Posted by the HIT board
This post is written by Sara Ajemian, Senior Account Director, who is on the ground at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.
Day one of the Cannes Lions festival got underway in earnest on Sunday, June 21, and one of the morning sessions had an apocalyptic flavor as WPP’s MediaCom hosted a presentation titled “How to Survive a Zombie Attack and Harness Cultural Trends to Grow Brands.”
Dave Alpert, executive producer of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks, Inc., and Steven Yeun, an actor on the show, were all on hand to discuss the art of their particular type of storytelling and give a small preview of next season.
MediaCom’s global strategy officer Jon Gittings shared how his agency categorizes storylines–hierarchy, individuality, masculinity/femininity, uncertainty, pragmatism and indulgence—and how different countries’ audiences respond to them. Gittings said, for example, that when episodes are indexed against global viewership, North America shows a high preference for individuality and indulgence while Spain, Turkey and Brazil showed a higher preference for storylines that had a strong element of uncertainty.
On day two, our DGC team was on the ground early supporting client-press meetings followed by more programming.
We stopped in to see Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich and Citi’s Jennifer Breithaupt, SVP, Global Head of Entertainment Marketing, discuss “Music & Branding Moving at the Speed of Culture.” Billboard reporter Andrew Hampp moderated the session, which focused on the evolution of brand/artist partnerships.
For Metallica, corporate partnerships are all about balance, according to Ulrich, and if a company has credibility in its industry and offers a creative outlet for the brand, it’s a win-win for all involved.
If panelists had one major caution, it was this: Don’t make the partnership a one-off. Invest the time to figure out how to amplify and give it legs to extend the life cycle. Otherwise, you’ll be yesterday’s news before it’s tomorrow.