A story of a Cannes virgin: Ricky Chanana

rcky7.jpgRicky Chanana, national digital & trading director at Maxus Australia on his main takeaways from Cannes Lions this year, exclusive to CB.
 
This year, I had the fortunate opportunity of being able to pop my Cannes Lion's cherry.  And boyyyyy, was it good!.
 
Aside from the glitz, glamour and the most elegant garbs you could imagine, the hob nobbing with world famous celebrities and stunning fashionistas, enjoying the endless free flowing flutes of Rosé, surprisingly genuine French hospitality and the usual media banter - there is something very special about Cannes Lions Festival. Maybe it's the exponential amount of creativity oozing within people from around the globe or maybe it's the like minded attitude that makes the heart of Cannes Lion's and sets it apart from  any other media/ad tech festival I've attended in past. (SXSW, ad techs etc).
ricky1.jpgThere were tons of amazing inspirational sessions and speakers this year. However based on my personal ultimate survival guide, there were 9 key stand outs which I believe will reshape the way we communicate & interact in future.

1) IT'S LESS ABOUT PROMOTION BUT MORE ABOUT ACCESS:
Gone are Don Draper's days of marketing being about catchy slogans, witty ideas and static ricky2.jpgmarketing.  Brand's need to evolve to become highly visual and bring interactivity to the forefront. Brand's need to create platforms that allow them to become accessible, accountable and responsive to consumers.
 
2) SPEED IS THE NEW CURRENCY FOR BUSINESS:
In today's world, our challenge as media experts is to always be relevant. According to Wil.I.Am, marketers ricky4.jpgneed to be agile and fast, spanning all forms of interfaces, devices and touchpoints, especially across mobile. Responsiveness is key. Being fluid, contextual and flexible is central to being able to market in real time, keeping your strategies innovative, fresh and pertinent.
 
3) PROGRAMMATIC IS THE ONLY WAY FORWARD:
Brands DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE but to integrate programmatic in today's world to ensure decisions are made on behalf of them automatically & efficiently to deliver contextually relevant, viewable, brand safe impressions.       
 
4) SOCIAL MEDIA AS WE KNOW IT, WILL BECOME CHINESE IN THE FUTURE:
(As per Peter Kim - Chief Digital Officer, Cheil Worldwide) - The booming economy in China is representing what America used to be 10 years ago. China has the highest GDP currently in the world so it's only a matter of time before Chinese social platforms are launched at full scale in markets outside China. Chinese social platforms are much more flexible and adaptive compared to their western equivalents and way ahead of the game in terms of social ecommerce.
 
ricky5.jpg5) HOW TO THINK CREATIVELY - JUST EMBARRASS YOURSELF!!:
Only then you are taking a risk and doing something new. The whole model of 70/20/10 is becoming obsolete. If we are constantly spending 70% of our budgets on same platform year after year because it worked - we have failed already.
 
6) ALGORITHMS HAVE NO ETHICS:
Remember "Facebook Year in Review? Sold to us as a digital experience, providing us the warm, fuzzy, sentimental feeling we experience when we look back through old photo albums. However, for some people Images of their dead pets, family members, appartment burning surfaced. Moral of the story is, use algorithms to support your case not build your product solely off it.
 
ricky6.jpg7) VIRTUAL & AUGMENTED REALITY WILL BECOME A NORM IN OUR HOUSEHOLDS:
AR & VR have been around for decades, but technological barriers have slowed both development and adoption. Today, with the staggering advances in miniaturisation, processing powers, networking speeds and computer vision systems, many of these barriers have been overcome. The rise of Hololens and Oculus powered headsets i.e GEAR will recreate our whole buying experience. Visualise shopping in virtual aisles and test driving your favourite car from the comfort of your couch, using simulations. Everything we know and do currently is on the verge revolution.
 
8) IT'S OK TO BE THE DUMBEST PERSON IN THE ROOM:
Albert Einstein infamously stated "I have no special talent, I'm just passionately curious". Ask dumb questions because as  history knows, with dumb questions, comes smart answers. According to top Hollywood producer, Brain Grazer "Curiosity is the beginning of everything". Out of curiosity for 35 years, Grazer held conversations with various high profile individuals just to ask dumb questions and get great answers. 
 
9) EMBRACE THE DISRUPTION OR BE DISRUPTED:
To embrace disruption requires a new approach to collaboration, an eye for opportunity and reengineering of our business models. Some brands such as Unilever are taking disruption head on with campaigns such as Dove "real beauty" and "Lula Bear". Disruption is happening now not soon...
 
And thats a wrap from this Cannes "virgin". Given the amazing time I had this year I might consider coming back again next year as well and perhaps name the article " A Cannes Pro".

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