Four Takeaways from Cannes Lions Tweets
June 22, 2012
This year at the Cannes Lions, advertising's biggest award festival and conference, Twitter is bigger than ever. As a major sponsor, Twitter has set up a special page dedicated to the event, so people around the world can search #CannesLions and get a real time feed of what's happening.
Jen Gordon (Group Business Partner) and I (Copywriter) sat down to read some tweets and give some different perspectives on this year's key takeaways.
1: Engagement is Fundamental
Matt: I'm seeing a huge focus on this. Paul Adams of Facebook had a good quote, "Creativity and ideas based on social interaction is not an add-on - it's fundamental."
Jen: Makes sense to me.
Matt: I feel like this isn't a new thought, but a lot of people at Cannes seem to be talking about it. It seems like something agencies have always pushed for with clients. Are we just not there yet?
Jen: I think we can do more. Engagement needs to be organic. It used to just be putting a call to action on a TV spot, now we want people to talk to us after they see the spot, even during the spot. The TV station CW is a good example. They do this bingo game during commercial breaks that encourages people to go online and interact. And when they're there, they can shop, learn more about the show, and so on. It's a great way to keep people engaged continuously.
Matt: Sounds like they're thinking about engagement from the ground level and designing their programming around it. I think as creatives it's something we need to check ourselves on. It's easy to forget when we're busy, so we need to make sure we keep social interaction a priority.
2: On Facebook, Story Comes First
Matt: @wgsn tweeted from the Facebook talk, "In designing for Facebook, think about the newsfeed story first - not your timeline or Apps - that's what your fans will see. #CannesLions."
Jen: Newsfeed is your moment to shine. If I like your post, all of a sudden my 500 friends are going to see it, and you've just reached a larger audience.
Matt: Brand pages get all the attention from marketers but I don't think they necessarily get all the traffic. Brands spend all this time and money on apps when their fans are much more likely to see posts. We should focus on crafting a brand story through posts that people want to share.
Jen: I don't know. The brand page is important too. A friend recently asked me to like their brand page, but I went to the page and it wasn't even finished, not professional. Brands need to make sure the pages are engaging for when people do end up there.
3. On YouTube, Viral Can't Be Planned
Matt: Damien Kulash of viral band OK Go said "Being safe and trying to figure out what's going to work in this format is exactly what is not going to work." He then went on to say "almost nothing that really succeeded online was perfectly planned."
Jen: That's a scary thought.
Matt: Basically, if you want to go viral, you have to take some risks and you won't know the outcome.
Jen: For marketers, that's hard. It's a cost thing, if they're investing money, they want to have some assurance it will work. They're holding the risk.
Matt: How do we as agencies help clients feel more comfortable? Maybe its flexibility. If we come up with videos that can be made quicker and less expensively, maybe we can alleviate some of that risk. If something isn't working, we can change it or replace it with something that does work.
Jen: I think the risk takers out there, like OK Go, are becoming the baseline for the rest of us. If we can show an example of a video that worked, and then build a new idea off of that, that makes everyone more comfortable.
Matt: I think speed and flexibility is key there too. We need to be able to react quickly to stay relevant on YouTube.
4: Biggest Opportunity: Making Information Useful
Matt: @JasonXenopoulos says "The web is a network of disaggregated information. Aggregating that info is a huge opportunity for brands. #Facebook #CannesLions"
Jen: I agree, and Neiman Labs is a great example.
Matt: I think this insight is right on. Everyone is focused on making advertising funny or memorable, but not enough brands are trying to make it useful. Give consumers a good utility, and they'll keep coming back to interact with your brand over and over, every time they use it. There's way more potential than a TV spot.
Jen: That's exactly what Labs is all about. Philly SteakOut, Go Crowdless - it's content that consumers can use. All the information is already out there, but the key is bringing it to life in a way that's functional and fun. And as an added incentive for marketers, reaching out to consumers like this can teach you more about them. The more you learn, the more targeted you can make your advertising, and the more useful you can be to them.