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Decoding Cannes 2023: Key Takeaways

Decoding Cannes is back! Globe Media Group was thrilled to bring back its much-loved annual event that focuses on the insights and behind-the-scenes intel from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Curated for The Globe and Mail by Karen Howe, member of the Canadian Cannes Advisory Board, Young Lions Coach and former Cannes Lions juror, Decoding Cannes offers viewers a unique insiders take on the best creative in the world, while also sharing essential global trends in advertising, culture and tech.  

This year, we were also joined by Jenni Middleton, SVP & Editor-in-Chief at LIONS, to discuss the importance of creativity for business growth and how businesses can leverage creativity effectively. Jenni shared two impactful case studies: 

  1. AB InBev’s Creative transformation: AB InBev was able to drive organic growth through creativity by making strategic investments in its marketing culture, and set up its internal agency, Draftline, to facilitate creativity. This approach led to significant revenue growth. 
  2. Bodyform’s disruptive creativity: Bodyform’s drove brand fame by breaking societal taboos around menstruation and feminine hygiene. The campaign focused on an emotional connection with consumers and advocating for women’s health, leading to remarkable results and awards.

The discussion highlighted the importance of creativity, innovation, and adaptability in the advertising and marketing industry in response to evolving consumer behaviours and global challenges. 

AI and technology: AI, specifically GPT-3, was a significant buzzword at Cannes 2023. Brands are exploring ways to leverage AI in creative and innovative ways, though there is still a debate over whether AI is a friend or foe to the advertising industry. 

The Rise of humour and a lighter touch on brand messaging: Brands are moving away from overly cause-driven messaging and exploring lighter, humorous approaches. This shift is in response to the evolving consumer landscape and the need for more relatable and entertaining content. Humour is becoming a key component of advertising. It’s noted that 91% of people prefer brands that use humour, but only 20% of brands actually incorporate humour into their campaigns. 

Generation Z and burnout: There has been a huge post-Covid shift with Generation Z, and pandemic isolation really took its toll on this cohort. Generation Z is facing enormous levels of burnout and eco-anxiety. Brands need to align with their values and provide meaningful content that resonates with their desire for self-care and social responsibility. 

Creativity and technology for social causes: Technology is increasingly being used to create human connections and address social issues. Brands are using technology creatively to foster a sense of community and support important causes, such as climate change and water shortages. 

Word power and craftsmanship: Words matter, and well-crafted messages can have a powerful impact. Creativity, insight, and strong craftsmanship are key to creating compelling campaigns. Also, considering new media channels and embracing curiosity can lead to innovative and successful campaigns. 

Diverse and inclusive messaging: Brands are pushing the boundaries of inclusivity and diversity in their messaging. This includes expanding the definition of inclusivity and celebrating it through technology and creative messaging. 

If you didn’t get to Cannes this year, let us bring Cannes to you. Watch the full recording of the webinar below for insights, analysis and an adrenaline shot of inspiration.  

Cannes Lions

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