What to Watch for at Cannes Lions 2024

by | Jun 12, 2024

In a few short days, Infillion’s team will descend upon the French Riviera for this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the ad industry’s biggest global gathering. In between award ceremonies, A-list music performances, rosé-soaked happy hours, and manic meeting schedules, Cannes is also a hotbed of in-depth industry conversations that touch every corner of the business. From workplace dynamics to the rise of innovative new tech, there’s probably a discussion going on about it somewhere along the Croisette, Cannes’ main boulevard.

What will be the biggest themes and trends? We have a few ideas… and some suggestions for what you might want to check out at the Infillion Café.

 

Whether AI threatens or empowers creativity – or a bit of both

ChatGPT was released to consumers not even two years ago, and yet generative AI has completely upended conversations in the ad industry about creativity, ownership of work, and even employment. A third of marketers say they’re already using it, with another 43% actively considering its potential. AI was all over the Croisette at last year’s Cannes Lions, and this year shows no sign of slowing down. But if this spring’s POSSIBLE conference was any indicator, the conversation is shifting to how AI can actually boost business.

  • How Infillion’s showing up: We’re big believers that AI is more than generative AI, and that conversations about navigating automation in a creativity-first field need to incorporate the whole picture. Join us for a conversation about why “programmatic” doesn’t need to be a dirty word for creatives. RSVP here.

 

Why we need to elevate our standards for ad measurement

The ad industry has known for years that the old standards of views and impressions – and even clicks – don’t work in a multiplatform, multiscreen world. But so far, nothing’s replaced them as a truly mainstream standard, even as their vulnerability is underscored over and over again, as in the recent exposure of just how many ads are actually running on low-quality MFA (made-for-advertising) inventory. Interest in attention-based measurement is on the rise, with about a third of media buyers saying they planned to shift at least somewhat toward using them in 2023. What’s needed to bring this to the forefront?

  • How Infillion’s showing up: Infillion’s latest research report is all about attention, it’s coming out at Cannes, and you can be the very first to hear about it. Join us for a panel with our CRO/CMO Laurel Rossi, accompanied by leaders from the IAB, Diageo, Adelaide, and Initiative. RSVP here.

 

How to navigate tougher times for DEI

The calls for social change and equity in 2020 were met with sweeping commitments from agencies and brands to both diversify their hiring and commit more of their budgets to media owned by members of historically underrepresented groups. A few years later, that’s changed. In an era of cultural backlash as well as tighter budgets for ad agencies that have put DEI initiatives on the chopping block, advocates for inclusion find themselves facing headwinds. And the diversity of the industry itself actually declined in 2023, according to ANA data.

  • How Infillion’s showing up: This is a crucial subject for us, and we’re excited to host multiple conversations about it in the Infillion Café. Join us for a discussion in partnership with Mirror Digital about diverse-owned media, a conversation about DEI behind the lens in creative production, and a panel hosted by our friends at Havas about 

 

Understanding the new sports fan

The sports world seems to take a bigger role at Cannes every year, and this year puts that trend into overdrive: It’s an Olympic year, women’s sports are on fire with advertisers, Gen-Z’s sports viewing preferences have become a priority, and athletes’ social media followings have turned them into highly sought-after influencers. In Cannes, the Olympic torch’s parade down the Croisette and the Kelce brothers’ podcast taping at Stagwell’s Sport Beach are sure to draw crowds, but the bigger questions remain – particularly as live sports make their long-awaited move to streaming.

 

How the working world is changing post-COVID

Return-to-office policies, how remote work affects creative processes, and related subjects have been top-of-mind for ad agencies since Cannes Lions returned to the Croisette after two years of COVID cancellations. A study last year found that 67% of agency employees were back in the office regularly. But employees frequently find themselves at odds with management over what best fosters creativity, productivity, and camaraderie – not to mention work-life balance. What does the workforce of the future look like, and how can agencies and brands optimize tech-enabled flexibility while creating community for their employees?

  • How Infillion’s showing up: We’re welcoming women’s leadership group TheLi.st and buzzworthy brand Little Words Project to the Infillion Café for a special conversation about women in the workplace and the loneliness crisis. RSVP here.

 

A “return to the roots” of creativity

Yes, this one comes up every year. The more ad tech companies flock to Cannes, the louder the call to bring creativity back to its fundamentals. But especially with conversations about AI dominating panels and fireside chats – and the companies that make that AI technology descending on the Riviera – expect a particularly strong emphasis on classic creative and what made it great.

  • How Infillion’s showing up: Our friends at XR and the Ad Council are coming to the Infillion Café to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Smokey Bear with a panel about the legendary public service campaign’s legacy. RSVP here.

 

Not going to Cannes? Don’t miss any of the action – follow Infillion on LinkedIn for live updates.

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