Avoiding the Knee-Jerk: Why Digital Is Everything But Not Everything Is Digital at Cannes

June 27, 2016

Sunday morning after…

I’m sitting in front of my keyboard watching the sun come up over the beach in Cannes…still basking in the glow of our being recognized as the number 3 network in the world at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity…and pondering what to write…what to share…what to comment on regarding my experience this week that wasn’t self-serving; empty pontification; holier than thou; head in the sand drivel with the usual knee-jerk of pouring a liberal dose of rosé over the whole…

Let me begin by saying that I won’t comment on the winners…check them out and come to your own conclusions …I will only add that I was often inspired; clapped wildly for many of my friends who are also competitors and as always wondered about some of the Jury choices…no doubt you will have or had similar experiences and also no doubt you will hate work I loved and love work I hated and that is in fact the beauty of it all….and the point as well.

In the end it is about the work. In a Forbes article about the once again growing power of the CMO… Marc Pritchard the CMO of P&G was quoted as saying:

“We’ve got to cut the crap and elevate the craft.”

Criticizing the clutter that marketers are creating, Pritchard argued that “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”

And there you have it…a big and powerful nail in the coffin of Digibabble.

Forbes continued:

“... From a leadership perspective, Cannes 2016 felt like a turning point. In previous years, tactical marketing issues and buzzwords (e.g. “millennials”) dominated the debate. This year’s CMOs took more of a strategic industry perspective, and paired it with a renewed focus on what really matters: great analytic and creative work that actually drives the business.”

Which leads me to a quote from The Guardian that began the Festival:

“Agencies seem to have fallen out of love with digital advertising, or at least with bothering to enter related awards. Entries for the Cyber Lions fell by 30% year-on-year, by almost 1,000, to 2,886 while Mobile Lions entries remained flat at just over 1,200.”

Au Contraire!!

Digital is Everything But Not Everything is Digital…

There was no category; no entry; no piece of work that didn’t make use of; drive to or otherwise incorporate something digital —how could it be otherwise? No one has fallen out of love rather we have fallen into reality.

Let’s be clear…it would be so easy to be cynical and jump on The Guardian bandwagon:

“As the world’s Mad Men descended on the French Riviera for a wine-swilling week of self-congratulatory award giving, many advertisers will have been wondering if their agencies may have subjected them to a much more sinister trick.”

Or I could poke fun at Snapchat for buying Outdoor Billboard Advertising (“Huge Digital Ad” LOL) which didn’t seem to disappear…or remind everyone that these were the guys who were never going to lower themselves to sell advertising.

I could echo fears of Google and Facebook or marvel at Ad Tech.

Replace last year’s obsession with drones with this year’s fixation on VR.

How easy to say the agency model is being disrupted and that we are asleep at the switch…

And by the way you can read all of the above in myriad posts…

Yet I have heart…client after client ascended the stage; participated in creative workshops and went on the public record…much like Mark Pritchard did…defying the critics and Digibabble community to celebrate creativity in marketing…because in the end the technology will all evolve again and the distribution means will continue to change…but what will never go away…what will never change is the fact that at the end of the day it is all about People First…and everything else is just a means to that end.

And by the way…unlike the Olympics and others – The Cannes Lions is truly global…all celebrate the achievements of all…no one walks out or refuses to sit next to or otherwise disses a fellow member of our crazy community…says something…

Judge for yourself…

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