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Five takeaways from the Cannes Lions Festival 2023

In a recent Instagram Live interview, Katherine Scarrow, general manager of The Globe and Mail’s content studio, and Karen Howe, founder of The Township Group and member of the Cannes Lions Advisory Board of Canada, shared exclusive insights into the recently concluded Cannes Lions Festival 2023. Here are the five key takeaways from their conversation:


Cultural shifts: The post-pandemic era has brought about significant changes in
people’s values, behaviours and expectations. Understanding and navigating
these shifts is essential for brands to connect with their changing audiences.
Brands must adapt their strategies to resonate with their target audience,
considering shifts in media consumption, evolving priorities and engagement
with brands.

Unlocking the creative power of AI: AI technology holds vast creative potential for brands, offering
the ability to automate processes, analyze massive data sets, and generate
personalized content, among other things. But brands must tread with caution
and conscientiously assess the risks and ethical implications tied to AI.
Concerns surrounding bias, privacy, and the impact on human creativity must be
thoughtfully evaluated. By adopting responsible and ethical practices in AI
implementation, brands can elevate their creative endeavours, streamline
operations and deliver personalized, next-level experiences.

Balancing purpose and humour: In the wake of the pandemic, brands find themselves faced with the
challenge of striking a delicate balance between purpose and wit. Modern
audiences now more than ever value brands that embody a clear purpose and stand
for meaningful causes, all while possessing a sense of humour. The key lies in
seizing the opportune moments to genuinely connect with the audience,
skillfully blending purpose and levity to forge stronger connections and foster
a positive brand perception.

Embracing the revolution: Today’s fast-paced media landscape calls for brands to venture into
uncharted territories and get creative with their campaign strategies. Gone are
the days when traditional media outlets held the sole keys to audience reach.
It’s time to tap into the power of social media, streaming platforms, podcasts
and other emerging channels that provide diverse and captivating ways to
connect with your target demographics. By fully embracing these channels and
fearlessly experimenting with innovative approaches, brands can set themselves
apart, command attention, and create a lasting impact on their audiences.

Tapping into a golden opportunity: It’s time for brands to acknowledge the potential that lies in effectively targeting older demographics. While the spotlight often shines on
younger generations in marketing conversations, the truth is that older
consumers hold significant sway as a growing and influential market segment. By
delving into the nuances of their preferences, purchasing power, and specific
needs, brands can customize their messaging, product offerings and marketing
strategies to strike a chord with this audience. Building genuine connections
with older demographics goes beyond surface-level engagement—it cultivates
brand loyalty and fuels business growth.

The insights from the festival highlight the importance of understanding cultural shifts, balancing purpose and humour, leveraging AI technology ethically, exploring innovative media channels, and effectively targeting older demographics. By embracing these key factors, brands can stay relevant, forge deeper connections with their audiences, and drive impactful campaigns in the rapidly changing creative industry.

Re-Watch our Cannes Lions Wrap-Up Interview with Karen Howe, here. 


Follow us @globemediagroup on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay in the know on all things Cannes Lions. 

Cannes Lions

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