Cannes Lions 2019: Awesome week of great conversations

The ideas we’ve heard and the work we’ve seen awarded last week should mark the start of something new for the year that follows. In two arrangements and four words: collaboration & conversation, creativity & business.

Creativity & business aren’t divided. Creativity solves problems, gives a competitive edge, makes people think and do differently. Fresh thinking from diverse talents helps brands get through to consumers, create meaningful messages and, ultimately, boost profits.

We’ve heard from fantastic speakers ideas that will set the tone for the year ahead. We’ve been part of the career-changing moment when campaigns become winning creative. And there are some themes which through collaboration & conversation could find a way to change and grow our industry.

Creativity can impact every level of business. In a world of big data and shiny tech, it was explored why the big idea still matters and whether efficiency actually equates to effectiveness. Speakers looked at how you can marry great creativity with commercial results and whether we are still selling creativity short. Creativity is more important now than ever, no matter which side you sit on. And for the world of tomorrow, we definitely need to reimagine creativity through humanity — lesson learned from Mark Pritchard, Katie Couric, and John Legend.

Agencies have to become creative organizations. Legacy agencies must adapt or die out and incumbent brands must re-think their entire business and marketing strategy to stand up to innovative D2C challengers. Despite the challenges the industry is facing, a key way forward in future-proofing creativity is to stay relevant and reinvent.

Equality is not a trend. Original and credible perspectives from equality champions showed us that inclusive workforces are where creativity can thrive. Conversations move the dial, speakers outlined new benchmarks for brand work that promotes equality and explore the wider benefits for culture, society, and brands. Our industry doesn’t only explore this topic internally but it’s also responsible to promote, to challenge companies, leaders, and people to make equality moves. These moves are ones that leaders and organizations can take to ultimately bring us to equality sooner.

Intentionally hire diversity. Diversity means creating space within organizations for new kinds of people. It is not only about gender, but it is also about knowledge, culture, age, race, religion, ability, and cognitive diversity. The traditional hiring model seeks a person to fill a position, usually one that’s been recently vacated or one created by the current teams. Instead, companies in the industry looking for new ideas should build positions around the right people.

The power of creative strategy. Understand the ideas behind the idea. Great presentations from strategists, psychologists, futurists and behavioral economists with unique insights into consumer trends and behavior. They shared the human insights that have changed how we think about targeting, personalization and reach. That definitely proved that creativity can solve fundamental business problems.

Change is powerful and good. This is a time of change for the industry in general. Agencies are making drastic, aggressive moves so they can offer a more complete strategy to their clients, with macro plans to show the brand as a unit and not fragmented. This drive to be more efficient is leading agencies to offer services in diverse sectors, as well as to offer clients more complete strategies. This is how advertising agencies must change to stay relevant as brands, focus on experiences and not ads David Droga said, “I don’t want to be the best interior decorator if the house is going to fall down. Future is in being relevant, I don’t want to be in the list of one of the best in a shrinking industry.”

Young Lions and Future Lions are the industry’s future. For many, last week represents the start of a new creative year. Talents came to load up on rich insights and learnings that would propel them into the year ahead and as one of our jury presidents observed this week, winning a Lion isn’t the end … it’s just the beginning.

I feel lucky to be able to spend time with some of the amazing and inspiring people from the industry I love. And definitely, fantastic conversations on and off stage at Cannes Lions 2019. See you next year! @andrea_stimac

Andrea is in the business of marketing, working at the intersection of marketing and business strategy for growth. #marketing #growth #tech #SaaS #startups