Cannes Lions Presented Marketers with Mind-Bending Array of Digital Developments

Cannes Lions Presented Marketers with Mind-Bending Array of Digital DevelopmentsThere’s an interesting story by Jack Marshall and Suzanne Vranica at the Wall Street Journal’s marketing blog CMO Today that gives a taste of what it’s like for a modern-day marketer at Cannes Lions.

The annual Cannes Lions convention is where all the latest and greatest technologies and offerings for advertisers often first see the light of day.

Consider the experience of Jerri DeVard, the chief marketing officer for ADT, the well-known home security and burglar-alarm firm.

The first thing one might ask is, “Why would a burglar alarm company want to hang out with the developers of virtual reality headsets and new Facebook ad formats?”

That’s the thing: what happens in Cannes does NOT stay in Cannes. Marketers of every product and service under the sun will be affected by the new tools and technology showcased at the convention.

At the convention, DeVard tried the prototype Samsung virtual reality headset. He got a “virtual tour of a trendy store in New York’s SoHo.”

“The exercise on the sidelines of the Cannes Lions advertising festival left DeVard thinking of ways to incorporate virtual-reality technology to make her own brand’s advertising more “emotional” and “immersive,” noted the WSJ. “Perhaps, for example, prospective customers could walk through a virtual house where ADT could demonstrate home-security issues.”

“This kind of technology allows you to bring the consumer into the experience,” said DeVard. “When I can see it and feel it, it helps you sell.”

That’s exactly the point. All of the new-fangled goodies offer an exciting — as well as daunting — array of new opportunities.

“At Cannes, marketers learned of new smartphone-specific ad formats for Facebook; were counseled on the power of “vertical video” ads on phones; watched demos of a digital-image projection system from Microsoft (think Princess Leia hologram from “Star Wars”); and digital agency SapientNitro demonstrated Samsung’s virtual-reality technologies,” noted the WSJ writers. “Agencies whose main skill has long been crafting 30- or 60-second TV commercials are now expected to churn out six-second Vine videos for Twitter, to formulate silent ads for Facebook’s auto-play videos, and to create branded virtual-reality experiences.”

It’s a whole new marketing world out there — viewed in microcosm at Cannes, but coming to the global marketplace soon.