Creativity is GREAT: St Luke’s at Cannes Lions

Cannes is always a time to take stock of the industry, meet up with old friends, learn new tricks and celebrate all things creative. This year was slightly different as I headed there as part of the IPA and DTI’s trade mission with the remit of promoting the UK advertising industry under the banner Creativity is GREAT.

Always a whirlwind of learning and networking, this year was no exception. The most exciting part was being on stage presenting St Luke’s work in the Createch sector for Old Mout Cider and Heineken. Old Mout is now the fastest growing premium cider and much of the campaign used data and the latest tech platforms to get ever closer to the millennial drinkers it targets. The success of the campaign came from its execution of the agenda setting idea, “the kiwi taste for adventure”, brought to life in the symbol of our small animated kiwi bird. The kiwi effortlessly skips across all the consumer touchpoints, ensuring the brand stands out and punches above its weight. It was a privilege to tell the Old Mout story, highlighting their charity partnership with WWF and aligning the Old Mout brand with awareness of the WWF’s work to protect natural habitats around the world. The campaign is an example of the UK’s recognised excellence in the alcohol advertising sector.

I was joined by James Murphy, UK representative of Creativity is GREAT, Janet Hull from the IPA, and fellow speakers from Playmob and Three Wise Monkeys. Playmob, a gaming engagement platform, is particularly interesting in the Createch space, bringing brands and games together to create a better business and a better world. The stats they are generating in terms of player engagement and tangible results for their causes are staggering. Media production company Three Wise Monkeys are responsible for the most incredible immersive brand experiences through screen and site-specific media for the entertainment, advertising, and artistic communities and independently motivated research and concerns. It was great to share a stage with them.

It was clearer than ever that the range of consumer engagement possibilities is ever expanding and that, as agencies, we need to be focusing even harder on creating brand stories that flow seamlessly across all these new touchpoints. At St Luke’s, we will be working to forge collaborative relationships with all the emerging specialists in channels so we can provide a holistic brand solution for our clients. Cannes was a great place to meet a few of our potential collaborators!

As part of the mission we met with fellow Advertising Associations from across the world; meeting the delegation from the Chinese Advertising Association was eye-opening. While consumers the world over see brands as a source of belonging, it was clear that the current focus on purpose by Western marketers was not going to work with Chinese brands; Chinese brands are much more interested in focusing on product story and using devices such as celebrity endorsement to communicate values. There is clearly opportunity for the UK ad industry as long as it is ready to listen and adapt.

A final highlight was letting off some much needed steam with our good friends at The Drum, first at Da Laura and at the (now legendary) Drum Arms.

Whether I was dodging the street cleaning hoses at the Gutter Bar or bumping into old friends on the island at La Guérite, Cannes is an unforgettable experience and a unique place to learn where the industry is going next.

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