June 22nd, 2013

It may be Friday but Cannes Lions definitely isn't winding down judging from the snaking queues for today's seminars; even the 10am slot. Perhaps people just didn't bother going to sleep after last nights stellar Shots party?

The focus of today in Cannes was looking ahead, to the future of advertising. This was savvily done in a workshop session entitled "How to Sell my Stuff in 2033?".  The session was hosted by Emmanuel Publio Dias, Corporate Vice-President of ESPM and Laura Chiavonne, CEO of Limo, who guided the early morning audience through a discussion on envisioning how our industry will have changed 20 years from now. The premise was, had they asked delegates at Cannes Lions in 1993 about the future, could they have even come close to offering insights about 2013, foreseeing iconic modern campaigns such as 'Decode Jay Z', 'Coke Re-brief' and 'Nike Fuelband'?

Predictions were created around a set of key questions, valuable for anyone in the industry to constantly ask themselves about even regarding the following year, let along 2033.

  • What will the consumer environment be in 2033?
  • How will we sell our stuff in 2033?
  • What communication platforms can we expect? How will they interact with each other?
  • How will the idea of a "brand" change by 2033? What kinds of relationships will exist between brands? Between consumers and brands?
  • What "value" will be offered, exchanged, bought and consumed?

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Most of the predictions focussed around the move towards entirely bespoke, targeted marketing for the individual, perhaps replacing the concept of mass market campaigns. The growth of personal devices, and the precious data they hold, means that every year the opportunity to reach an individual in an intimate and relevant way, grows. This also is crucially dependent on advances in technology, as there was a broad agreement that the devices we will be using 20 years from now, may well be unrecognisable to today's fruit basket of apple and blackberry's. The ideas were collated into a proposal format, which has been sealed in a "time capsule" and left for the future delegates of the 80th Cannes Lions festival in 2033.

At risk of wishing our entire lives away, attendees of the session were also informed that we would be given priority to register for the 2033 workshop, at which time the 2013 Time Capsule will be opened… and the 2053 Time Capsule will be proposed.

After all that deep thinking, it was definitely time for the ultimate too-much-rose-too-much-brain-activity antidote; a soft scoop on the beach.

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