Why the IPA’s next challenge is improving diversity, how Facebook topped the list of brands most talked about at the Cannes Lions festival and how McDonalds, Intel and Gatorade sing, hum and peel onions for social media content, here’s the latest from the Cannes Lions festival.
The ad industry talking about diversity is the first step to making it more diverse
Walking around Cannes this week it has been hard to miss the subject of diversity. The Glass Lion was introduced this year as a way to honour ad campaigns that address issues of gender inequality or prejudice.
It drew 166 entries from campaigns such as Sport England’s “This Girl Can” and Procter & Gamble’s “Like A Girl”. It was the one everyone wanted to win.
Diversity within the marketing industry itself has also been up for debate. Speaking at a panel discussion held by the IPA this morning (25 June), the Advertising Association’s president Tim Lefroy said there is still a lot of work to do to make sure the industry reflects the audience it is talking to.
He pointed out that the ad industry in the UK has focused few the past few years on working with government to show how economically important advertising is. Now 85% of MPs think it is, he claimed. The next challenge is improving diversity. Just 35% of MPs think the ad industry is “in touch” with the wider world.
That will be its new priority, he said. But talking is an important first step.
“Once the ad industry starts talking it will take action to do stuff. The challenge was to put diversity on the agenda. Now it’s there we can start acting, that will create change,” he said.
Sally Campbell, co-founder of production company Somesuch, called for all marketers to get involved in a new programme that offers kids from diverse background a chance to do work experience within the ad industry.
“The aim is to get every company in the industry to get involved in the scheme an take one to three kids a year,” she said. “This is about taking responsibility and giving children a chance. Showing them there is a job for anyone in this industry.
Facebook is the most talked about brand Cannes so far
The top five brands that had the most Cannes-related discussion in the last three days are Facebook, Unilever, Twitter, Google and Vice.
According to the data analysis, from Amobee Brand Intelligence, Facebook was brand most associated with Cannes Lions during the first three days of the festival as the social network previewed new mobile formats for brands to reach consumers.
The research looks at the ‘digital consumption’ around this year’s Cannes Lions – in other words what was actually talked about and seen during the festival online, via mobile and across social media.
The stats also show that Unilever had 74% as much Cannes Lions-related digital consumption as Facebook, Twitter generated 55% as much, Google 54% and Vice 39%.
Over the past few days the brands featured in the top five launched new products and talked about new capabilities. Unilever and Vice launched a new woman’s channel called Broadly and Twitter talked about the importance of brands commenting on memes that organically go viral, as well as being a platform for updating delegates about what’s happening at Cannes.
Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel was the executive most associated with Cannes Lions between June 21-23, as he spoke to delegates about his promise to advertisers that Snapchat will never be “creepy”.
Managing content on social requires singing, humming and onions
Speaking at a panel event on content strategy, McDonald’s, Intel and Gatorade gave the audience the recipe for how to connect different types of storytelling on social media.
Gatorade’s social content is focused on brand equity and brand promise, adopting a ‘sing and hum’ strategy to represent the two, according to Kenny Mitchell, senior director of consumer engagement at Gatorade.
He said: “Some of the things that hum along are our Instagram posts, and Facebook and YouTube [activity]; and then we might have some big content done programmatically. For example, our ‘Live from within’ content that was focused on athletes and how they aspire to be great.”
For McDonalds, because the brand has so many messages it is trying to get to market – including the brand story, promotions and partnerships – social content becomes a balancing act. Director of global media, Nicole Kane, told delegates that for the global fast food chain, social content is often thought about with local markets in mind.
“It’s about which [content] plays to a global strategy, where local markets are able to use global assets to give them a chance to do it on their own,” said Kane.
The balancing act between different objectives in brand messages requires a “rich editorial process”, according to Intel’s digital marketing and media chief, Becky Brown. The tech company follows an ‘onion model’, where the further you peel, the richer the story gets. Brown said: “If we have a storyline, it’s about [looking at] what it would look like in a short post and then long-form content with videos and supporting articles.”