The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity has come to an end for 2017. Last week, Allison Adams looked at what the most popular topics of conversation were across social media before the Festival began. Using our partner for social listening and Sherlock+, our proprietary tool, we used Brandwatch to analyse what the most anticipated sessions and themes were. Demi Lovato at YouTube, Burger King’s “How to suck less at being a client”, virtual and augmented reality were being discussed heavily before the event but during and after the Festival the focus shifted. Here is the breakdown of which talks, awards and themes stole the show.
The talks
In line with the top pick of events that Vikki Chowney recommended before Cannes began, The Cannes Debate was one of the most talked about events, followed by WWE’s event on The Art Of Engagement and P&G’s Creativity and Responsibility panel.
At The Cannes Debate, mentions of which had over 26,000 impressions, WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell was joined this year by Super Bowl & Major League Soccer heavyweight Robert Kraft, and Academy-Award winning director Ron Howard discussing the global expansion of NFL as well as the future of branded entertainment and how VR has only just begun to disrupt storytelling through film and that brands need to bear in mind that “audience is always king”.
WWE’s Steph McMahon and wrestling legend Triple H sparked significant volumes of online conversation, with over 24,000 impressions of the event alone. The conversation focused on the passion and connection between the WWE brand and its vast and loyal audience.
P&G’s panel on Creativity and Responsibility and how these can impact gender equality was also one of the top three most spoken about session at Cannes, with over 110,000 impressions on mentions of the event. The panel consisted of the legendary Madonna Badger of #WomenNotObjects and Badger & Winters, media legend Tina Brown CBE, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and last but certainly not least, P&G Chief Officer Marc Pritchard was host to this powerhouse of a line-up.
On the Tuesday at Cannes, a number of events took place which focused specifically on Chinese brands. Within this category of events, H+K’s event on China’s Age of Ambition was among the most discussed on social media with Huawei’s CMO Glory Zhang, Fast Company’s Jeff Beer and H+K Strategies’ CCO Simon Shaw on the panel. The event also occurred as H+K launched the Shanghai Addition; a new way to connect Chinese brands with audiences, cultures and markets around the world, helping them grow creatively and quickly into key geographies.
The awards
The most mentioned award categories of the 24 in total this year were Outdoor, Design and Media, Film and Cyber. The two winners that stuck out most and garnered most conversation on social media were Fearless Girl and Meet Graham. While Fearless Girl won a total of 18 awards, Meet Graham won a huge 29 awards but was largely criticised for being too similar to The First Natural Born Smoker of 1985 which meant it missed out on Titanium and Integrated Lions.
The themes
As we explained in our pre-Cannes predictions, “what’s trending now won’t be by the end of the festival” and that was certainly the case for Cannes Lions. Unfortunately for Rosé, more attendees at this year’s Festival must have been following some sort of health regime, with only 631 mentions throughout the week. However, more excitingly, diversity was competing with data, AI and VR as one of the most prominent themes emanating this year from Cannes.
The word “diversity” alone gained 51,944,290 impressions throughout the Festival. This makes for a fascinating impetus to inform the creative projects that emanate from the industry over the year ahead.
Based on the influence Cannes has on the industry, we will no doubt be seeing diversity crop up throughout the year ahead and gain even more traction as the buzzword du jour. Being in an industry that has the ability to create social change for the good (and bad), we look forward to how brands begin to approach diversity in new and creative ways to make those changes for the better.