Gaming The Cannes Game: Here's How

Ace Metrix, a company that tracks how ads resonate (or don’t) with consumers, has just completed an in-depth study that examines the emotional patterns of ads that have won Cannes Lions.

Essentially, the firm asserts, the study reveals how you too can win a coveted Lions. Everybody wants to, right?

Here’s the catch—a lot of Cannes winners are disliked by the consumers exposed to them. In fact many of those ads are frequently annoying and off brand message.

Which raises a lot of questions about jury selection and what they’re thinking when they choose winners. Off brand message? Really? Maybe agencies should skip Cannes altogether and bulk up for the Effies, which focus on effectiveness. Maybe just enter their edgy scam ads at Cannes. You know, the ones that are never placed commercially. But are often very arty.

Using machine learning together with advanced natural language processing (a component of artificial intelligence), the study analyzed more than ten million viewer reactions to video ads.  



The study reviewed Cannes Lions Film category winners from 2011 to 2016 as well as tens of thousands of non-Cannes winners from Ace Metrix’s syndicated database over a similar time period – more than 25,000 ads in total. Each ad was tested with a unique set of 500 viewers.

"Clearly, it’s difficult to win at Cannes. But across years, and different juries, we have uncovered specific and predictable emotions that are rewarded with a Lion,” stated Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. “We also unmask the growing differences between what is awarded by Cannes Juries, and key brand objectives based on reactions of the viewing public. This research raises the question for brands – is it more important to win a Cannes Lion or meet your branding objectives?”

That’s got to be a rhetorical question.

Anyway, it’s a provocative study and Ace Metrix is giving it away, in exchange for some basic info about yourself, most likely for their marketing database.  You also have to declare that you are not a robot.

If that’s not a problem go here to download the full report. 

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