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Cannes 2019: Inside the Palais - Day 4

Cannes 2019: Inside the Palais - Day 4

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith

June 20, 2019

Brand activism, smashing beauty stereotypes and advertisement’s coming of age

"Like all things, it’s about actions, rather than words."

Day 4 at the Palais was an inspiring one to say the very least. The theme of the day was focused on taking inspiration to action towards building a better future from inside agencies out to the rest of the world. From stereotypes and representation in beauty campaigns, to brand activism at its most real, to the longevity economy and how advertising is missing out on dollars from consumers with spending power for their clients, the afternoon was one that had the audience leaning forward and writing things down to take home to their teams.

11:30am: Time to Step Up: Smashing Beauty Stereotypes

The panel which featured the multi-hyphenate Shonda Rhimes focused on how the concept of beauty is changing along with the world we live in, and challenged advertisers and creatives to press into that for the of good business just as much as good conscious.

Getty Images, Dove, and Girlgaze partnered on Project #ShowUs as an explicit call to action for the creative community. Getty built a stock image gallery of over 5,000 images of women from 35 countries to combat the excuse behind the lack of representation for women and people of color in stock photography. The global movement listened to women about what they want to see and how they feel about their representation in advertising.

“Seven in 10 women don’t feel represented by the media they consume,” said Getty Images Creative Insights Director Dr. Rebecca Swift. Dove Global Vice President Sophie Galvani pointed to their research that suggests six out of 10 women would be more likely to purchase products using #ShowMe images.

The broader conversation of the panel was focused on the marginalization and lack of opportunity for women globally. “Women and girls are so used to working for free that they couldn’t believe they were getting paid properly and fairly,” said Girlgaze Founder and CEO Amanda Cadenet. “To have their images represented and themselves represented in such a truthful way it was a game changer.”

Rhimes offered that this is why she practices “blind casting” in her shows. “I want to populate a fictional world which is totally inclusive. When I first suggested blind casting I had no pushback,” she said. “Films that have casts that are more inclusive are making more money than ones that don’t.”

She told the audience that if they took one takeaway from the panel, that it should be: “get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

 

12:30pm: Stop Holding Your Breath: Brand Activism in a Hyper-Charged Society

This panel was about how standing for something as a company reaches far beyond a trend of the time.

“A lot of time we talk to ourselves as an industry. I don’t think every brand needs a purpose. I don’t believe that. I think every brand needs a conscious.” said TBWA President and CEO Troy Ruhanen. “Like all things, it’s about actions, rather than words.”

Kenya Barris, a writer and Netflix producer, added a fact that has been reiterated throughout the panels at this year’s festival, “Youth culture has a really good B.S. meter, they want their products to have cultural relevance which can be scary because sometimes you have to be a little more honest.”

Of his work with Netflix and living in Atlanta, Barris said: “One of the things I’m really proud of working with Netflix is that they are backing projects that highlight activism and actively make changes within the community.”

The panelists’ conversation was heavily focused on the weight of responsibility behind advocacy. “If you are going to stand for a social cause it comes with a massive amount of responsibility. Wieden+Kennedy Co-President and CCO Colleen DeCourcy said. 

Ruhanen closed the conversation by turning a figurative mirror toward the crowd: “I think if I’m being frank this festival has evolved,” he said speaking about Cannes Lions and agencies being genuine champions of change rather than opportunistic advocates.

"Aging is driving economies around the world. So why is the ad world ignoring and misrepresenting this growing opportunity?"

1:30pm: The 50+ Goldmine: Sparking Creativity’s Coming of Age.

Maye Musk is a 71 year-old Covergirl, model, and dietitian. She insists that her life is just getting started.

“Life gets better with every decade,” she said.

Musk, who is also the mother of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, joined Endeavor CMO Bozoma Saint John and Gray London ECD Leo Savage on the Lumiere stage for a conversation about the Longevity Economy – the demographic of people age 50 and older that have been largely ignored and limited by advertisements.

We live in the first era ever to boast a 100-year lifespan, so the 50+ category is only about halfway through their lives of spending, becoming loyal to brands and experiencing advertisements. The point of the festival at its core is to inspire and share the best of creativity. So seeing the $15 trillion global business opportunity presented by the world’s aging population, and recognizing that consumers 50+ control 70% of U.S. disposable income and 79% in the UK’s should lead innovators to reimagine how ads communicate to this demographic.

