Cybercreativity Rising At Cannes

If you doubt the broad industry recognition of online advertising as a key driver in the rapidly changing advertising industry, look no further than the number of Cyber Lions entries in the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. That total grew more than 31 percent over last year, compared to a 2 percent decline in submissions for the TV category.

Interactive and digital marketing was a major topic of discussion this year at Cannes. From the Palais des Festivals panels, to an all-night party at the Carlton Hotel patio, to after-hours discussions at the Gutter Bar, festival participants talked about digital technology. During a candid conversation on a harbor cruise, one of the Titanium Lions category jury members told me that the real, exciting and innovative work was online and digital--that this is the medium to drive creative innovation.

Two interesting questions can be asked about the big increase in cyberentries: What are the drivers of this increase? And what are the implications for creatives and interactive media companies?



The overall increase goes beyond the fact that interactive advertising offers the most effective opportunity to engage with consumers on an emotional level. Interactive advertising continues to offer more opportunities and more platforms for sharing a brand's story or message while providing richer environments in which creatives can bring great ideas to reality. The digital platforms of mobile communication, gaming, online advertising, Web sites, video and viral campaigns now offer creatives both the broadest canvases to present great work and the opportunity for the most interactive dialogue with consumers. Creatives who collaborate with media teams to bring their big ideas to life recognize that interactive advertising is the platform on which they can achieve these goals.

A panel at Cannes featuring Jean-Francois Decaux from JCDecaux, Maurice Lévy from Publicis, Tom Freston from Viacom and Yusuf Mehdi from MSN gave further support to the idea that the intersection of technology, media and creative innovation will lead to significant results. Technology offers traditional media new opportunities for maintaining relevance as well as new creative opportunities. For example, consider the ability of consumers to download music or information simply by pointing their cell phone at a billboard or transit shelter.

Innovative creatives and companies involved in developing interactive media and creating new technology-based media platforms will benefit from one another's continuous efforts and successes. As increasingly more effective and affecting creative media channels are developed for these new interactive platforms, new kinds of media will simultaneously be created, and existing media platforms will be enhanced to deliver increasingly higher-quality consumer engagement opportunities.

The effectiveness and overall quality of interactive advertising will continue to be driven by creatives who develop the best possible innovations for all interactive formats and adopt the innovations of new media and technology as part of the platform on which to share their big ideas. As a result, we will continue to see not only an increase in the numbers of entries in the Cyber Lions category at Cannes, but also in the quality of creative media overall.

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