Rob Flaherty, Ketchum president and CEO, and Yasmine Cordes, Director of Business Development for Ketchum Pleon, both have extraordinary talents when it comes to drawing. So this year, they thought it would be useful to use these talents to interpret the trends and learnings they saw at Cannes as they unfolded. Here, take a look at a selection of some of their best work, and see a few “behind the scenes” examples of them working on their creations.
A friend called Cannes Lions an octopus, and maybe she was right. It has tentacles that reach across networks, provide inspiration, bestow awards, provide opportunities to entertain clients, urge you to learn as much as you can, help you cut deals, and dazzle you with content on and off the stages. I’m sure I’ve also missed a few.
The young professionals who come here focus on learning and being inspired creatively. I watch them plan their days at the Palais and dig into the work while I flit from meeting to meeting, hoping to catch a few talks each day. After some of the sessions, I listen to the young pros and wish that I could recapture the special enthusiasm that comes with being at the beginning of your career.
As I look at Cannes through their eyes, they inspire me to discover something interesting or new in every meeting or session. To be acutely observant of my surroundings and the trends taking place. (Technology, technology, technology.) To be more appreciative of the beautiful surroundings we are meeting in.
I had the honor of welcoming the 18 teams from companies across the world competing at this year’s Cannes Lions Young Marketers competition. I saw their excitement and the nervousness in their eyes.
I coached them to breathe and try to enjoy it, yet I also told them I participated in a similar contest when I was at their career stage, and I remember the adrenaline rushing through me as the case was revealed. As WaterAid Head of Communications Chris Wainwright walked them through his organization’s challenge, he gave them permission to think broadly and take creative risks to help solve a crisis in our world. A noble cause they could help through their corporate affiliations to make the world a better place. An assignment where I am truly hopeful that the ideas will be so break through that WaterAid will execute one and make their dream even more of a reality.
As our P&G client, Marc Pritchard, said at an Economist “Wake Up Cannes” event, “The greatest obstacle to creativity is the client.” I shared with the contestants that this is one of the reasons Ketchum sponsors this event. Our goal is to help them become better clients by having the courage to green-light creative ideas, and the discipline to develop more meaningful briefs that lead to better results.
As each team planned their strategy to approaching the 48 hours to come, I took off to ride the tentacles of the octopus. Our Cannes stories may differ, but we will all be enlightened by this experience and raise our awareness of the marketing possibilities ahead.
Would you buy a t-shirt for two euros if you saw under which conditions it was produced? BBDO Berlin asked this question during an experiment in preparation for Fashion Revolution Day on April 24, 2015. One Saturday, they installed a vending machine for t-shirts costing two euros at Berlin´s Alexanderplatz, where lots of bargain shops and general retailers are located. After choosing their t-shirt – but before inserting the two euros – shoppers were shown a short movie providing insight into how the garment was made. After that they were asked whether they really wanted to buy the t-shirt. Nine out of ten decided against it. A video was created to document the campaign.
To spread this film internationally, BBDO asked Ketchum Pleon Berlin for international press and blogger relations. Communication was set up in eight countries across Europe and in the U.S. In Berlin, a press release in German, English, French and Dutch was prepared. On Fashion Revolution Day, journalists in fashion, lifestyle and news media as well as selected bloggers were addressed. Some hours later, the first mentions in media and blogs appeared. After only a few days, over 1 million people viewed the film on YouTube. Coverage in media, blogs and social media across several countries also gained momentum. Ashton Kutcher even featured the YouTube link on his Facebook page. In early July, the video had already reached about 6.5 million views. BBDO and Ketchum Pleon submitted this campaign to the Cannes competition and won a Bronze Lion for PR.
From the inspiring presentations to the opportunities to engage with Ketchum colleagues from across the globe, the Cannes Lions Festival proved to be a rich, inspiring and unforgettable experience. It was a whirlwind of a week full of listening, learning and content creation. The 2015 Ketchum delegation was exceptional, and I'm so thankful to have been part of it. Here is a mega-GIF that provides a glimpse into all the exciting and memorable things we experienced in Cannes. One could also think of it as a mini, mini, mini documentary... with no sound. Enjoy!
Ketchum once again took to the stage at the Cannes Lions Festival, enabling great discussions on two fascinating topics that all brands and agencies should be thinking about. Find out what these topics were and the key insights and takeaways by clicking on the links to the right.
Don’t worry if you missed Cannes this year, the articles on the right will give you a great overview of the tops trends, themes and learnings of this year’s Festival from some of Ketchum’s most creative minds.
All too often, clients take it too personally. Securing and engaging talent isn’t dating, and it’s certainly not personal. It’s a business deal and needs to be planned for.
Parting with any significant amount of money can cause anxiety. Especially when engaging talent and opening up your brand to someone else who will then take part in furthering your efforts. Will consumers appreciate the connection? Will the talent make good on all points? Is this a sustainable relationship? Can I trust that this deal is being managed properly?
Go ahead; ask the questions…and have PLANS! Not just plan B, but also C and D. Because that’s why it gets personal – when your first choice says no, and you have people standing around wondering why. We all get caught up in just how perfect a celebrity/band/personality will be for the brand, and the deal often can take on a life of its own before the agency has even had a chance to contact the agent… let alone the manager!
When pondering a deal, it’s key to set the stage, caveat the heck out of everything with everyone, and then ensure the agency has your back – and you have a firm back-up plan. You must be confident in the efforts and approach of your agency, as they become your “front line” in the negotiation and management battle. Set the ground rules – you know your business; you know your financial structure; you know the organizational pressure points. Use that, and help the agency do what they do best. That’s right – they need a brief. That’s the first step in your plan. The next step is to ensure you are empowered to make decisions quickly and authoritatively, and that you keep others in your company apprised, but not TOO involved. Talent negotiation needs a velvet glove and an iron fist – and you need to know which approach leads.
So it’s key that you are THERE for the agency, and you are THERE for your internal audiences:
Common sense and business grounding are key; negotiating talent has many layers, and you need to weed through them to keep perspective. The best thing you can do is trust your agency; get to know them and involve them. And then let them educate you so that you are a smarter client. The deal will be stronger for it.
