained by Craig as a stalwart Detroit recording studio, has also been central to the defining the sound of the city. Artists such as The White Stripes and Electric Six have traveled to Detroit to record within its cement shell – the sound softened only by some carpet found by Ghetto’s Jim Diamond. A little of the wild west, indeed.

The last Detroit local celebrated by the seminar participants was Airea “Dee” Matthews, who appeared on a beautifully shot video reciting “Wisdom,” a Katrina poem. The words were hauntingly relevant to Detroit.

Cannes Lions is a Festival that celebrates creativity and seeks to inspire, but if being in the south of France in June isn’t possible, perhaps a trip to Detroit is just what you need to get your entrepreneurial and creative juices flowing.

Cannes shows up for “surprise” guest Kanye West

The Grand Audi was bustling and filled to capacity on Tuesday following a morning of big-ticket presentations from Google’s Chief Business Officer, Nikesh Arora and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer.

A burst of press followed the last-minute addition of Kanye West to the bill. He was joined on stage by Translation CEO and Founder Steve Stoute, Andreessen Horowitz Co-founder and Partner Ben Horowitz, and moderator Stephanie Ruhle of Bloomberg. The session, Technology, Culture, and Consumer Adoption: Learning to Read the Cultural Landscape, started a little after 1 p.m., with lots of curiosity around how this soup would mix.

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The connection between West and Stoute is obvious, but there was definite interest around how high-tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Horowitz would fit into the discussion with two people very comfortable being center stage. The answer? Beautifully well.

West, Stoute and Horowitz were a formidable trio of experts on the intersection of music, advertising and technology.

Apple was central to the discussion, which ranged from the late Steve Jobs (and West’s own comparison of himself to Jobs) and the iPod era, to Apple’s recent acquisition of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s Beats. Stoute, West and Horowitz all agreed that the acquisition was a smart move to help Apple regain some relevance and “coolness.”  Horowitz went as far as defining the $3B deal as 30 days of cash flow and saying that anyone who thought the price was too high was underestimating the potential for Apple.

West added, “I’m not a big fan of Samsung” (Jay-Z is a Samsung endorser) to which Stoute bellowed “There goes the neighborhood!” This was but one of the displays of humorous on-stage banter that made the session so entertaining.

On a human-interest note, here are some comments from West (because let’s be honest, we all want to know what he has to say at a festival like Cannes Lions):

  • Annie Leibovitz pulled out of photographing the West-Kardashian nuptials the day before the wedding; the “kiss” wedding photo circulated to press took four days to craft.
  • West has 10.5M followers on Twitter but only follows one person. His wife.
  • New word—“out-ass,” used in the context of trying to outclass someone by buying a $6K phone.

All-in, it was a rewarding session whether attendees came looking for Stoute-like insights on how to market using culture, Kimye gossip or wise words from Horowitz.

 

DGC Live from Cannes: Execs Weigh in on State of the Industry

The 2013 Cannes Lions Festival has officially come and gone but the thoughts and musings have returned stateside, leaving us inspired and energized.

We asked some of the industry’s top execs their thoughts about this year’s Cannes; what they learned, where they think the industry is headed, and how to make it even better.

Ignacio Oreamuno, Executive Director of the Art Directors’ Club, on what he’s seeing that’s new and different from other Cannes Festivals.

Katie Kempner, Executive Director, Global Communications, at CP+B, talks about gender equality within the advertising industry.

Chuck Porter, Chairman of CP+B, announces his “plans” for “Cannes 2,” a less crowded version of Cannes, taking place at his house in Boulder, starting in 2014.

Sam DiGennaro, CEO and founder of DiGennaro Communications, discusses how agencies, companies, and Cannes can improve the presentation, publicity and packaging of seminars next year by using hashtags, video, and more.

Gareth Kay, Chief Strategy Officer at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, talks about new ways to think about advertising and how to improve next year’s festival.

Charles Courtier, Global CEO of MEC, champions MEC’s Momentum study and why it’s an imperative tool for brand-marketing strategies.

