Cannes you believe it? The ‘godfather’ of EQ beams on to stage with Carat at Cannes LIONS 2022

Our team took to the stage in the Forum in Cannes last month with a hologram in a genuine ‘media first’. Not your everyday media (e.g. the first ever programmatic blimp) but the first time a live ‘holo-cast’ has ever happened at Cannes LIONS. The hologram in question was Dr Daniel Goleman, psychologist, best- selling author and all round guru. This was a dream come true for Fiona Lloyd (Global Brand President, Carat) and I as it represented pretty much the ultimate zenith of almost two years of work on the Carat brand and our way of working.

We were stepping up to link Designing for People with Brand EQ in the most perfect way possible, with the man who gave the world the concept of emotional intelligence. For those of you who don’t know him; Dr Daniel Goleman wrote a landmark bestseller in 1995 (a beach read for the brainy). This introduced the world to ‘EQ’ and the idea that there is a valuable intelligence which is not analytical but based on our ability to master our emotions and understand those experienced by others. 

Dr Goleman set out a model of emotional intelligence with five attributes and applications in management, team building and education. His big hypothesis was that whist some people are born with high emotional intelligence it can be learned and taught. 

Fast forward to 2020 and we at Carat take Dr Goleman’s thinking and set out to understand whether people recognise the very human traits of emotional intelligence in brands (they do). We discover that the higher EQ a brand shows the faster its share price has grown over the previous decade.

Fast forward again to June 2022 and, thanks to the genius of future-thinking technology (and the passion of our marketing team), we are actually meeting Dr Goleman to discuss our unique EQ+Cannes collaboration ‘in person’, yet almost 4,000 miles apart! The godfather of EQ himself had agreed to line up alongside Fiona Lloyd, me and Victoria Sjardin (VP of Marketing Excellence, International Kraft Heinz Company), to talk though our 2022 Brand EQ Study to a Cannes audience, but not in person, as a hologram. 

We were nervous. Would he like our story? Would he question our research methodology? Were we going to bond with the hologram to be? However, we didn’t need to be nervous. Dr Goleman was intrigued by the connection we had built between his work and marketing. He was genial and razor sharp at the same time. This was going to be perfect……. as long as the technology worked.

I’m sure you have heard phrase ‘the wonders of technology’, but as Dr Goleman ‘beamed in’ to appear with us all patiently wating in the Palais Forum at Cannes to the whooshing sound of atoms sent from Columbia University in New York, the audience did let out a gasp. 

This was Dr Goleman in pro mode, like he had been a hologram a thousand times before. He talked about the opportunity for brands to be more human at all points on the consumer journey, reminding the audience of the importance of emotional intelligence to call centre teams and in the way we set up to work as cross-agency teams. 

The audience loved it and we were super-chuffed that hundreds more had queued outside to try to get into our session. 

We learned a few things. Firstly, that Dr Goleman was a great representative of his own theory; he tuned in to our story seamlessly. Secondly, as we said in our 2022 report ‘technology has a human face’ as it did on this occasion literally, so maybe holograms are the future of meetings and conferences. Lastly, if you have a new idea about how brands and marketing work pursue it, nurture it and find collaborators to develop it. Our Brand EQ journey took us to work with Dr Goleman, to experience extreme tech anxiety and finally to love telling our story when it all came together. 

PS – I have only one disappointment about the whole experience. I was not able to share the insight that Brand EQ scores by country have an inverse relationship with market per capita GDP with the audience. One to save for next time!

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