I entered Ketchum’s internal Cannes contest with the purpose of exploring the ways in which diversity and inclusion would be portrayed at the festival and reporting back on it to my colleagues. After spending an incredibly busy, yet fulfilling, week there, I can honestly say that this topic, and specifically gender equality, felt like the real winner of this year’s Cannes Lions. Throughout the week, there was a welcome abundance of conversation, creative and programming around women’s empowerment.
While the inaugural Glass Lions award contributed to the increased emphasis on the topic, I believe that it is more reflective of the bigger social conversation that has been gaining momentum over the past several years. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 put a spotlight on the issue of gender equality (sometimes more accurately referred to as gender inequality) and allowed for the issue to become more mainstream. Brands started to see the issue as a way to connect with head of household consumers and ultimately a way to connect their brand purpose to more relatable CSR initiatives.
P&G’s ‘Like a Girl’ campaign, the winner of the Glass Lion Grand Prix, illustrates exactly how the message of women’s empowerment can connect a brand to consumers (or in this case future consumers) by authentically carving out a space in the broader conversation.
There were many campaigns entered this year that were able to not only make an impact but also continue to push the topic of gender inequality more mainstream. Check out all the winners of this year’s Glass Lions and see which campaign resonates most with you.
When UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon addressed the Cannes Delegation in June, he delivered a challenge to brands and the global creative community to continue to create change for good – changes that demand equality and equity; create empathy through connection and communications; and empower ordinary citizens to take action through education and awareness.
The Year of the Citizen
And for the most part, brands and their creative partners responded to the Secretary-General’s challenge, delivering programs that gave rise to the Year of the Citizen, where perceptions and beliefs are challenged, consumers respond to a call to action and behaviors change.
Creative campaigns took on public health issues in relatable and actionable ways that help to put the consumer in control of their health care decisions.
Several winning programs featured a brilliant invention for visual promotion that could evoke emotion, engage, and/or inspire change.
Citizen Change Agent
Some of the most powerful work empowered people to rise up and help where there isn’t help, and create awareness and real change in places where democracy doesn’t exist or social mores and inequality are barriers to personal freedoms and safety.
In almost every creative category–From PR and Print to Design and Creative Data, citizen equality, empowerment and action were evident and inspiring. But as co-lead of Ketchum’s 50+ practice and someone who just turned 55, I was disappointed to see that one group of citizens had been left out of the discussion: Adults over 50. The work that I saw was not inclusive of older adults, and in fact, they were missing entirely from the UN’s Global Goals poster.
What I did see was discouraging – primarily campaigns that connected older adults to loneliness or disease states, such as depression, Alzheimer’s or cancer. I know that these are all part of growing older, but they are not the only parts. This generation is so much more, but there seemed to an underlying message at Cannes that everyone is included here, unless you’re 50 or older. VICE founder, Shane Smith, said that his company “hires young minds, young or not.” He cited Gloria Steinem as having the youngest mind he knows. And yet, it was clear that VICE is for and about a younger demographic vs being about reaching likeminded people.
There are many reasons why this type of inclusion is not happening in our work. It could be ageism. I could be that we’re using outdated stereotypes about older adults. Or it could be that marketers are looking at 50+ through 20+ or 30+ frame of reference, and 50+ just isn’t top of mind. But we should be. Why? Because we’re an economic powerhouse, we’re not brand loyal, and we’ll drop you if you aren’t relevant or responsive to our needs.
I know that there are many brands, agencies and organizations who are likeminded, and thinking age agnostic and embracing inclusion, but that work does not seem to be reflected at Cannes Lions. Maybe I missed it, but I shouldn’t have to work so hard to find “me” represented in the work. But we have to start somewhere. So here are a few ways brands can begin to think about older adults in real ways that are relevant and change behavior.
Five Ways to Become Citizen Age Agnostic
Country: Dominican Republic
Paola Garces: The time is seriously the most difficult thing in the Young Marketers competition. To put together a great presentation with the right language and insight was so challenging. But we learned that you can’t wait for perfection, you just have to go with your instinct and use what you have. This is also something that is often true to the work that we have to do as marketing professionals when an opportunity presents itself.
Jean Vargas: Cannes taught me lots about brands with purpose or supporting great causes. It showed me that in the Dominican Republic we can definitely make a difference and use communication to change our country for the better.
Country: Costa Rica
Company: Telefonica Costa Rica (GA) & Reserva Conchal (IJ)
Gustavo Aguilar: In your day-to-day job you’re working with your brief, then the numbers and the strategy and a multitude of other things, so you have lots of things to consider before your deadline. It means that we’re sometimes guilty of leaving creativity out of the process, because there’s ‘no time’ for it. But actually you always need to be creative; whether it’s with the numbers to stretch your budget, with design, the strategy or the inception of an idea never tried before. Cannes has reminded me of that and inspired me to bring creativity into all steps of the process.
Irene Jimenez: Communicating your idea with passion is the most important thing. If you believe in your idea then people will believe in your idea, too.
Hemi Zhang: One of the most difficult aspects of the competition, and any campaign, is that you brainstorm lots of ideas and have to end up with one. You have to abandon others that you may like equally, or feel attached to because it’s yours, but ultimately you have to go with the one that will answer the brief and serve the clients’ needs best.
Jingyi Zhang: We had to compete in two competitions in China to be selected for a place at the Young Lions Competition, so it was a tough process. Ultimately what I think made us stand out is that we didn’t look at the briefs we were given in a singular way. Our idea was simple but we made sure it spanned many different areas and disciplines within marketing and media to have the most impact, which meant that our ideas were considered to be more well-rounded by the judging panel.
Company: Lexus Canada
Olena Sapojnikova: Cannes has given us the perspective of how far we have come in our careers, and how we are supported by not only our colleagues but also by others in our industry and profession. People that you can connect with can challenge you to be better and can offer advice on how to get there. Here at the festival, we’ve been able to speak to people at all levels and at many different companies and I will treasure the moments I had with them and the inspiration they have given me.
Christian Di Vincenzo: We used the competition to go slightly outside our realm of digital, which is something we do in our day-to-day job. Tackling a brief from a different perspective meant that we were forced to be more creative, to innovate and to explore areas that others may not value so highly. It’s an interesting technique that showed me that collaboration with others with different specialties at the earliest stage should be embraced to get the most out of your project.
