An Intentionally Late Recap: Cannes 2023

Have you ever gotten emails from different companies that all say the same thing?  It may be an industry news rag; it may be an email campaign about special products and services; it may be about events that want to see our smiling faces in their locales.

If you were watching what happened at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, you received so many emails about these subjects and more. Chances are you have received wrap-up emails highlighting key takeaways from Cannes as well. (I have counted 16 emails in my trash folder since Cannes ended).

This year, Verve has taken a different approach:

  • We’re sending our wrap-up a couple of weeks after everyone else. Quite simply, we want our insights to stand apart from everyone else who is sharing what they observed.
  • More importantly, we want to make sure either our attendees or people who attended our events apply what they heard to prove people are doing something with what was shared.  

I had a chance to ask different Verve leaders about their experiences at Cannes, specifically finding out what they will apply with their teams, their customers and their organizations. Here is a summary of these discussions:

AI’s Potential and Risks

Verve really needs to think about the effects of how and where AI is utilized. 
Cannes revealed excitement and trepidation around AI, as we expected. Conversations centered around AI’s applications in creativity and focused as much on the risks, fears, and safeguarding issues as the benefits and opportunities. Verve needs to think about how it balances advances in technology with the people whose brains and insights form a unique advantage for us.

Sustainability in Media

Verve needs to validate sustainability is as important a measurement as ad impressions or eCPMs.
Perhaps more than any topic, sustainability was a frequent discussion. We heard from attendees that while last year’s conversations focused on what we could do in the future, the narrative was focused on implementation with clear objectives. Thanks to our new partnership with Cedara, we will be in a much better position to make that happen.

Reaffirming Commitments to DEI

Verve can have a stronger voice on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
More than a few colleagues heard discussions about Bud Light’s work with a transgender influencer as the primary example of inauthentic connections. Thankfully, many Verve attendees took this discussion as a challenge. One of our panelists at Verve’s “The Art Of Data” event said it best. “Now is the time to be courageous,” said FKA’s Linsey Loy. “Marketers are on the front lines of DEI and have a responsibility to do better.”

Here’s hoping that Cannes 2023 (and future events) can be remembered for its accountability as much for its creativity

(In the meantime, you can find Verve connecting with brands, agencies, publishers, and partners at industry events throughout the year.)  

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