3 things you need to know – Cannes day 5

As Cannes comes to a close, we spoke to Unilever about its media review and Nissan about why cars are sexy again.


Why Unilever is getting its agencies to prove their worth

Earlier this year Unilever announced a review of its estimated $8bn global planning and buying account, so Marketing Week caught up with Luis Di Como, senior vice president of media, on how and why it’s implementing the process.

The brand is not in a pitch at this time, according to Di Como, but is instead asking all its existing agencies to come and present to the brand. He said: “We take a different approach in the industry. We are asking our incumbent agencies to come and demonstrate that they have the ability to continue working with us.”

Unilever will continue to work with an agency if it “believes it’s right” because although it “trusts” its agencies the brand needs to ensure it’s working with the best.

Di Como said: “This is a pioneering approach where we are not asking all of the agencies all over the world, just the agencies we work with. Giving them the opportunity to demonstrate that they are fit for purpose.”

In relation to fostering good client agency relationships going forward, he said the secret is partnership and transparency.

“We have strong partnerships based on transparency, trust and leadership capabilities. We are clear on the rules of the game and we try to get the best talent, and of course the best commercial agreements,” he added.

Why cars are sexy again


Some automakers particularly in Western markets are struggling for sales as young people living in big cities (think London, New York) eschew cars for their feet and public transport. Part of the problem, Nissan’s global marketing boss Roel de Vries told Marketing Week, was that cars for a while weren’t seen as at the forefront of technology.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s it was all about new technology such as ABS, airbags, more powerful engines. Then the interest turned to electronics, the internet of things.

“Cars became a bit less interesting to people. What is happening now is that cars are becoming part of the technology infrastructure. Cars are becoming interesting and sexy again.”

Roel de Vries, Nissan’s global CMO

He pointed to areas such as autonomous, driverless and electric cars which all show the innovation going on in the car market.

“Young people are very interested in things that are technologically advanced, changing the world, helping them live better. If we as car manufacturers are part of that, changing mobility, making cars fun again, making them clean and safe, taking away traffic jams, we will get back in the debate,” he added.

Ad tech king at Cannes, according to social media

cannes boats

Wondered what the biggest trends were at Cannes? Wonder no more. Location marketplace xAd has used social media to find out what got delegates talking at this year’s festival and the answer is…. ad tech.

Of all the tweets sent using the #CannesLions hashtag between 22 and 25 June, 2,055 mentioned ad tech. Ahead of storytelling on 1,205 and mobile advertising on 1,004. Overall the festival garnered almost half a million (438,683) Twitter mentions with the intersection between data, technology and creativity taking centre stage.

The results may not be that surprising. This year all the big parties were from ad tech guys, the Croisette was full of cabanas hosted by ad tech companies and all the yachts flew banners promoting the latest ad tech businesses.

Theo Theodorou, head of EMEA at xAd, says: “Ad tech firms have been growing their presence at Cannes Lions for the past few years and this year they are making a mark on the event like never before. New online ad firms offering everything from data-driven ad targeting to the latest in location-based mobile technology are becoming a larger part of the discussion.”

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