Ivan Khorev: I think we were picked over the other competitors in our country competition because we really believed in our idea and liked what we were doing. I believe that it shows in your work when you have faith in the concept.
Mikalai Tolstsik: A good working relationship with your colleagues is key. Throughout this process we had to keep in mind the other person’s point of view, we had to collaborate on the work, and play to each other’s strengths to make sure we ended up with a cohesive and powerful idea. If we hadn’t the end result would have suffered.
Company: Win2Day (IR) & Osterreichische Lotterien (TD)
Theresa Dorfmaier: Cannes is such an inspiring and motivating place, and it made us realise that often it is not about getting hung up on the little things but ensuring that you just have a really good idea as the base of everything you do.
Isabel Rosegger: For our country competition, all we had to do was submit our CV and give references. However, we didn’t want to do only that, so we created a video that showcased who we are and demonstrated that we really wanted to win. It made us different and gave us an edge. It’s never a bad thing to go above and beyond to exceed expectations and influence people’s perceptions.
Company: Aim Academy
Ha Nguyen Ngoc: Cannes has been a great experience in allowing us to open our minds. Being exposed to the greatest work in the world and to different markets around the globe has challenged our thinking, meaning we can bring new ideas back to our country and make something really disruptive.
Hiep Nguyen Quang: Being well-prepared is vital. Before our country competition we looked at briefs that were similar to those used in the competition and spent time thinking about how to brainstorm in the most effective ways, how to structure ideas and also how best to present them. It meant that when we got to the competition we knew how we needed to work and could focus on the task at hand and being as creative as possible.
Company: Vodafone Turkey
Anne Verdaasdonk: Cannes is an educational moment. It’s a reminder that it doesn’t matter what point you are in your career, you should never stop learning. You should always be open to finding new ways of looking at things.
Burak Capar: The topic of the competition was climate change, and as it is such a large and important issue, we found it difficult initially to decide which angle to focus on. It’s a long term problem, and not always a tangible thing that people can easily relate to or experience themselves, which can make producing an idea that connects challenging. Finding the way to do that and truly reach people was key.
Country: Sri Lanka
Aaqib Reyal: What I will take back from Cannes is to unlearn most of the things we know. What we are doing right now, it works, maybe it will work for tomorrow, but will it work for the day after? You can never be certain. So we have to work with our teams to discuss the future and where it may be heading. We may not come up with the answer, but we may create some interesting ideas, so it’s important to keep having those conversations and to keep thinking ahead.
Abitha Pathmanathan: Understanding the importance of an insight was key for the competition. Many people have great ideas but you really have to understand your consumer and find the way to connect your product to them - that’s the way some of the most successful brands in the world exist. It can be a very simple insight, or very complex, but you have to crack it by investing your time, energy and thought processes at an early stage and then returning to it until you’ve got it right.
Natalia Sanchez de Leon: The importance of technology and keeping up with the pace is something we’ve learned about a lot here in Cannes. It’s so important for your brand to understand and keep up with the world around you as it’s always changing. I think brands should try and keep back some budget every year just to experiment, do new things and explore what’s out there so they stay fresh and relevant.
Erika Gamero: I believe that something that represents us as a team is that we are very passionate both when creating and delivering the idea. We enjoy the moment and I think that comes across when you’re trying to engage someone with your work.
Company: Microsoft Advertising (AA) & Outsystems (DV)
Ana Rita Almeida: Even though I love my job, I’m guilty of sometimes forgetting to be creative. When you have lots of tasks to do, your job can start to feel boring. You have to sit back and remember why you chose this career in the first place and get inspired again. You need to recognise yourself and your capabilities and realise all the great things you can create when you put your mind to it.
Diogo Vasques: We had a great idea for the competition, but to make it understandable to who your presenting to by deciding what to include or omit, can be tough. It makes sense in your head but to get someone to see your vision can be hard, especially if you’re presenting it in a short amount of time. So, you have to find a way to get them to see into your world, and for this you have to be able to present your idea at its simplest.
Company: Grupa Zywiec
Igor Zajda: Bringing your experience from all areas of your life, including your career, means that you are in the strongest place to deliver great ideas. Draw on what you and others around you know, combine it with good market research, and you have a winning combination.
Katarzyna Wierzchowska: Time was the hardest part of the competition, but it made us focus, get strategic quickly and not waste time over details that ultimately didn’t matter.
Lene Sandem: We came up with our final idea for the competition quite quickly but we felt that it was almost too soon to have the best idea so early on. Although you need to explore others, it showed us that sometimes the first idea can be right one, so trust yourself and instincts and be confident in your ability – particularly when time is an issue.
Agnes Bing Orgland: We were paired up at our country competition stage, so we had never worked with each other before. What has been great is that it has shown me that bringing in different people to collaborate and work on your idea can bring a fresh perspective and challenge your thinking. When you work with the same people day-in day-out, you sometimes forget that the answer may be outside of your team so try and include others where possible to bring something new.
Company: Axis Bank
Mihir Gandhi: When you sit down and focus on one task, it’s amazing to see how much you come up with. We surprised ourselves with the ideas we formulated and showed us we are more creative than we think. In your job, you have a lot going on, so you don’t always get the luxury of doing this but it taught us the value of taking time to give one thing your all.
Amit Ramprakash Vishwakarma: Cannes is a huge stamp of quality and to say that we were here and participated in this competition has been a brilliant opportunity for our careers in future.
Company: Maksz (DN) & Twinner Hungaria (NB)
Daniel Nemeth: One of the challenges in the competition was tackling an issue (climate change) that has already been extensively explored by others before us. How do you find a new and creative way to tell the story and reach an audience already aware of the topic? We had to think completely outside of the box and really challenge ourselves creatively to find an idea that would make an impact.
Nora Bereczki: We have been working together and entering competitions together for years, so not only did we already know a lot about what the judges would be looking for, but also how to work together to bring out the best in each other. We play to each other’s strengths, and know our own limitations, to get the best final result.
Country: Republic of Georgia
Company: Bank of Georgia
Ana Markozashvili: Working on a brief from the UN was amazing, because it made us realize the scale of what our ideas could do. It added pressure but it made us want to create something that would really make a difference, to give a little more to make sure it lived up to the organisation.
