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Cannes Lions 2018: Day Two Inside the Palais

Cannes Lions 2018: Day Two Inside the Palais

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

June 19, 2018

The second day of the festival was fueled by talks of social impact, reminding audiences that business is more than just a money game—it’s a hearts and minds game.

"Action, as well as progression and change, proved to be a reoccurring theme in a fervent late-morning discussion inside the Lumière Theatre."

Discussions that challenged the status quo in advertising continued on the second day at the Cannes Lions festival—talks that rally some and maybe unnerve others.

 

11:03 a.m. “Diversity—a Values Issue and Business Imperative—Requires Bold Action”

Action, as well as progression and change, proved to be a reoccurring theme in a fervent late-morning discussion inside the Lumière Theatre. “What’s it going to take to move the agenda forward?,” asked moderator Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer at tech giant, HP. Quoting civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, Lucio opened the discussion: “Beautiful words are always followed by bold action. And in this discussion, we’ll talk about the what and the why—but more importantly, the how.”

On the esteemed panel: British actress Thandie Newton, who is the first black woman in a lead role in the Star Wars legacy; British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, also a history-maker as the first black EiC of the prestigious publication; Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer of Omnicom Group Tiffany R. Warren.

Data has shown time and time again that diversity is simply good for business. Warren asked a direct question highlighting those statistics. “Can you make the business case for sameness,” she asked. “I don’t think any company can say that sameness has been successful.”

British Vogue’s Enninful expanded: “Employment is key. It used to be that you had to come from a certain background. We’re trying to change that. Everybody is welcome at Vogue. We’re going from strength to strength. And I’m really proud to say that diversity does well.”

Actress Thandie Newton emphasized that change is not passive but comes from direct action and intention. “We need the pressure. We need to disrupt. It’s part of the process to grow,” she said. “I don’t see a representation of the world that I live—I then work to make the change. I use my authority. The results are astounding.”

Omnicom’s Warren managed to sum up the discussion in a pithy but powerful statement: “Representation matters.”

"When brands have an authentic voice that taps into a shared topic of interest, that’s when they become relevant to consumers."

3:02 p.m. “Meaningful Connections Across Print, Digital, Film, Music, and Entertainment”

Maria Garrido, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing at Vivendi, hosted a panel at the industry’s biggest advertising festival—but without any marketers on the panel. Why?

“These women are in the business of engaging people everyday,” Garrido explained. “So I thought we would bring these women together to better engage people.” The panelists were all women who have roles in music, entertainment, and communications—all industries with master storytellers who know how to create content that moves people.

“When we talk about meaningful content, meaningful brands, we’re not just talking about something that we think has meaning,” said Kamal Sinclair, Director of the New Frontier Labs Program at the Sundance Institute, on the topic of meaningful content. “We’re talking about adding meaning to people’s lives.”

But even if a brand is a master storyteller, Sinclair noted that the benefits of that messaging can’t be solely for the company. “Advertisers often use the art of storytelling to take. That act of taking can sometimes cut off that ability to connect.”

As a musician who constantly connects with her fans, Tarriona “Tank” Ball, of funk music group Tank and The Bangas, shared very candidly how she manages to make those personal connections with audiences around the world. “I actually enjoy being vulnerable,” she explained. “I know that everybody doesn’t have that gift, but I’m happy to share mine.”

Editorial Director and 20-year veteran of The Sunday Times Magazine Eleanor Mills provided a simple rule of thumb for meaningful storytelling. “What’s been really interesting is that the magic of the story has not changed,” she said. “What you’re trying to do is get a really good voice, a writer, on a subject that people care about.”

When brands have an authentic voice that taps into a shared topic of interest, that’s when they become relevant to consumers.

“Even if you’re writing a science fiction piece, there always has to be some truth that people connect with,” said Sinclair. “Truth, solidarity, and generosity. Those are the pillars.”

"Action, as well as progression and change, proved to be a reoccurring theme in a fervent late-morning discussion inside the Lumière Theatre."

Discussions that challenged the status quo in advertising continued on the second day at the Cannes Lions festival—talks that rally some and maybe unnerve others.

 

11:03 a.m. “Diversity—a Values Issue and Business Imperative—Requires Bold Action”

Action, as well as progression and change, proved to be a reoccurring theme in a fervent late-morning discussion inside the Lumière Theatre. “What’s it going to take to move the agenda forward?,” asked moderator Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer at tech giant, HP. Quoting civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, Lucio opened the discussion: “Beautiful words are always followed by bold action. And in this discussion, we’ll talk about the what and the why—but more importantly, the how.”

On the esteemed panel: British actress Thandie Newton, who is the first black woman in a lead role in the Star Wars legacy; British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, also a history-maker as the first black EiC of the prestigious publication; Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer of Omnicom Group Tiffany R. Warren.

Data has shown time and time again that diversity is simply good for business. Warren asked a direct question highlighting those statistics. “Can you make the business case for sameness,” she asked. “I don’t think any company can say that sameness has been successful.”

British Vogue’s Enninful expanded: “Employment is key. It used to be that you had to come from a certain background. We’re trying to change that. Everybody is welcome at Vogue. We’re going from strength to strength. And I’m really proud to say that diversity does well.”

Actress Thandie Newton emphasized that change is not passive but comes from direct action and intention. “We need the pressure. We need to disrupt. It’s part of the process to grow,” she said. “I don’t see a representation of the world that I live—I then work to make the change. I use my authority. The results are astounding.”

Omnicom’s Warren managed to sum up the discussion in a pithy but powerful statement: “Representation matters.”

"When brands have an authentic voice that taps into a shared topic of interest, that’s when they become relevant to consumers."

3:02 p.m. “Meaningful Connections Across Print, Digital, Film, Music, and Entertainment”

Maria Garrido, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing at Vivendi, hosted a panel at the industry’s biggest advertising festival—but without any marketers on the panel. Why?

“These women are in the business of engaging people everyday,” Garrido explained. “So I thought we would bring these women together to better engage people.” The panelists were all women who have roles in music, entertainment, and communications—all industries with master storytellers who know how to create content that moves people.

“When we talk about meaningful content, meaningful brands, we’re not just talking about something that we think has meaning,” said Kamal Sinclair, Director of the New Frontier Labs Program at the Sundance Institute, on the topic of meaningful content. “We’re talking about adding meaning to people’s lives.”

But even if a brand is a master storyteller, Sinclair noted that the benefits of that messaging can’t be solely for the company. “Advertisers often use the art of storytelling to take. That act of taking can sometimes cut off that ability to connect.”

As a musician who constantly connects with her fans, Tarriona “Tank” Ball, of funk music group Tank and The Bangas, shared very candidly how she manages to make those personal connections with audiences around the world. “I actually enjoy being vulnerable,” she explained. “I know that everybody doesn’t have that gift, but I’m happy to share mine.”

Editorial Director and 20-year veteran of The Sunday Times Magazine Eleanor Mills provided a simple rule of thumb for meaningful storytelling. “What’s been really interesting is that the magic of the story has not changed,” she said. “What you’re trying to do is get a really good voice, a writer, on a subject that people care about.”

When brands have an authentic voice that taps into a shared topic of interest, that’s when they become relevant to consumers.

“Even if you’re writing a science fiction piece, there always has to be some truth that people connect with,” said Sinclair. “Truth, solidarity, and generosity. Those are the pillars.”

Natasha Smith is the strategic communications manager for Havas Group. She happily represents 404 in the 212.

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