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Cannes Uncanned pt 2

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

With this year’s Cannes Lions Festival cancelled, Cannes have gone digital! Last week we brought you a summary of some of the top talks about Creativity & Brand and the impact a strong brand and good advertising can have.

Photo by congy yuan on Unsplash

This week’s summary captures a few of the talks that focused on what’s next for the industry.

So, what did our three Cannes Panels have to say?

How to be a brand in gaming – Adam Harris Global Head, Brand Partnership Studio, Twit

Adam answered some of the top questions about gaming and brands. Here were some of the key takeo

Top things to know about streamers

  1. Metrics for game influencers or streamers are different. It’s not so much about reach but how many people are watching live and interacting. Some streamers may have 100,000 people watching at a certain time and they could be interacting with them. This is completely different to a YouTuber or an Instagram influencer.  

  2. Gaming influencers are comfortable operating in live platforms they are masters of improvisation. Because of the LIVE aspect their audience don’t want to see pre-scripted narratives – it needs to be far more natural and intuitive and brands need to be comfortable with the live and improvised aspect of it.

  3. The community doesn’t necessarily value promos and offers, more digital currency, status and shout outs. Unlike other audiences that may value a discount code, some of the gaming audiences may find a shout out from a top streamer more valuable.

Top misconceptions about gaming

  1. Brands don’t need to be able to ‘speak’ gaming to get involved. Gaming is super mainstream now and partners like Twitch can help brands achieve their goals. However, brands need to be aware that building trust and credibility in gaming takes time and it should be a longer term investment.

  2. Don’t apologise for being a brand in this space. Gen Zs are savvy and smart and don’t like to be fooled. Gen Zs understand why brands need to be in the space, ‘embrace the sellout’.

  3. Don’t just ‘push’ content at gamers. Gen Zs are digital natives, they want to interact and engage. Don’t interrupt with an ad, let them find you, give them something to do and engage with.

How to start as a brand in gaming?

  1. Define your objectives & why you want to invest in gaming

  2. Workout the TOV & audience – this will help you determine which game to align with or what streamer

  3. Workout what level of commitment you need – short term vs long term

    1. Short term investment may be relevant to branding with a short term goal i.e. a movie launch or a specific product launch – if that’s the case then maybe a short burst of digital display / video could be a good opportunity

    2. Longer term investment may be relevant to brands trying to build trust and respect from gamers therefore it needs a longer time to build the relationship. For example Wendy’s didn’t just decide one day that they would create a character in Fortnite and stream them destroying burgers and for it to blow up (Case study here for reference) – Wendy’s campaign was the culmination of a 3 year gaming strategy and investment to ensure they were respected in the gaming community, they established and earnt their right to play. They built credibility by sponsoring teams, creating a gaming channel, partnering with streamers, etc.

For the full length discussion, click here.

Sir Martin Sorrell focused his talk on ‘what’s next’ in our industry. Here’s what we took away from his talk.

  1. Growth opportunities in the media/advertising landscape are predominantly in digital businesses. Sorrell spoke about investing in companies that work with ‘the holy trinity’ (1st Party Customer Data, Programmatic Data & Analytics)

  2. The industry has challenges ahead but digital businesses are best positioned to survive. Sorrell anticipates an overall shrinking in expenditure in media from advertisers but feels this will predominantly be in traditional media (an anticipated shrink of 10-15%) with digital media only remaining flat.

  3. The rise of data is an enabler, not a destroyer of great creative The industry, Sorrell says, has been stimulated, not destroyed by the rise of data. The increased access to customer data provides opportunities to generate more insights from which to make even more powerful creative. There is a need for a non-traditional approach to creative just as there is a non-traditional approach to media and business. The people in the S4 business come from diverse technology backgrounds.

  4. The agency era isn’t dead, a new era is being formed The agency and agency model isn’t over but a new era is forming – one with new agencies and approaches that continue to adapt and respond to constant changes in the market.

For the full length discussion, click here.

More than a brand – Tea Uglow, Independent Creative Director, Google Creative Lab. Top 4 things we learnt from this talk:

  1. Taking accountability is harder than speaking out There is a lot of virtue signalling going on as this the short cut to credit from consumers. But what brands need to action is real (often invisible) meaningful change. Too many brands are making noise in shallow ways.

  2. Taking a stand on COVID is easier than taking a stand on most other topics It is a universal issue. Businesses need to make decisions that help them turn a profit. What is difficult for businesses is remaining on your side when it affects the bottom line.

  3. Don’t say things for sake of it Brands need to be careful of not saying something for the sake of it because sometimes it blocks important conversation.

  4. A hit to the bottom line shows commitment Brands with a problematic past can prove their changed attitudes by putting their money where their mouth is.

For the full length discussion, click here.

Sylvia Jahn

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