Nino Ungiadze: We’re perfectionists so we worked hard on our brief, laboured over it even, and ensured that before we went in to the competition we prepared as much as we could. We had never done anything like this before our country competition, and the work required was unfamiliar to us as we don’t usually get the opportunity to brief companies, so we were out of our comfort zones throughout the process. Preparation and a can-do attitude meant that we succeeded.
Company: Unilever Finland
Tommi-Juhani Jokinen: The challenge I think in the competition was to find the human truth. We can preach about things like climate change but what is actually the thing that makes it tangible? Once we had found that we could start on the idea. Good ideas always start from good insights.
Reetta Noukka: Our idea was globally scalable and brave. We think that made us stand out in our country competition. Trying to come up with an idea that is different and makes you stand out is difficult because everyone around you that you’re competing with is very bright and talented. However, it’s important to keep the value of originality in mind when creating, as it’s easy to fall into tried and tested areas that don’t challenge you, your client or your audience. Keep pushing the boundaries, keep driving change, and you’ll find something unique that really resonates.
Ketchum sponsored the Cannes Young Lions Marketers Competition, something we have been extremely proud to be sponsor for the sixth consecutive year. We believe that the bright young minds the competition attracts and the impeccable work they produce is a clear indication of the successful careers they have in front of them, and that one day they will be the future leaders of the industry. It is exciting to be a part of their journey to get there. Click on the links to find out more about these exceptional individuals, what they learnt from their time in the competition and a run-down of what exactly it entailed.
This article was first published in the Holmes Report.
Over the course of about 20 minutes, public relations agency Ketchum and its client Pernod Ricard negotiated a (fictional) deal with singer/actress Natalie Imbruglia and her agent under which the company would become a sponsor of Imbruglia’s upcoming tour and the artist would become a spokesperson for the Avión tequila brand, providing a fascinating, fast-paced glimpse into the way these deals get done.
While the deal is a mere simulation, both brands are real: Avión was initially introduced during the HBO television series Entourage, and has been growing quickly despite distribution challenges and increased competition from both traditional brands and new custom tequilas; Imbruglia is a brand herself, and has a track record working with brands such as L’Oreal (“they really understood me as an artist,” she says) and high-end jewelry company Kailis, and is currently developing her own skincare line. She also has a new album coming out soon, with plans for a tour.
The conversation began with a suggestion from Jeff Straughn, founder and CEO of Brand Synergy Group and Imbruglia’s representation, that “Avión could be perfect for upcoming tour.”
The first question from the client: “Are you a tequila drinker?”
Natalie: “Absolutely I am a tequila drinker. But I also think the music would be a great fit for this promotion.”
Jeffrey Moran, vice president of public relations, events and sponsorship for Pernod Ricard, wanted to go beyond a tour sponsorship: “We want an original composition that could be the sound of the brand.”
Straughn: “We would prefer to focus on the single, Instant Crush, not a song that is not ours. Tour sponsorship makes a lot of sense. But there’s a third element, which is that in a lot of things Natalie has done sharing is very important.”
Natalie: “In the work we did with Kailis, that included a contribution to the charities I support.”
Moran: “Pernod Ricard is very committed to charity, but as a liquor company, we have to be careful about associations. But we are very happy to work together on that front.”
The next challenge is deciding the length of the deal. The company is ready to commit to a single year, while Natalie wants a more long-term commitment, a three-year deal. “I am sure it will be 10 years,” says Ketchum Sounds executive vice president Marcus Peterzell. Natalie suggests two years. Pernod agrees, with a third year thrown in “if we hit our sales targets.”
The geographic scope of the assignment is the next issue. Pernod wants global rights, even though Avión is not currently a global brand. Straughn argues that “global rights in territories where you don’t sell is unfair to Natalie.” Natalie is more interested in whether the brand is currently distributed in her native Australia and is shocked to learn that it is not.
Natalie: “I could do the launch.”
An agreement is reached that the scope will include all the territories in which the brand is available—and Pernod will commit to the Australian market.
And so on to Imbruglia’s media commitments:
Peterzell: “We are a PR agency and we think press is important to the launch. We want 8 to 10 media days, and 10 to 12 social media posts.
Straughn wants more background: “What does a full PR day involve?”
Peterzell: “An eight-hour day not including travel.”
Straughan: “You cover all the costs?”
Peterzell: “Of course.”
Natalie has concerns. She will be touring and promoting an album over the next 12 months, and is worried about a big time commitment. Straughn suggests four media days, but promises his client will do more if she is available. “On social side,” he argues, “less is more if you want it to sound sincere and credible.” The agreement is four days, but Natalie promises she will make herself available for special opportunities if she can. “It’s a partnership,” she says.
Music clearances are another issue, because Sony is the publisher, and Straughn cannot guarantee what Sony will do—though both he and Imbruglia are confident there won’t be any problem. Straughn promises to work closely to facilitate the rights. Peterzell wants an out if the company is being unreasonable, and both Natalie and her agent are cool with that, confident that everything will work out.
Next up, artist approvals:
Peterzell: “Any creative that uses Natalie’s name or image we will send to you for approval. But we can’t give you approval on what the ad agency does with the rest of the campaign.”
Natalie: “What if my face is on a big cheesy billboard? I want to have control over my image if it conflicts with my brand.”
Straughn: “We have to have some input. It’s a good thing that Natalie wants to be involved….”
Moran: “We are open to this.”
Peterzell: “You’ve seen our branding. You should be comfortable with the branding. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t want to be in business with us.”
What about exclusivity?
Peterzell: “You are going into business with Pernod Ricard, which is a global spirits company. That leaves you free to pursue any non-alcoholic beverages.”
Straughn: “We’re talking about a tequila brand, why would we be excluded from working with a wine company?”
Peterzell: “Because Pernod Ricard also sells wine.”
Natalie: “I want to protect myself. If I am at a charity event and they only serve wine and someone catches a photo of me with a glass of wine in my hand….”
Peterzell: “That’s fine. But if someone gives you a glass of Patron with the name of the brand on it, that would be a problem.”
Natalie: “I wouldn’t do that.”
Straughn: “We go to a lot of events—like the Grammys for example—that may be sponsored by your competitors.”
Peterzell: “That’s fine. But if there’s a Grey Goose logo on the red carpet, don’t pose for photos in front of it.”
