Cannes day 3 – Vice looks to shake up TV advertising, Spotify battles misconceptions and why marketers must keep it simple

Cannes Lions: From finding out about Vice’s TV ad plans and Spotify leveraging consumers’ voices to why marketers must keep things simple, here is the Marketing Week round-up of day 3.


Vice is bullish on TV advertising

Vice used Cannes to reveal more details around its plans for TV. Speaking at an event today (22 June), founder and CEO Shane Smith said its TV network Viceland is now in 44 countries, making it the “fastest growing TV network in history”. It has also announced a partnership with Times of India to bring its TV, mobile, online and print content to India.

When asked why Vice wants to get into TV, Smith replied: “Why wouldn’t we go into TV. We believe we should be everywhere and on all screens. We want to be wherever the audience is and sometimes that is on mobile, sometime online and sometimes on TV.

“And there are huge revenues in TV. 75% of global ad dollars are still in TV. To say we are not doing TV would be ridiculous.”

He also promised some “innovative monetisation” that would move TV away from the 30-second spot. In response to a question from Marketing Week, he explained how Vice would run commercial free days and that it would work with content creators to come up with extra content that could be merged with brands or co-produced with brands.

“We want to port a derivative of the native advertising that has developed online and on mobile to TV and see what works. We are going back to before spots, this is less about 30-second commercials and instead about making our own media that then wraps around the programming. We need people watching the commercial content because it is content they want to see,” he explained.

Spotify on battling misconceptions and the importance of context


Speaking at an event on the Cannes innovation stage this morning, Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek talked the audience through the company’s 10-year history. While its original mission was to change the listener experience, the streaming service has now moved on by providing artists and fans with tools to interact with each other.

Ek insisted that the brand plays a “complimentary” role to other tech brands such as Facebook and Google.

“People say we’re all glued to our screens, when in reality it’s mostly in our pockets as we walk around. With Spotify, we can reach them when they have their phone in their pocket and are listening to music. Our message is complimentary to a lot of channels that are out there. It doesn’t compete with what Facebook and Google are doing.”

Ek added that Spotify also has a job to do in terms of convincing advertisers that it is more than a streaming brand. For example, it is now working with advertisers and leveraging consumers’ voices.

“What’s fascinating about Spotify is that it’s an audio, visual and interactive medium. People do take it out their pocket and do things on it. We are now leveraging people’s voices. We have [worked with] advertisers that tell their creative stories and ask the listener if they want to hear more. If they say yes, they can then dive deeper by offering them a video. So it’s that interaction.”

Going forward, the brand is keen to explore video further, as well as provide listeners with more context behind the songs or albums that they are listening to.

“One of the things I’m more excited about rather than showing three-minute videos, is when we have visuals that are actually providing context about the piece of music. We’ve worked with Rap Genius before to provide context to the song you’re hearing. The same format could also work for brands.”

Marketers must keep it simple

Marketers are facing challenges from all directions as growth slows disruptors move in and data and tech overwhelms. But they must remember to “keep it simple” according to SC Johnson CMO Ann Mukherjee

Speaking at the Wake up with the Economist panel session this morning, she said: “Marketers could spend all their energy working out what to do next. People have to remember to stay simple and remember that what matters most is great work, great brands, great relationships with your end user – that is what cuts through the complexity.”

Raja Rajamannar, CMO at MasterCard agreed, adding that as marketing becomes more accountable proving its worth to the rest of the business becomes more important and marketers must not allow thmselves to become distracted.

“Marketing has to really show and prove what business results it is driving because if not it is the first place the CFO will go and they will cut your budget.”



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