“This isn’t about heartstrings, it’s about leaving money on the table. It’s business,” said Saint John.

“Aging is driving economies around the world. So why is the ad world ignoring and misrepresenting this growing opportunity?” asked Tina Brown, Founder and CEO of Tina Brown Live Media and Women in the World, who moderated the panel.

Sixty to 70% of creatives and planners have not received or written a brief targeting or including the 50+ demographic in the last year – of the ones that did, it was briefs about health, wellness, and pharma. Thirty-one percent have never received a brief about 50+ at all in their career.

“It’s very clear that there’s a blind spot to this opportunity,” Savage said. “Aging has become a bit of a pejorative. We simply don’t see people 50+ as living that best life.”

“The target and the conversation is always aimed at millennials or younger,” said St. John with Brown adding that the younger generation is increasingly less brand loyal. She citied the gig-economy and brands like AirBnB and Uber as proof of the tendency of younger people to love what’s in front of them and available.

Saint John spoke to her time at Apple launching Apple Music and her current role in entertainment saying: “the person who is paying for it and therefore needs to understand it is the older demo. It’s about who is holding the purse strings.”

“Remove the ageism and realize Musk is getting followers, and DMs from brands and work on her Instagram,” Brown said.

Savage added: “You don’t need brands to present the ideal lifestyle anymore. You can go on social media and see the life very tailored to what you imagine for yourself.”

Maye elicited a gasp from the audience when she said: “I spend at least 5 hours a day on social media.”

At this point the sentiment in the room was somewhere between surprise and how did we miss this? Musk said, “the more you show older people—which is what I’ll be in maybe 10 and 20 years—as being happy, fashionable and creative, the more everyone realizes it’s not really about our age, and it makes the younger generation feel more comfortable with getting older.”

Saint John added: “It’s the one thing we all have in common. We are going to grow older, hopefully.” Each of the panelists wrapped up their final advice to both marketers and agencies on the 50+ opportunity topic. Savage told them to consider the stories they are telling. Saint John challenged the audience to rethink and take another look at the brief when it comes to age. Musk was jokingly offered a job managing social media by Saint John and encouraged aspiring models and influences to “get on your Instagram game.”

"Like all things, it’s about actions, rather than words."

Day 4 at the Palais was an inspiring one to say the very least. The theme of the day was focused on taking inspiration to action towards building a better future from inside agencies out to the rest of the world. From stereotypes and representation in beauty campaigns, to brand activism at its most real, to the longevity economy and how advertising is missing out on dollars from consumers with spending power for their clients, the afternoon was one that had the audience leaning forward and writing things down to take home to their teams.

11:30am: Time to Step Up: Smashing Beauty Stereotypes

The panel which featured the multi-hyphenate Shonda Rhimes focused on how the concept of beauty is changing along with the world we live in, and challenged advertisers and creatives to press into that for the of good business just as much as good conscious.

Getty Images, Dove, and Girlgaze partnered on Project #ShowUs as an explicit call to action for the creative community. Getty built a stock image gallery of over 5,000 images of women from 35 countries to combat the excuse behind the lack of representation for women and people of color in stock photography. The global movement listened to women about what they want to see and how they feel about their representation in advertising.

“Seven in 10 women don’t feel represented by the media they consume,” said Getty Images Creative Insights Director Dr. Rebecca Swift. Dove Global Vice President Sophie Galvani pointed to their research that suggests six out of 10 women would be more likely to purchase products using #ShowMe images.

The broader conversation of the panel was focused on the marginalization and lack of opportunity for women globally. “Women and girls are so used to working for free that they couldn’t believe they were getting paid properly and fairly,” said Girlgaze Founder and CEO Amanda Cadenet. “To have their images represented and themselves represented in such a truthful way it was a game changer.”

Rhimes offered that this is why she practices “blind casting” in her shows. “I want to populate a fictional world which is totally inclusive. When I first suggested blind casting I had no pushback,” she said. “Films that have casts that are more inclusive are making more money than ones that don’t.”

She told the audience that if they took one takeaway from the panel, that it should be: “get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

 

12:30pm: Stop Holding Your Breath: Brand Activism in a Hyper-Charged Society

This panel was about how standing for something as a company reaches far beyond a trend of the time.