Ultimately, Ketchum and Pernod Ricard agree to take wine out of the contract, excluding only other spirits brands. Which brings us to the final—and presumably trickiest—area of negotiation: compensation. A number is written on a piece of paper and passed from Ketchum to Imbruglia.
Peterzell: “This is our budget and the budget is the budget.”
Natalie and Straughn laugh. Straughn: “You are asking for a lot. You are looking for a tremendous amount of effort and we are giving up a lot of opportunities. We think you have to double this.”
Peterzell: “That’s not going to happen. We could go maybe 20 percent.”
Straughn: “If we say 25, maybe we can do this.”
Moran: “Can we split the difference?”
Natalie: “And a case of tequila.”
And so the deal is done.
It’s difficult to assess how “real” the simulation was. Pernod Ricard was keen to get to “yes,” and Imbruglia was the personification of reasonableness. There were no lawyers in the room. And everything was being done in front of a live audience.
But as a glimpse into the process, it was a fascinating and entertaining 20 minutes—as much fun as anything at Cannes on this Monday, and capped with an acoustic performance of Imbruglia's new single, which for many was the highlight.
Ketchum partnered with global strategy and insight partner Flamingo, for a discussion entitled Whatever You Do, Don't Call Them Grey (or Silver). The panel discussed new research from Ketchum's "ReMovement" study, providing attendees with crucial and concrete advice on how to make their brands and ideas resonant and inclusive of the 50+ cohort.
Moderator Hélène Paulette Côté, program director of 3% REturnships - a program designed to retrain 50+ creatives and reintegrate them into host agencies for a 1-3 month "REturnship" - kicked off proceedings by introducing Karen Strauss, Partner and Chief Strategy and Creativity Officer.
As part of Ketchum's 50+ offering, Karen shared a roadmap of how marketers can re-engage with this valuable segment by explaining how the 50+ are reappraising their lives and removing relationships, behaviors and brands that have lost relevance. Based on the results of the study, she identified several ways brands can connect with 50+ "ReMovers," which included:
Following Karen, Stephen Reily, Chairman and Managing Director, IMC/ Vibrant Nation, described just how important peer influence can be, giving the audience some actionable insights from spending almost a decade asking women questions and listening to women talking to each other at Vibrant Nation - a social network for women aged 45 and above.
Stephen said that the current generation of women 50+ represents the first generation of women whose connections continue to grow (rather than diminish) in both quantity and quality as they age. In a recent Vibrant Nation survey, 1,000 women revealed that they're more reliant on their peers than ever. For these interconnected women, there is no more important influence than their peers. Stephen concluded by observing that harnessing the power of peers is an essential supplement to the other tools marketers use today with the 50+ audience.
The final speaker was Kirsty Fuller, Co-CEO of Flamingo Group, who provided some interesting thoughts on the positive effect of cross-generational diversity. She believes that it’s more than a lack of consumer understanding or expertise which is holding back progress for marketers - something which is less obvious, driven as much by fear as ignorance, a fear of brand erosion and the undermining of a brand's contemporary credentials that might result if they risk appearing "less aspirational" by targeting older consumers. But she countered this with the assertion that, with the right principles in place, this fear is unfounded, and communication with a 50+ audience can positively enhance brand equity across the age spectrum.
In particular, marketers have the opportunity to develop compelling communication that engages audiences across generations - ideas that are value-driven rather than age-driven - with the potential to build stronger equity and meaning into brands for Millennials and Boomers alike.
The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is one of the largest and most well-respected events in our industry, and Ketchum has long realized the impact it has on our clients and the marketing space. As such, we approach the festival each year with enthusiasm: looking to make our mark and showcase where PR is heading, while soaking up as much knowledge as we can to pass back on to our clients and colleagues.
This year, the biggest themes of the conference were:
Ketchum has long since established itself as a leader at Cannes - we were one of the first PR agencies to win a Cannes Lion award and were one of the first PR agencies to get deeply involved in the festival through our sponsorship of the Cannes Young Lions Marketers Competition. In 2016, we sponsored the competition again for our sixth straight year. And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we added an award to our Cannes Lions Award total, and had 10 entries shortlisted in categories across the communications spectrum.
We also had two great sessions on the Cannes stage: Content for the Ages: All of Them and The Art of the Deal: Let’s Make a Movie. Check out the Ketchum at Cannes section to read more about the key insights and takeaways from our sessions.
We’re also sharing a glimpse at the online conversation generated by Ketchum at the festival, as well as a look at some of our attendee’s best learnings and a closer look at the Cannes Young Lions Marketers Competition sponsorship.
I’m thrilled to share these learnings with you in this issue of Perspectives. I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com with any questions or comments.
My mission for Cannes was to use visual thinking as both entertainment and a way to present enlightening content ideas. Packed with lots of paper, sketchbooks, pens and markers, I produced about 50 illustrations and sketches around the Cannes Lions, a selection of which can be found below. For me, the true wonder of Cannes is the experience of a week filled with work and campaigns, sessions, speakers and interesting conversations that take you back to the point in your heart where bright and crazy ideas live, and this definitely gives you another perspective when coming back.
I might have packed up my paper and pens for now, but here are few thoughts that I’ll be drawing upon:
Experiment with Content
What can brands learn from Buzzfeed? A new way of producing great content. Put out many different ideas first, see what gets the best resonance in your audience, and then built alterations of it.
With #LoveWins matching the unofficial Lions main theme “Diversity”, this Lion was a spontaneous reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court announcement. Not knowing that the Cannes Lions Festival itself was about to change their logo, this picture was our most retweeted and shared item – and the quickest one in terms of production time. Here again: If you hit the mark with the content, it´ll spread. Like Love ;-)
If you’d like to see more of my drawings from Cannes, check out my Twitter feed: @YacCordes. One thing is for certain: With the reunion of arts and science, communications professionals must become more agile in the way we develop and implement campaigns. We must minimize egos and increase collaboration so that we’re breaking the lines between disciplines and giving ourselves more space for bold experiments, playful work and room for failure.
This was originally published on the Ketchum Blog.
