The Year Data Took Over Cannes Lions

This year, for the first time, Crimson Hexagon took active part in Cannes Lions. Partnering with 2 key organisations – Hootsuite & Tickr – we hosted the Cannes Lions 2015 Social Tech Cabana. It was a week of hard (net)working, partying and learning.
It was interesting to see through keynotes, presentations and the random chats that make Cannes Lions the great show it is how much data and analytics is starting to play a part in the world’s leading creative festival.
Here are some key takeaways:

  • Brands are starting to realise that the marketing spend “habitual behaviour” may be costing them a fortune….but they don’t quite know. Out of habit, brands are still chucking money into prime time TV spots simply because they always have. This method lends a certain sense of security – “if it ain’t broke…” But new age brands are starting to question the habitual and getting data to question and validate assumptions. Take Uber’s example, they know they need to reach people who aren’t online 24/7, but they’re still cautious when it comes to traditional advertising.
  • Data is too big – we have infinitely higher amounts of data on this planet than humans to interpret it. Martin Sorrell’s “from Mad Men to Maths men” shift prediction is finally starting to happen, with agencies aligning creativity with data points that back up creative ideas. Agencies and brands need to focus on smart data that will provide real insights into consumer opinion. The fusion of machines and humans is essential.
  • Text based data is only one part of the story. Images and video are here to stay. Using the Crimson Hexagon social media analytics platform, we were able to establish that “Video” has been one of the main topics since 2010 at Cannes Lions. Finding a way to detect valuable brand interactions that go beyond the written message is crucial if we are to properly understand our digital footprint.
  • While user generated content is not a new thing, it’s becoming more and more prevalent. Coca-cola have previously stated that 80% of their content is user generated. Brands can look to influence conversations and discussions but they are far less able to control the brand message these days. Standard, keyword based buzz monitoring worked for a bit but we need more now. We need a deeper understanding of what is being said,why it is being saidand, most importantly, who to reach with what content in order to shape brand perception.

Cannes Lions 2015 confirmed that we have moved on from a data vs creativity mentality, to a stage where both sides of the coin complement each other in advertising. At Crimson, we truly believe that data and creativity can work together to deliver inspiring, transformational campaigns that will resonate with the brands target audience.

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