Digital dominated Day Three of the Cannes Lions 2008 festival seminar. The day began with Isobar’s CEO Nigel Morris giving an honest account of the dilemma facing the communication industry today- how can traditional agency minds get out of the typical ‘campaign’ mode of thinking, and think more of devising a solution that best suits the audience that the brand is talking to by identifying a need in the market that the brand could then adopt. Admitting that digital agency people often get carried away by their own jargon, Morris said that digital had disrupted the business models of many businesses today but it had also reorganized the value chain in the market around those who could most perfectly define their return on investments. He added, “Most agencies are looking down the barrel of a gun, today.” He surmised that as digital gets embedded into consumers’ lifestyles, the demand for data will be one of the biggest battles that would be played out in the industry.
Morris also said that the process of getting consumers to spend more time with the brand would require tremendous respect between strategy, data and creative departments in an agency.
But without taking credit away from Morris’ session, the best session was undoubtedly Profero, by far the most entertaining and the most insightful, with first person account videos from online users from around the world, who spoke about the way in which they interacted with technology in their daily lives.
Profero’s session focused on dispelling the myth about the youth being the most connected segment today, arguing that the way in which technology had creeped into our lives, it wasn’t just the youth who were logging in online. In fact, some of the most unlikely people (and unlikely because of the perception) were logging in, for their most basic needs, shopping online, looking for advice on health, hobbies and interests. People didn’t see this as some technological advance in their everyday lifestyles; they had a need and the Internet fulfilled it, it was as simple as that. Profero showed interviews that they had conducted with ordinary people, aged upwards of 30, going all the way to 60 plus, who used the net for mundane things like buying computer parts, but this was part of their everyday life. The key to building value in the digital space was the ability to satisfy a mainstream need.
Nick Moore, EVP, Chief creative officer, Wunderman spoke about the power of word of mouth media, which he said was ten times more effective than media advertising. Moore said that on a fundamental level, people trusted people and another person’s validation would always be more successful towards driving sales than ads. In America, Moore said that one third of the automotive market sales were driven by word of mouth. He pointed to the success of the site www.babycenter.com, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson. The site does not peddle Johnson & Johnson products in an obvious way, in fact users are only exposed to a J&J product at the time when they are most likely to be in the mood to buy. If Monday and Tuesday were not busy enough, Wednesday promises to be an even more packed day. Eurosport will talk about the power of sports, in relation to the upcoming Beijing Olympics. Music legend Tony Bennett promises to engage delegates in a session organized by Grey group. There’s also Starcom MediaVest’s session ‘Douche to Deodorant: the Good, the Bad and the Daring’, sounds intriguing enough to get a full house. There is also R/GA presenting a session on the new form of marketing taking place today, with respect to their work for Nike, presented by R/GA’s Bob Greenberg and Nike’s Stefan Olander.
(Picture: On left: Daryl Arnold, co-founder and Global CEO, Profero
On right: Wayne Arnold, co-founder and CEO North America, Profero)