A little about myself: My name is Gabriel Araujo, I am 33 years old, from Brazil, and it should be known that I am a creative and restless person. Since the age of 15 I’ve known I wanted to be in advertising. The day I saw the first print ad I created run in the newspaper was glorious. So, am I still creating advertising all these years later? No—I’m a member of the PR industry. Can an “ad guy” be happy in PR?
My time at Cannes this year helped solidify my answer, which is yes!
First, I have to acknowledge Cannes does not reflect the day-to-day reality of any one marketing communications discipline, be it PR, digital, media or advertising. Some consider the festival a big show—and even more may gaze upon the countless campaigns on display with a critical eye (to be honest, I hadn’t seen many before the festival), but one notion is beyond reproach: nearly all of them are presented so creatively that they fill us with shame and envy, forcing us to ask, “Why haven’t I see this before?”
In most award programs, winning cases are defined by big ideas and simple solutions. If it’s complicated to follow, it’s a weak idea. But sometimes it’s a little different at Cannes. Here, a weak idea showcased with a beautiful presentation can win. A beautiful idea with an entry that doesn’t clearly convey the work’s full story can’t even get on the shortlist.
And this is where the discipline of PR has an opportunity to learn from advertising and evolve into something extraordinary.
When an advertising agency creates a campaign, it involves planning, creative, tech and digital teams to collectively generate the greatest output. Once the idea is chosen, the team begins its hardest work: transforming it from good to great—and then from great to transcendent. This addiction to the craft of selling ideas, taken to a nearly artisanal degree, is the advertising industry’s primary advantage at Cannes. It’s not just about the idea, but the selling of it.
When I look at the PR agencies, I see small deviations from the ad agency model that can have a significant impact on the outcome of the work. PR agencies have an incredible arsenal of assets: our talent—subject matter experts in everything from technology to healthcare so good that, for example, I somtimes think I’m speaking to a microbiologist rather than a PR professional in Ketchum’s Healthcare practice.
And, in PR, content is king. In Ketchum’s case, we’ve spent almost 100 years creating relevant content for brands through storytelling, which gives us a major advantage over other disciplines.
It’s exciting to me that PR is not just about media relations anymore—it is about innovating and telling unusual, fresh stories all the time. To craft the big ideas we need to support our content, we need to build upon the insights that come from brainstorming and perfect the sort of polishing necessary to take good ideas to the next level.
But looking at the work at Cannes, it seems to me that there is a gap between how the work is presented by ad agencies and PR agencies. For one thing, ad agencies are doing a better job at packaging their work. There are some incredible PR cases being presented, many of which are superior to their advertising counterparts, yet ad agencies continue to dominate the Cannes spotlight because their process to support great content with great ideas that reinforce the narrative is more refined. Simply put, they are better at selling their stories.
As a former “ad guy” I can state with confidence that there are no more real barriers between advertising and PR. On the contrary, advertising agencies are thirsty for our expertise, trying to understand how to do PR. The market has changed radically, and the best way to communicate with the consumer has much more to do with PR than traditional advertising. To take the lead, PR pros need to study how to develop improved tactical strategies that don’t only show the results, but sell the break through ideas behind the numbers.
This can be seen most clearly by looking at the shortlisted PR work at Cannes Lions 2016. Around 95% consists of work by advertising agencies. In my opinion, it should be the opposite.
So, as a creative and restless person, my transition to PR is just what I needed. It presents me with new and challenging ways to apply creativity; and opportunities abound to help sell the next big idea—particularly given all that I have seen at Cannes.
This was originally published on the Ketchum Blog.
It’s early in the week at Cannes, and the unusual quiet has given me time to take in the sights and activities before the true madness begins.
In a Festival with 15,000 attendees from hundreds of organizations attending countless sessions, the pressure to stand out mimics the real challenges we face every day: it’s a crowded marketplace. So how do marketers market to other marketers? The answer is the same as the old joke, “How do porcupines have sex?” Very carefully.
As I experienced the quiet in the Palais, I quickly realized that things were breaking through all around me. Here are three…
The Poster Race
Agencies and organizations have many channels available to them, but none as competitive as poster placement around the Palais, the convention center where the Lions are held. Wall space is at a premium and visuals for every type of session are continuously posted and reposted throughout, all in an effort to gain attention and draw a crowd to their session.
Here’s a great example from “The Case for Unconditional Love” hosted by Johnson & Johnson with BBDO Worldwide. The poster is designed with removable sticky notes – each with a statistic about love – in the shape of a heart. The details of the poster are revealed as visitors pull off the notes one by one.
Have you ever seen a jaded ad creative director melt into a gooey puddle? I have, and I felt the same as a “real-life” 8-foot polar bear took to the stage and hallways of the Palais. Of course this was just promotion by London-based agency Taylor Herring. The polar bear, controlled by puppeteers from the West End Musical War Horse, was created for a campaign for British TV channel Sky Atlantic. But though we all intellectually knew the bear was being controlled by a human, it was a strangely emotional symbol of the real animals’ plight – also controlled by humans contributing to global warming.
It Was All in My Head
From a virtually real polar bear, to virtual reality (VR), VR is bound to be the darling of this year’s Festival (click to tweet). Myriad displays, sessions and demonstrations have captured the imaginations of participants here – including mine. The VR headsets had me surfing a deadly wave, taking thrilling ski jumps, hugging the curves of a rollercoaster and trying to watch my back as a creepy character lurked “behind” me. My previous knowledge of VR was limited to what I’d read and a few Google Cardboard demonstrations. However, the immersive experience of onsite demonstrations had my mind running wild. Though VR is not new to the scene, I expect to see a big spike in creative featuring the technology.
Whatever the rest of the week holds, it’s already set up to be an overwhelming experience full of the unexpected. As marketers continue to search for new ways to thrill consumers online, through VR and IRL (in real life), we’re taking our turn first – looking for inspiration in the real world of Cannes and beyond.
As one of the first PR agencies to win a Cannes Lion, Ketchum is no stranger to the awards at the festival. This year we entered 14 incredible campaigns and we were honored with a Bronze PR Lion for work on behalf of Caritas International ‘Keys of hope’ program, which was conducted in partnership with BBDO Group Germany, in the Content-Led Engagement & Marketing category. Watch this moving campaign and some of the other amazing Ketchum campaigns below.
