Cannes Lions is an exciting time of year. Beautiful destination aside, it’s always enjoyable to see the creativity and innovations, make connections, build partnerships, and feel the passion from practitioners around the world for the work that we do.
But perhaps the most valuable takeaway from my time at Cannes each year is getting to feel the pulse of the industry. Through the award shows, keynotes, meetings, and events I gain a better understanding of where we’re at and, more importantly, where we’re heading. An exercise I like for trying to bring that to life is to think about what types of campaigns we’ll see in the year ahead.
Here then are my top predictions for what will win at Cannes Lions 2016:
Twin Peaks – While Cannes Lions is the International Festival of Creativity, we are seeing more work that is a perfect marriage of creativity and effectiveness, what Ogilvy & Mather calls the Twin Peaks. And not just effectiveness in reaching people and generating views, but campaigns that effectively impact business objectives. A great example of this is the multi-award winning campaign from this year’s festival for VisitBritain. In the year ahead more brands will figure this out and next year’s award show will have more campaigns that are not only brilliantly creative but also highly effective.
Virtual Reality – I don’t think anyone will be surprised by this one. Virtual reality is set to take over in the coming year for a few reasons. First is accessibility. Google has launched Cardboard, Samsung released their VR headsets, Facebook is teaming up with Microsoft on solutions, and there is bound to be more products for mass accessibility. Secondly, there is an increased focus on brands as storytellers, and there’s no better way to provide an immersive experience to consumers than with VR. Take this IBM campaign from our Australia team for example. And lastly, the technology is just damn cool and capabilities will continue to evolve. Brands will adopt this technology at a rapid rate and we’ll see innovative implementations in the top campaigns of Cannes Lions 2016.
Social Responsibility – This year’s festival added a new category called the Glass Lion, a Lion for change, recognizing work that addresses issues of gender inequality or prejudice. This alone is an indication of brands gaining an understanding of their social responsibility. But beyond the new category, we know that consumers – especially Millennials – increasingly want to associate with brands who fill a positive role in society. As more brands become aware of this and better understand their social responsibility, Cannes Lions 2016 is sure to applaud their efforts.
Co-creation – Brands have engaged with influencers for years now. But we’re in a new era where these stars are not just seen as a channel for amplifying a message; rather they are co-creators in building the brand story. Programs like the newly launched Creatrs platform from Tumblr and Big Frame, that leads collaborations with YouTube stars, are changing the way brands deal with influencers on a platform-by-platform basis. By learning how to tap these creators, brands will find more opportunities to innovate and tell their story, building some of the most widely recognized campaigns in the year ahead.
What do you expect to see more of in the year ahead? Tell us in the comments below.