Cannes Lions 2014: What to Expect

The 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity promises to offer plenty of wine as well as non-stop networking for marketers making the journey to the South of France in June.

Storytelling and data generated the most buzz coming out of the Cannes last year, and experts expect those to figure heavily in conversations this year. In fact, creative pieces and the numbers behind campaigns are likely to intermingle even more in the near future.

“We will finally see the breakthrough in the genuine link between the four-letter word DATA and the four letter word IDEA,” Phil Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions International Festival, told USA Today’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Sandra Micek when asked what he expected to see this year. “So far at Cannes, the creatives haven’t been excited about data and what it can really do for them. Give it a year or so more, and that dam will burst.”

With more high quality storytelling driving the data we crunch, it will be interesting to see what’s new at this year’s festival and who will take home the top prizes.

But a lot of what experts expect to see at the festival in June will be driven by industry trends in 2014. Leo Burnett’s Senior Knowledge Editor tapped Canvas8 and put forth a few ideas about big themes they expected to drive the conversation this year. Connoisseurship, commitment-phobia, hard work, the search for perfection, and even the meaning of life were expected to figure prominently.

  • Connoisseurship is not just about fine wines and classical music. It covers everything from chocolate to the illustrations on 70s heavy metal albums. “Whether or not people are connoisseurs is irrelevant. It’s their perception,” of themselves as such that counts, says the group.
  • Attention spans are indeed getting shorter, leading to a proliferation of platforms like Snapchat, Vine and Summly, but only when consumers aren’t heavily engaged. Consumers still invest time when they want to, whether that’s in complex TV shows like Breaking Bad or best selling novels like last year’s “The Luminaries,” says the group.
  • Experiences, not products, are also at the forefront for consumers because they create memories that can be shared, allowing brands to “win a place in the hearts of consumers.”
  • From delaying traditional markers of adulthood like buying a home to dating via apps like Tinder, millennials want to be free to take a better deal when one comes along, “Ownership is over. Get flexible or get lost,” says the group.
  • Customized products and services “are no longer a desire, they are an expectation.” From drinks tailored to our genes to controlling every aspect of a long journey via an app, expect to see more of this.

Many of these trends will change the way we all interact with brands and potentially the way consumers feel about how the data they generate is used. Even those not attending Cannes can put these ideas into practice.

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