Carat @ Cannes: Day 4


Thursday at Cannes tends to feature a lot of hungover people shuffling around in the heat regretting their actions. Today was no exception. However, the high- quality work we saw on various stages around the Palais was enough to put a spring into the step of the most jaded ad woman or man.

Cannes Lions 2019

First up in-housing creativity

This was the most feisty thing I have seen at Cannes this year. Two creative agency leaders, Vick Maguire of Grey and Justin Billingsley of Publicis up against in-house creative leads Paulie Dery and Teresa Herd. There was a refreshingly frank sharing of views of the merits of what might be the next big in-housing wave. The debate was ‘being able to own a brand’ versus the value of diversity in thinking is solving problems for brands. One to watch folks and one to watch keenly given that Vick Maguire suggested that great agencies should resemble ‘highly functioning donkey sanctuaries’.

Anyone with a camera and an idea can find an audience

I really enjoyed a presentation from YouTube on new ways that cultural trends are emerging and the ways that we should identify them and build work that fits around them. Some of the gems that I took from these talks were:

  1. Today’s 19-year-olds have had access to YouTube since they were five — content is hardwired into their lives

  2. 75% of people think that trends move quicker than ever these days

  3. Jack Black has his own gaming channel with 2 M subscribers

  4. In creative tests, YouTube has proved that women respond better to coherent storylines told from a human point of view, whereas men will respond to no storyline, lots of noise and loads of five-star reviews being flagged

  5. A little random but thought-provoking none the less. A last thought to share which is that Google / YouTube believe that for creativity, efficiency is the enemy and that you can be ‘relevant as hell but boring as. A great topic to bring up next time you are talking with them about the benefits of personalisation, programmatic marketing etc.

Some insights from sports marketing and stars on brand building

To conclude my random selection of items, I went to two really interesting talks on women's’ football, followed by the NFL. First off, Copa 90 hosted a discussion with women in football about the rise of the game, the current World Cup in France and what the future holds. The participants included Nuria Tarre, CMO of Manchester City and Chelcee Grimes footballer (Fulham Ladies), songwriter, singer and broadcaster. It was super interesting to hear that women in the game feel the obligation to drive the game forwards before working on their ‘own’ brands and that Manchester City is using research to identify where new audiences might come from so they can systematically market to them. It feels like the opportunities coming from women’s football are going to be huge when you hear about the stories of struggle to be funded, supported etc. Lots of great opportunities for brands to now get involved to help tell their stories.

In contrast, the NFL stars who then took to the stage next, come from a world of super-polished marketing where individual players are well versed in thinking of themselves as brands and are actively managing their own stories with the help of NFL Live Content Correspondents that help them to document their lives. What was striking was their long-term view of their brand story and goals as people which seems to contrast significantly with the increasingly short-term objectives of many ‘real’ brands today.

I will leave you with one last uplifting morsel that came from the Google presenters today.

The three most used phrases in Google Translate are:

  1. How are you?
  2. Thank you
  3. I love you

There you go. Human stories from data.


Cannes Lions 2019
^Back to Top