“A lot of time we talk to ourselves as an industry. I don’t think every brand needs a purpose. I don’t believe that. I think every brand needs a conscious.” said TBWA President and CEO Troy Ruhanen. “Like all things, it’s about actions, rather than words.”

Kenya Barris, a writer and Netflix producer, added a fact that has been reiterated throughout the panels at this year’s festival, “Youth culture has a really good B.S. meter, they want their products to have cultural relevance which can be scary because sometimes you have to be a little more honest.”

Of his work with Netflix and living in Atlanta, Barris said: “One of the things I’m really proud of working with Netflix is that they are backing projects that highlight activism and actively make changes within the community.”

The panelists’ conversation was heavily focused on the weight of responsibility behind advocacy. “If you are going to stand for a social cause it comes with a massive amount of responsibility. Wieden+Kennedy Co-President and CCO Colleen DeCourcy said. 

Ruhanen closed the conversation by turning a figurative mirror toward the crowd: “I think if I’m being frank this festival has evolved,” he said speaking about Cannes Lions and agencies being genuine champions of change rather than opportunistic advocates.

"Aging is driving economies around the world. So why is the ad world ignoring and misrepresenting this growing opportunity?"

1:30pm: The 50+ Goldmine: Sparking Creativity’s Coming of Age.

Maye Musk is a 71 year-old Covergirl, model, and dietitian. She insists that her life is just getting started.

“Life gets better with every decade,” she said.

Musk, who is also the mother of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, joined Endeavor CMO Bozoma Saint John and Gray London ECD Leo Savage on the Lumiere stage for a conversation about the Longevity Economy – the demographic of people age 50 and older that have been largely ignored and limited by advertisements.

We live in the first era ever to boast a 100-year lifespan, so the 50+ category is only about halfway through their lives of spending, becoming loyal to brands and experiencing advertisements. The point of the festival at its core is to inspire and share the best of creativity. So seeing the $15 trillion global business opportunity presented by the world’s aging population, and recognizing that consumers 50+ control 70% of U.S. disposable income and 79% in the UK’s should lead innovators to reimagine how ads communicate to this demographic.

“This isn’t about heartstrings, it’s about leaving money on the table. It’s business,” said Saint John.

“Aging is driving economies around the world. So why is the ad world ignoring and misrepresenting this growing opportunity?” asked Tina Brown, Founder and CEO of Tina Brown Live Media and Women in the World, who moderated the panel.

Sixty to 70% of creatives and planners have not received or written a brief targeting or including the 50+ demographic in the last year – of the ones that did, it was briefs about health, wellness, and pharma. Thirty-one percent have never received a brief about 50+ at all in their career.

“It’s very clear that there’s a blind spot to this opportunity,” Savage said. “Aging has become a bit of a pejorative. We simply don’t see people 50+ as living that best life.”

“The target and the conversation is always aimed at millennials or younger,” said St. John with Brown adding that the younger generation is increasingly less brand loyal. She citied the gig-economy and brands like AirBnB and Uber as proof of the tendency of younger people to love what’s in front of them and available.

Saint John spoke to her time at Apple launching Apple Music and her current role in entertainment saying: “the person who is paying for it and therefore needs to understand it is the older demo. It’s about who is holding the purse strings.”

“Remove the ageism and realize Musk is getting followers, and DMs from brands and work on her Instagram,” Brown said.

Savage added: “You don’t need brands to present the ideal lifestyle anymore. You can go on social media and see the life very tailored to what you imagine for yourself.”

Maye elicited a gasp from the audience when she said: “I spend at least 5 hours a day on social media.”

At this point the sentiment in the room was somewhere between surprise and how did we miss this? Musk said, “the more you show older people—which is what I’ll be in maybe 10 and 20 years—as being happy, fashionable and creative, the more everyone realizes it’s not really about our age, and it makes the younger generation feel more comfortable with getting older.”

Saint John added: “It’s the one thing we all have in common. We are going to grow older, hopefully.” Each of the panelists wrapped up their final advice to both marketers and agencies on the 50+ opportunity topic. Savage told them to consider the stories they are telling. Saint John challenged the audience to rethink and take another look at the brief when it comes to age. Musk was jokingly offered a job managing social media by Saint John and encouraged aspiring models and influences to “get on your Instagram game.”

Danielle Smith is the Communications Manager of Havas Group. She’s believes every meal can be tacos if you have tortillas and the heart to try.

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