Marla Kaplowitz, CEO of MEC North America, shares details of Momentum, a proprietary MEC study to help marketers get more efficient and targeted with their media plans.

Amanda Morgan McAllister, Director of Microsoft Advertising, thinks Cannes is back with a vengeance thanks to start ups and established companies pushing beyond traditional boundaries.

Matt Britton, CRO of MRY, on why Cannes is so special for the industry, particularly within the digital and social community.

Matt Rednor, Chief Innovation Officer at MRY, talks about what he’s looking forward to at his first Cannes Festival of Creativity.

Shane Ginsberg, SVP of Corporate Development at Organic, highlights what is new and different this year at Cannes.

Matt Batten, Chief Creative Officer of Wunderman Group UK, live from Wunderman’s “3rd Space,” on the vision that shaped it and how it came together.

You Know You’re in Cannes When…

The DGC team is back on the Croisette, and it feels good, yet oddly familiar. Although a year has passed since we were here with McDonald’s and General Motors, and we’ve only been back in Cannes for a few days, there are some things that never quite change here.

You know you’re in Cannes when…

  1. You carbo-load on croissants, (pain aux chocolat and baguettes) and swear you’ll find time to work out and burn it all off. We all know how that one goes.
  2. You’re on “Cannes Time” (where 15 minutes late is actually early because you run into at least five people each time you walk down the Croisette. You’re constantly dehydrated no matter how many carafes d’eaux are on hand. The combination of cappuccino, rosé, salty air and three hours sleep means constant thirst.
  3. You ration clothes for the best parties, seminars, award shows and meetings, only to find out that the important client meeting is cancelled, and an A-list outfit has been wasted.
  4. You blow a fuse in the hotel room while using a hair dryer which means you’ll be sporting a ponytail to control the frizzy mess for the rest of the week. You can’t access email or make phone calls even though all technology needs are on hand: Backup converter? Check. Blackberry and iPhone chargers? Check. Laptop? Check. iPad? Check. International calling plan? Check.  Inevitably you’ll need to call the IT department on a Saturday.
  5. You’re more star struck by  advertising creatives hanging around the Carlton Terrace than celebrities sitting on seminar panels. “Nick Canon? Who’s that? You saw David Droga in the flesh? OMG what was he wearing? Tell me everything.”
  6. You walk by Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Cartier every day on the way to the Palais, but gazing into the Mediterranean is so much sweeter.
  7. Your days end at 2 a.m., and start again at 8 a.m., yet somehow it never feels long enough to accomplish everything.
  8. You pinch yourself and realize how lucky you are to be surrounded by the smartest and most creative minds in marketing and media, in one of the most beautiful places in the world and get to call it work while sipping on a glass of rosé.

2013 Is Big Year for PR at Cannes

Our reporters on the ground in Cannes, DGC’s Samantha DiGennaro, Erin Donahue and Megan McIlroy, attended the PR Lions last night, and 2013 is the year that PR agencies walked away with more Gold and Silver awards than ever.  Ketchum, Ogilvy PR, Weber Shandwick, Edelman and Havas PR all took home Lions, and PR Week has the full list of winners.

Even though PR firms made good headway this year compared to years past, the PR Grand Prix went to Melbourne ad agency McCann for their “Dumb Ways to Die” campaign for Metro Trains, in addition to picking up the Direct Grand Prix.

What made it so good? JWT CCO Matt McDonald tells Adweek why he wishes he made it.

PR Lions Jury President, Ketchum CEO David Gallagher said of the campaign, “It wasn’t that long ago when most of our content was centered around a press release and we were pretty happy when a press release was distributed and received and maybe even used by journalists to engage and amplify a message to the public. Those days are behind us. What we need now is content like this, based on real human insight that understands safety isn’t a fun message, that the way to reach children in particular needs to be fun, engaging and imminently sharable, and it needs to bring about real change.

Wise words for our industry. Check out the campaign video (sitting at a cool 49 million views on Youtube):

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.

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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:

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