A Journey to One Global ZF Film
Ananse Safe Stories Case Film
Caritas International Keys of Hope Case Film
Life is a Dance Film
Pfizer Age Shamelessly Creative Data Case Film
This article previously appeared in Communicate Magazine.
At the risk of being unduly topical, set against the backdrop of Brexit, it’s clear that we are better together. Stronger when we are unified in our commitment to do great work, grounded in timeless human truth. It’s the alchemic marriage of insight into our target with the creative spark that leads to truly campaign-leading ideas that capture hearts and change minds.
So at the end of a frenetic and emotional week in Cannes where we saw the PR industry lose the majority of its Lions to ad agencies, there are many lessons, but one was crystal clear. As a profession, we must think bigger, deeper and broader. To fulfill on our ambition to deliver and lead the idea that drives the work, we must unite, or fail.
So it was with some interest that I approached the session: Planners & Creatives: A Peace Treaty. The session sought to settle the eternal battle between the thinkers and the dreamers. To solve the question of why the very marriage that should be delivering for clients was often riven by internal conflict and thus failing to summon the very magic it sought to invoke.
Research had been conducted (obviously), qual for the creatives, quant for the planners. The fascinating takeaway being that the planners wanted an ongoing relationship, a marriage built on communication and back-and-forth dialogue. In stark and somewhat surprising contrast, the creatives wanted nothing more than a great (and brief) insight and to be left to work their magic.
A debate ensued, where assumptions were challenged and scores settled. A bloodletting which led to the same conclusion: All sides love the work and the process of creation. The result was a #creativepeacetreaty. A document which enshrined a common set of principles that would lead to lasting harmony and better, bigger thinking. At its core was the belief that strategy and creative were separate but symbiotic. A relationship of equals, founded on each delivering their thinking, which, when in harmony, could transform the everyday into the extraordinary.
So the question is: Can we learn from this and fight on the same side, united in our conviction that clients deserve better, bigger work? Often, the tension in PR lies between creative and account; throw in strategy, and it can be hard for the sides to find common ground. Process is part of the answer, but people are the key.
As the PR industry continues to evolve, hiring ever more diverse talent, with different skill sets, it’s a timely reminder that we must avoid repeating the mistakes of those who have come before us. For strategy, in the absence of creative, is dull. Creative, in the absence of insight, is a lightning strike that can often be random and unfocussed. Throw in account leadership, whose role is to bring the perspective of the client, and, in the ensuing tangle, you have a recipe for work that Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer of P&G, called out as “crap" as opposed to “craft." Not an inspiring proposition.
So I’m waiting with interest to see the final #creativepeacetreaty published, to help us all enshrine the principle that collaboration is not compromise but connecting the dots to deliver better creative. If we as an industry want to win more next year, we’d do well to remember that we are more powerful when we collaborate. When we allow strategists, creative and account to stand together but apart, we weave a narrative that spellbinds not only the client, but the consumer too.
We can win, but collaboration, not compromise, will be the strait gate through which we must pass.
Here’s to a peaceful – and successful - Cannes 2017.
This article was originally published on Forbes.
Last week, I’ve experienced the “world’s largest creativity festival” through the lens of a Millennial and left with the reminder that my generation seems to rule the marketing world. (Isn’t that a millennial statement for ya?) As the youngest person from Ketchum PR to attend the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, my decoded themes of the 2016 Cannes Lions quickly turned into predictions for 2017 and the future of marketing as a whole:
My perspective and predictions might not be the same as the CEOs or CMOs who sat beside me at Cannes Lions, but that’s what makes our communication industry so dynamic. Next year, VR will become tangible, Gen Z will be a hot topic, and my Millennial lens will be old news; this year was simply a spark of imagination when it comes to future possibilities.
Early each morning here on the French Riviera, anglers can be seen casting their lines in search of a perfect catch. Their leathery, tanned skin and white hair are outward reflections of their age and love for fishing. And they are reminders that we are all, no matter our age, hoping to snare a big one.
Here at the Cannes Creativity Festival, the big fish is a lion-shaped trophy of creative affirmation. Most of the winners bounding to the stage are young, mirroring the industry.
But on the lecture stages, it’s been the mature voices finding their soles—the prized fish that takes some patience to hook. Madonna Badger, the advertising executive who survived the fatal house fire that killed her parents and three young daughters, celebrated her 52nd birthday onstage with a standing ovation for her compelling work fighting the objectification of women in advertising. She spoke emotionally of her long journey through grief to discover new purpose. Despite her loss, she has turned the page on a new life.
Cindy Gallop, the 55-year-old, colorful founder of Make Love Not Porn and advocate for female creative directors, took to the stage twice with her crusade to ensure the woman’s voice—in bed, and everywhere else. When she discovered there were no female creatives in the Case for Creativity book handed to every Cannes delegate, she started this firestorm Tweet. Her victory included public apologies from the male establishment here. Cindy shines as a trailblazer.
Anderson Cooper, 49, in his stage interview of Anthony Bourdain, 59, got the biggest round of applause upon replaying the now famous moment when he called out Donald Trump for using the argument of a five-year-old in response to Trump saying he didn’t start the attacks on Ted Cruz’s wife. At the pinnacle of his CNN career, Cooper, and Bourdain for that matter, demonstrate a zeal for the “big get.”
As the 55-year-old moderator of a Cannes stage panel called Content for the Ages—All of Them, I enjoyed shedding light on the pitfalls of ageist stereotyping. I shared Ketchum Brazil’s social experiment, Age Shamelessly, which convincingly flips assumptions about how older people think and behave and how younger people do. It proved an excellent backdrop for convincing the crowd to shape and aim content toward shared passions instead of age, especially after every hand went up when asked whether they usually targeted Millennials and treated them as a monolithic bloc.
Panelist Adam Singolda, the founder and CEO of Taboola, the world’s leading content discovery platform, shared a case in point—the Life Reimagined campaign for AARP. By offering “age-agnostic” content about finding love and changing careers, the one-time retirement association taps universal truths to engage people of all ages. Panelists Rachel Schectman of STORY and Michael Fanuele, Chief Creative Officer of General Mills (*client), also shared work that succeeded by engaging through passion, not age.
And what do the fishermen teach us? Casting about, they follow their passion, angling for the big catch. They are focused, determined, and starting over each day. A strong argument for age-agnostic marketing.
