June 24, 2022 | Blogs

Heard on the streets of Cannes, key takeaways from Cannes Lions 2022

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity was marked by notable discussions around sustainability, technology, diversity and inclusion.

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity was marked by notable discussions around sustainability, technology, diversity and inclusion.

This week marked the first time in three years that members of the creative and media industry returned to Cannes for the Cannes Lions Festival, and we came back with a bang.  As Shenan Reed from L’Oreal put it, this event allowed for us to reconnect at scale, making up for the many years that we spent virtually.

Hivestack was fortunate enough to join wonderful friends and partners at the DPAA for a week of curated events, conversations, fireside chats and plenty of networking in the sunshine of the gorgeous Côte d’Azur. Seeing our many partners in person again was an incredible reminder of the deep resilience and perseverance that the OOH industry has worked through. While there is no question that there have been many challenges we had to overcome, we have also seen growth and opportunity in the channel that was largely driven by programmatic technology and innovation. 

There has been an abundance of media coverage and takeaways from the event but here are our thoughts on some of the stand out themes from Cannes this year.

Programmatic growth is here to stay.

While the pandemic provided an opportunity for the growth of programmatic across DOOH due to its ability to allow for flexibility in the channel allowing media buyers and planners to start, pause or optimise a campaign in real-time, we will continue to see a shift into programmatic in the coming years. Targeting, optimisation and measurement were all themes that stood out for marketers at Cannes this year and programmatic technology provides much more precision to apply a holistic, targeted and measurable campaign that reaches the consumer throughout their entire journey on the path to purchase.

Data, in all shapes and forms.

The role of data, now more than ever, is king. Targeting, measurement, ROI and KPIs were some of the most popular words highlighted by marketers in Cannes. With the influx of programmatic DOOH platform features that allow for brands to not only leverage data to plan, activate, execute and measure campaigns, but to also layer in first party data sources, we are at a point where data will be integrated into all marketing plans, across all channels. With data at the forefront of planning and optimisation initiatives we will also see new combinations of data sources, new metrics and new KPIs being implemented by brands and agencies. Ultimately the goal is to make connections with audiences, and data provides us with the proper lens to create those connections, scale and then measure accordingly.

Context and relevance matter, always have, always will.

Contextually relevant messaging and placement is an inherent characteristic of OOH, a trait of the channel that has withstood the test of time. As we enter a new phase of digital media where we are seeing the demise of the cookie along with IDFA restrictions, contextual targeting and messaging continues to be a “must-have” for brands that are looking to drive meaningful connections and outcomes. With many brands shifting their focus to value messaging and real-time messaging, contextually relevant targeting and optimisation within DOOH will only continue to evolve. In programmatic DOOH specifically, we are seeing incredible opportunities for brands to reach their audiences throughout their journey with custom or personalized messaging through the application of triggers, allowing them to leverage dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) as a new way to drive results. 

Diversity, inclusion and equity are key to achieving success.

This should be applied to how we plan and deliver advertising campaigns in addition to how we grow the talent pool in our industry. Every single thing we do is driven by culture and as Monique Nelson, Chair and CEO at UWG notes, uniculture - the framework that looks at many vs one dimensional sources to embody culture - is the only way to authentically connect with audiences. It requires us to move away from pre-defining everything into singular categories and instead forces us to think about personalized or customized approaches to connect with audiences. Programmatic DOOH is very promising for marketers for this reason, as it allows to plan, activate and measure campaigns globally while also allowing for data to drive and optimise across the spaces where audiences are most open to receiving messages. Data will be the key driver indicating how and where we can make the most meaningful connections and will also allow for brands to customize the message based on who is in proximity to the screens. As for growing opportunities and attracting talent into the OOH industry, Nelson made a wonderful point that we are somewhat covert as we don’t reach young people early enough in their careers, we need to be less exclusive in our recruitment and open up conversations directed to young candidates outside of our circles. 

It was a pleasure and an honour for us to have attended Cannes to meet with our incredible partners from around the globe, the conversations went deep and we left with an abundance of takeaways. We look forward to many more successful events that undoubtedly will include some splashes of Hivestack pink.