Sun, Sea and Creativity: Honey at Cannes Lions 2016

Cannes Lions

Sun, Sea and Creativity: Honey at Cannes Lions 2016

The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is arguably the world’s greatest gathering of creative minds, and Honey was again at the heart of the action in the French Riviera, where we soaked up the inspiration and radiated the heat of sunburnt shoulders. Here’s seven things I learnt:

    1. Keep your friends close and your trolls closer. Honey client and collaborator hasan & partners hosted a session on brand trolling. The big take out was that you can’t stop trolling but you can control the response. Calling in the lawyers won’t help your image but a considered, human response will serve you well.
    2. If you launch with no success, launch again and again is the message from Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, who admitted on stage that it launched four times before anyone noticed.
    3. Don’t apply the same strategy to different countries and cultures: Maxime Holder, CEO of PAUL bakery and patisserie, explained how it expected UK customers to buy groceries in the supermarket and their bread from PAUL. But consumers purchased everything from a supermarket and PAUL sold 18 baguettes a day. In France, PAUL sells an average of 800, and it took some time to identify its niche in bread-loving Britain.
    4. Think like Hollywood: When seeding a new campaign, look at how Tinsel Town promotes its blockbusters, says Melissa Goidel, CRO of Refinery29. Trailers, teasers, posters, GIFs, memes, interviews, social adverts, the list goes on.
    5. Subtitles in videos are key: Facebook video ads with subtitles see a 4% higher completion rate, 26% higher share rate, and a 29% increase in the number of comments than those without, argued Tim Page, VP of Revenue at paid social technology specialist Adaptly. Evidently as many as 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound.
    6. Make the shift from product to people: When Actor Will Smith receives a script he doesn’t worry about the picture making money, but how will it improve lives. “It doesn’t have to be deep. If it’s just comedy and people come to get a laugh, it improves lives.” He describes this as a shift “from products to people” and added “if I have a deeper comprehension of people, the product I create is going to be more successful.” Read more here on Adweek.
    7. Don’t blame ad blockers. Find a better more engaging way to advertise: Irrelevant content is the enemy of advertising hence the rise of ad blockers. But don’t complain, context and relevant content are king, agreed an Economist panel session moderated by executive editor Daniel Franklin featured Marc Pritchard, P&G’s global marketing and brand building officer, Brad Jakeman, president global beverage group, PepsiCo, and Lori Lee, senior executive vice president and global marketing officer at AT&T Inc.

There were far more nuggets of wisdom gathered during my time in Cannes, but you’ll have to buy me a rose to find out more.

Mark Terry-Lush