Campaign India Team
Jun 26, 2010

Technology, Innovation have emerged as the key trends: Philip Thomas

Technology, Innovation and Mobile; these are likely to be some of the key new categories that one is likely to see at future Cannes award shows. Those were the three key trends that Philip Thomas, chief executive officer of the Cannes Lions festival, outlined when asked what he thought were the opportunities for introducing new categories.

Technology, Innovation have emerged as the key trends: Philip Thomas

Technology, Innovation and Mobile; these are likely to be some of the key new categories that one is likely to see at future Cannes award shows. Those were the three key trends that Philip Thomas, chief executive officer of the Cannes Lions festival, outlined when asked what he thought were the opportunities for introducing new categories.

According to some of the numbers announced by the Cannes press office, 10% of registered delegates this year belong to the client community. Thomas says that the client community has taken a lead as far as participation at Cannes goes, this year. So they are not just signing up as delegates, but wanting to take centrestage, and lead the sessions as speakers. “Historically, an agency would host a seminar and they would invite the client to come along. This year, we were contacted directly by the client, whether that was Coca Cola, P&G, Kraft and they want to be onstage because they want to put forth their leadership thoughts. They’ve been coming here for years, and I believe they feel comfortable about Cannes now. They came initially to learn, probe and understand what agencies were doing, and I think now they want to be onstage to push their agencies, challenge them and engage in a much deeper way. That’s been a big change this year, as well as the number of clients. We have more than 400 organisations, which is more than ever before from all over the world,” says Thomas. “I believe this ties everybody in together. I believe the agencies are here in ever bigger numbers than before and they are working with their clients together in finding the way forward. It’s really positive for everybody,” he further added.

As for trends that he’s observed this year, Thomas says, “A number of emerging countries have not done as well as we thought they would. I will include India in this. It has 16 so far (as of Thursday) so maybe a few more. But maybe not as many as last year. I thought that would be a bit surprising. I thought there would be a trend that obviously as years go forward, this will change.”

Technology has been a key trend, believes Thomas. “The biggest observation for anybody looking at the work will be the impact of technology, the impact of work created working with engineers, inventors, technologists. A huge amount of the work that has won is very sophisticated. The Cyber Grand Prix was a truck driving down the street, and people could tweet their questions to it. That’s a piece of engineering. It’s a massive trend this year and I believe that will accelerate as we move forward.”

Thomas says participation has been broader, not just geographically but also from all participants of the communication mix; Design, Media, PR etc. What does he have to say about the large, fringe community that attends Cannes Lions from the outside, preferring to engage in networking alone and not taking part in the festival programme as a whole? The film production community forms part of that.
“We introduced Film Craft this year and the one reason to do that was to re-engage with the production community. Cannes was a film festival for many, many years. Till 1992, when we introduced Press, so Film Craft was a way to re-engage with them. Personally, I believe that people who come to Cannes and only do the networking outside the Palais are missing an extraordinary richness and I think even more so now because of the technology. If you are not really listening and learning from all these people who are speaking, you are really missing out. Of course, the networking is important, the client meetings but if you are down here, why not participate?”

As for the opportunity to launch new categories at the Cannes Lions awards shows, Thomas says technology, innovation and mobile are the three emerging trends this year that are likely to impact future Cannes awards shows. “In future years, we are looking at technology. Should there be a Technology Lion, Innovation Lion? Mobile is big. Should we look at creative effectiveness? We always look at evolving and developing the Cannes Lions festival. We base that on what we see this week because things look different by the end of the week than they did, at the beginning. They are a good pointer. Technology and Innovation have been two key components that we’ve noticed thus far. It may imply engaging with technologists, developers and not just the creative guys. I believe there is so much opportunity going forward,” he says.      
 

Source:
Campaign India