Speaking at the annual Cannespiration event hosted by Ogilvy and Mather, the
agency which snagged SA’s first Grand Prix Lion award, chief creative officer
Chris Gotz shared the top trends and innovations, as well as the ideas that
shone with extra lustre, at the Cannes Lions festival.
It might seem improbable to find controversy king and rap mogul Kanye West,
Facebook COO and The Leap author Sheryl Sandberg, US filmmaker
Spike Jonze, rocker and quintessential bad girl Courtney Love, 80s and 90s TV
heartthrob The Hoff, Oscar winner Jared Leto and U2 frontman Bono in the same
creative kinesphere but these celebrities were all in attendance at Cannes,
offering their insights into the multifaceted realm of marketing and advertising.
A pertinent perception was shared by West, who weighed in on product
endorsement, suggesting that celebrities might offer more value to brands by
becoming part of their narrative. Leto was also able to offer audiences valuable
insight by speaking on the pitfalls of globalising communications, drawing on his
experience as an accomplished entertainer and media professional.
Gotz points out that a major focus at Cannes was technology as a creative
enabler, and even more so, the way in which society develops and engages
with it. Phone technology, for example, is capable of offering far more than what
the average person typically uses it for, yet a generation of three-year-olds are
already able to navigate iPads and teenagers are familiar with social media
platforms which the majority of adults haven’t even heard of yet.
“The utility of technology is becoming ubiquitous, media is evolving underneath
us and we’re not even aware of it,’ added Gotz.
The future is now
“The future has collapsed into the present,’ remarked Gotz, highlighting how
technology and possibilities which we may imagine materialising in many years
to come, are already being developed and marketed. In the context of South
Africa, Gotz warned that advertisers should be careful of falling into a false
sense of security about the pace at which the country is catching up to
A new wave of media
A group of hugely powerful social and online media platforms are fast claiming a
majority stake in the advertising and marketing landscape, once dominated by
traditional media houses. At Cannes Nikesh Arora, Senior Vice President and
Chief Business Officer at Google, delivered a speech on the company’s vision
and foretold how the world would soon be moving out of an era which is
focused on people to machine interaction and into one which favours machine to
machine communication. Pizza delivery by drone anyone?
Gotz also raised the evolving success of Facebook, which has become an
important access portal for information extending beyond users’ social circles. If
you haven’t yet heard of a platform called Vice you’ll need to step up your social
media savviness, because according to Gotz this digital media distributor, which
caters specifically to 18- to 34-year-olds, is making major waves.
Newness is the Zeitgeist
“In advertising we sometimes concentrate solely on making a campaign right for
a client and ignore the fact that we also need to make stuff stand out,’ said
Gotz, who highlighted the value and growing interest in all things weird and
“Being different differentiates, and our appetite for the unconventional has
increased. If you do something crazy and it gets enough traction, it can really
take off,’ he concluded.