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Cannes Lions

Nick Law and the Pointy End of Advertising

The Publicis Groupe chief creative officer is presiding over the Creative eCommerce category in its inaugural year at the Cannes Lions

Nick Law and the Pointy End of Advertising

Publicis Groupe chief creative officer Nick Law has the intriguing task of presiding over a Cannes Lions category that’s in its inaugural year. Creative eCommerce fits within the new ‘Experience’ stream and focuses on “the powerful brand currency of intelligent customers journeys and immersive experiences - captivating audiences at every touch point”, according to the Cannes Lions website. Nick sees it as “the pointy end of our industry” and “the battleground for the new economy”. 

Nick will also be speaking at Cannes this year, presenting Marcel. Publicis Groupe’s newly launched AI platform ended up being one of 2017’s biggest talking points after the holding company’s CEO Arthur Sadoun announced during the festival that Publicis would be abstaining from all awards for one year in order to fund the build of Marcel. One year on and attendees can get one of the first glimpses at Marcel in the Lumiere Theatre, on Tuesday 19th June, at 3pm. 

In the meantime, Nick had a chat with LBB’s Addison Capper. 


LBB> Creative eCommerce is a new category for this year – how will you be setting the benchmark in the jury for both this year and years to come?

NL> eCommerce is not only the pointy end of our industry, it’s the battleground for the new economy. Even though it’s a new category, as civilians we’re all familiar with how ecommerce is reshaping our relationship with brands. For us to be impressed by an entry, it’ll need to have more than slick best practices – it’ll have to have a real ingenuity.


LBB> This isn’t your first time presiding over a jury at Cannes - how do you prepare yourself for your time in the jury room at Cannes?

NL> I think about how to brief the jury so it’s clear what we’re looking for. I like running a jury with momentum and precision. It requires asking enough questions so that we get a broad perspective, and then knowing when to make decisions and move on. 


LBB> What words of advice will you be giving to your jury?

NL> Don’t be academic, be human. Don’t get seduced by cleverness, look for the stuff that charms you. 


LBB> If you think of eCommerce, it’s really the end of the customer journey if they’re purchasing things digitally. With that in mind, why is it such an important part of the journey? 

NL> Everything we do, at some point, should end with a sale. If you can’t get someone to click the buy button, all the marketing you did up until then was wasted. 


LBB> I imagine that a lot of creative eCommerce rests quite heavily on data - is that true? How do you feel laws such as GDPR could affect the category?

NL> There will be times that GDPR will make it harder to get signals from prospective customers. This means that when you do reach them, the messages and experiences you create need to be so compelling that they’ll be willing to explicitly opt in. 


LBB> When you’re shopping online, what are your biggest bugbears when it comes to eCommerce?

NL> The product that I’ve already bought chasing me around the web.


LBB> What do you think will be the big talking points at this year’s festival?

NL> Privacy. Physical retail. VR and AR.


LBB> How will you be spending the rest of your time in Cannes? Are there any events or talks you’re eager to attend?

NL> I’ve been going to Cannes for over a decade, and there are people that work a block away from me in Manhattan who I only ever see on the Croisette. So, if I have any spare time, I’ll spend it catching up with my Cannes Clan.