Thirty-four competitors from 17 countries gathered in the workroom of the Palais des Festivals et des Congres – ready for their briefing. The United Nation’s Special Advisor Dr. David Nabarro appeared on a large flat screen TV with notable words of advice, “You have the opportunity to create the biggest campaign ever for humanity. For the future of our people and the planet.”
And with that, the annual Young Lions Marketers Competition had begun. Taking place at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the Young Marketers Competition is designed to celebrate creativity and recognize young talented “in-house” marketers, age 30 or under, from around the world. In order to have the opportunity to compete on this global stage, each participant won a national competition to show their creative prowess.
Now at Cannes Lions, the Young Marketers – comprised of teams of two – were given just 24 hours to brainstorm, program, plan and present. Their client was The United Nations with an assignment around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda for Sustainable Development focuses on economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. Both universal and transformative, the Agenda aims to spur actions that will end poverty, reduce inequality and tackle climate change between now and 2030.
Understanding that public support is essential for this plan to take effect nationally and globally, competitors were asked to: 1) reframe this conversation, taking a set of complex abstract ideas to a personal and emotional level about people and their planet; 2) build and position the Agenda among the general public, creating connections to the Agenda’s icons, imagery and messages across the private and public sectors; and 3) promote the brand of sustainable development by reaching as many people as possible and amplifying the voices of the people leading change in their communities.
Ketchum has sponsored this illustrative competition for the past six years. And for the second consecutive year, Ketchum President and North America CEO Barri Rafferty served on the panel of esteemed judges along with Michael Knox, Chief Creative Officer at Grey and Kelly Vanasse, Vice President of Communications at Procter & Gamble, Global business Units (*client).
“Reminiscent of Camp Ketchum, the Young Lions Marketers Competition is a monumental commitment of creative energy from each competitor in a pressure-cooked timeframe,” said Barri Rafferty, Ketchum North America CEO and judge. “As a judge and a mentor, it was inspiring to be a champion for this powerful global force of creativity. Seeing the CMO’s of the future in action left me excited about the ways marketing can innovate for global good.”
After the 24-window expired and each duo of eager yet exhausted competitors presented their brave ideas to the judges, the Bronze, Silver and Gold winners were announced among much anticipation. Taking home the prestigious Gold prize was the Republic of Georgia’s Nino Ungiadze and Ana Markozashvili representing the Bank of Georgia. They created a locally impactful idea that allowed their brand, Bank of Georgia, to invite Millennials to support a sustainable cause of their choosing by opening a savings account where the bank matched the interest earned for a cause. The customers were able to crowdsource the organizations supported and follow the progress as they are encouraged to save for the future.
“It’s a very big surprise,” said Markozashvili. “We tried not to set our expectations so high, so we didn’t disappoint ourselves. Any kind of appreciation would have been a big surprise. And suddenly we’re on the stage getting gold. It’s very unexpected, but we're so grateful.”
“The cause and creative challenge is so big and so serious,” said Ungiadze. “When we were briefed by the United Nations themselves, we felt inspired and hopefully inspired the judges.”
The team from Turkey, Vodafone Turkey’s Burak Capar and Anne Verdaasdonk, won the Silver Lion, and the Bronze Lion went to the team from Canada, Lexus Canada’s Christian Di Vincenzo and Olena Sapojnikova.
Congratulations to all the winners and every participant of the 2016 Young Marketers competition for using their creativity and power of their companies’ brands to influence global positive change.
When brands and artists hammer out plans to create content together, it usually happens behind closed doors. That notion was shattered at Cannes Lions, where I had the pleasure of moderating, “The Art of the Deal: Let’s Make a Movie.” The Ketchum-sponsored session (our second, following last year’s music-based panel) brought together Hershey’s CMO Peter Horst (*client) and TV personality, podcaster and movie director Adam Carolla for a lively discussion about how they could collaborate on a branded film project. As moderator, I played the role that PR usually plays: acting as a facilitator who can engage both sides in conversation and help them reach consensus.
Representing the Hershey brand, Peter set the stage by describing his company’s creative challenge: to craft compelling content that could expand the edgy, humorous “Break Through” brand of Ice Breakers gum among millennial audiences who have a greater fear of regret than failure.
It was an assignment tailor-made for Adam, and his Gearhead Films producing partner Nate Adams. The duo came equipped with amazing ideas—specifically, a bio doc about Willy T. Ribbs, the first African-American to break through the color barrier in professional auto racing, and a profile of several millennials who break through the stereotypes of self-centered entitlement by creating technologies that will improve the world for future generations.
While Peter was open to either subject, it was clear that the content itself wasn’t the only question at hand. We needed to determine how this piece of branded entertainment could best find its audience and accomplish the brand’s goals without risking audience alienation. What Adam and Nate brought to the table as a potential partner to The Hershey Company was formidable. Not only was he an incredibly mediable, PR-friendly personality in his own right, but his connections within the industry, a million-listener podcast and access to platforms like Jimmy Kimmel Live! left both sides feeling that big results could be delivered.
Along the way, there were a host of insights about what makes branded content work. First of all, as Adam pointed out, the creatives need to be invested, “The more passionate they are about the project, the better it will turn out.” Also, creating assets that can come to life across multiple channels is essential—even though a feature film was the focus of the conversation, figuring out strategies to engage with the content online is crucial. Finally, everyone agreed that branded content is not a commercial—it’s about turning ideas into a great story. Creating a strong film with minimal branding will lead to more eyeballs than a poor film that’s more aggressively branded (click to tweet).
From an agency perspective, another unique element of the event was the ability to make the pitch directly to the brand’s CMO and get his candid feedback in real time. For a piece of content this ambitious, access to the top decision-maker is crucial. We also took advantage of the live nature of the session by garnering the opinion of another important party: the audience. When asked to vote with a show of hands for which of the two ideas they’d prefer, the audience overwhelmingly supported the millennial innovators idea, giving the panel some valuable insight into which idea might resonate with audiences beyond Cannes.
So here’s the old-fashioned movie cliffhanger: Will the project actually get made? Time will tell, but we’re optimistic. This was only the first of the many conversations that would be required to bring the vision to reality, but the seeds have been planted, which is how all great things begin.