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Carat @ The Palais, Cannes Lions 2024

June 21, 2024

Greetings from Cannes Lions 2024 where Maro Mouameletzi, Senior Strategy Partner, Carat, and Tony de Vizio, Global Partnerships Director, Carat, are on the scene to share their firsthand look at the latest trends, groundbreaking ideas, and key takeaways from the daily sessions at the Palais. 


Join us throughout the week to be informed and inspired

two person in cannes


Thursday 20th June

Revamping Legacy Brands for Today's Audience 

For more than 150 years, Kraft Heinz has built a legacy beloved by millions worldwide. Yet in recent years the company had fallen short of its iconic status.  

Facing declining business metrics, Kraft Heinz revisited a Henry J. Heinz quote: To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success. The company refocused on details and reignited its ambition, daring to take risks such as this simple, cost-effective exercise: on a $50,000 budget, the company asked participants to draw ketchup. Everyone drew Heinz, demonstrating the brand’s strong, albeit dormant, presence in consumer minds. 

By uncovering authentic stories such as teens smuggling Heinz into schools and organic celebrity endorsements, to creating bespoke sauce-mixing machines and the tip for Heinz campaign, to the serendipitous viral success of seemingly ranch, Kraft Heinz has regained iconic status, proving that even the most established brands can reinvent themselves through creativity and innovation.


Wednesday 19th June

Creative Impact Unpacked: How Do Creativity, Media and Commerce Combine? 

This event was a mix of excitement and learning. While the crowd was eager to see Elon Musk, those who attended the presentation were richly rewarded with insightful case studies that beautifully blended creativity and commerce, offering valuable learning and reflections on how to better engage and inspire.  

However, not all parts of the presentation resonated equally. When a large retailer highlighted their e-commerce strategies and their potential to save money and improve lives, the message didn't quite connect with the audience as intended. This served as a reminder that authenticity is key when conveying brand purpose.  

The AI Era: Supercharging Marketing and Creativity   

In the past, many brilliant ideas never materialized due to production and cost limitations. Now, with AI, we have the tools to bring these ideas to life. In this session, Google showcased its suite of AI tools designed to unlock creativity and supercharge today’s creative process:  

  • Ideation: AI generates valuable insights about audience behaviors, sparking innovative ideas.  
  • Creation: AI accelerates the creative process and reduces the cost of creative production.  
  • Expansion: AI enables scalable creative iterations, allowing for rapid and controlled adjustments.  

While AI doesn't have its own taste or imagination (that’s our domain as humans), its capabilities can help us realize our creative visions like never before.  


Tuesday 18th June 

Commerce X Creativity, Making the Transactional Inspirational  

While best practices ensure brands don’t lose, they rarely lead to winning. In fact, blind adherence to best practices results in a sea of sameness and mediocrity. To truly excel, brands must embrace three pivotal shifts.  

  • From Direct to Consumer to Direct Dialog with the Consumer: Consumers today dislike being tracked but crave being heard. By engaging in direct dialog with consumers, brands can create personalized experience that make shopping fast and fun.  
  • From Omni-Channel to Omni-Modal: The traditional omni-channel approach views customer interaction as a series of linear touchpoints. The future is omni-modal, where experiences are seamless and integrated across all channels.  
  • From Bolted-On to Build-Together: Instead of adding features as afterthoughts, brands should empower consumers with tools to create their own experiences. This co-creation model allows customers to actively shape their shopping journey, making it more engaging and meaningful.  
photos of Cannes

Inclusion = Income: The Business Case for Progressive Advertising 

 This panel made a compelling commercial case for progressive advertising. The argument is simple yet powerful: progressive advertising helps brands sell more, grow more, and retain consumers, and it benefits society. However, companies, wary of taking risks, have begun defunding DE&I advertising efforts. To counteract this pushback, we must persistently highlight the undeniable business advantages of inclusive advertising. Progressive advertising is not just a moral imperative; it's a strategic business move that drives growth and loyalty.  

The path forward includes embracing and investing in progressive advertising. By doing so, companies can secure their futures, foster consumer loyalty, and contribute positively to society.

photos of Cannes

Creativity is Not Enough 

In a packed room buzzing with enthusiasm, Mark Ritson questioned the importance of creativity in advertising when, despite the fanfare in previous years, Cannes-awarded creatives have not delivered better results compared to the market average. This eye-opening insight underscores a critical lesson: we often award creativity for its own sake, not for its business impact. More importantly, we overestimate the effectiveness of creativity. 

Cannes is celebrated for its creativity, but Ritson's analysis challenges us to rethink our priorities. Creative is important but is only a fraction of what we need to focus on.