Cannes Lions 2018: Embrace the Risk
Cannes is equal parts inspiring and humbling. Seeing and hearing from the best of the best from around the world turns you on to the power of creativity but causes you to take a good, hard look in the mirror.
This year in particular, I came away thinking we are an industry with an identity crisis. Over the course of the week I heard smart and passionate presentations about how data and AI are our future, yet we are losing too much of the humanity in our craft. How brands need to take a social stand and have clearly defined causes yet we’ve lost our sense of humour. How marketers have to get back to storytelling and build more engaging, entertaining content and immersive experiences yet we only have two seconds to capture someones’ attention.
Of course none of these things are absolutes and these are likely more ‘ands’ than ‘ors’ but it’s clear the expanding list of ‘must-dos’ is making navigating this complex world even more challenging.
So given all this, the question is: how do you succeed? There’s no easy answer but there was one clear indicator that was common among the standouts from the conference this year and that is…risk.
Clients, agencies, brands, producers, platforms, etc. that embrace risk as part of their DNA are clearly winning. And it’s not about being pirates, just throwing crazy things at the walls to see what sticks, but about calculated opportunities to push. It’s about recognising moments in culture and finding provocative ways to push against it with a meaningful voice for the brand.
With more formats for creating content across more platforms than ever before it’s too easy to blend in and get lost. The market is getting harder and harder to navigate and always playing it safe is a sure path to invisibility.
David Matathia is chief strategy & marketing officer at Fitzco