In parallel with the advertising award ceremonies, the Cannes Lions festival, from June 19 to 23, 2023, focused on strategic topics for the global advertising market, such as generative artificial intelligence or the measurement of the carbon footprint. .
If the Cannes Lions festival is historically that of advertising creativity, “It is now also the playground of the big players in technology and consulting firms who come to do business there”, observes Luc Wise, co-founder of the agency The Good Company and juror in the health & wellness category of the competition. What makes the event a good thermometer of hot topics in the global advertising market. Here are four of the most discussed during conferences, announcements and professional meetings on site.
How to do marketing in an uncertain economic context?
The current global economic context, still as unstable, was on everyone’s mind on the Croisette, despite the splendor of its beaches and hotels. In fact, Magna, the research institute of the Interpublic group, published at the start of the festival a revision of its growth forecasts for the global advertising market, lowered to +4.6% (0.2 points less than expected). . Known as being more sensitive to the market context, France has seen its growth projection devalued to just 2.8%.
Despite these numbers, the mood seemed to be one of optimism. “The market is confident that advertising investments will pick up again, after several years of sluggishness”notes Thomas Jamet, CEO of IPG Mediabrands in France and president of Udecam. “The worst is behind us. In the minds, the second half of 2023 will be much better… provided that another event does not disrupt the global economy”adds Jean-Luc Chetrit, Managing Director of Union des Marques (UDM).
Read also: (Cannes Lions 2023) “Reducing the impact of advertising is a matter of survival”, Damien de Foucault (Udecam)
The rise of generative artificial intelligence
The real star of the 2023 edition was not the singer Rihanna who appeared on Spotify’s beach, but Brad Lightcap, chief operating officer of Open AI. The application it publishes, ChatGPT, and its competitors (Dall-E, MidJourney, etc.), have given new impetus to artificial intelligence (AI) in its generative form. “It was clearly the topic of all the conversations at the Cannes Lions”confirms Jean-Luc Chetrit, “although AI currently generates more questions than it provides answers, since everything remains to be defined: ethics, use cases, consequences…”, he adds. The UDM has also decided to create a working group dedicated to AI and Web3 to reflect on uses and a training offer for its members by early 2024.
The announcements have therefore succeeded around AI, especially on the side of Meta “who has invested in this technology for several years, notably by creating an artificial intelligence research laboratory in Paris in 2015, FAIR”, recalls Pierric Duthoit, business director of Meta France. The group presented new tools based on this technology at Cannes, including “AI Media Editing” to generate new versions of visual creations (and videos later) for advertising, after having launched a suite of advertising tools in mid-May. using AI, IA Sandbox.
AI is not the preserve of web giants: a number of agencies also indicated that they were preempting this trend during the festival. Accenture, which had estimated its future investments at three billion dollars, has forged partnerships with AI experts such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon, and acquired a specialized Indian company, Flutura.
Despite the speech of David Droga, CEO of Accenture Song and the most awarded advertising creative at Cannes, in favor of the use of AI in advertising creation, the agencies nevertheless maintain their reservations: “They fear that AI will replace jobs in agencies or even generates creative campaigns”, analyzes Pierre-Jean Bernard, head of digital at McCann Paris and juror in the social and influence category. A fear nevertheless quickly swept away: “AI is a tool at the service of humans and not the other way around”, recalls Luc Wise (The Good Company), citing as an example the award-winning campaign ‘The Autism Journey’ created by the Brazilian agency Africa for the telephone operator Vivo.
Read also: 10 AI tools to use in marketing professions
Towards a single carbon measurement for advertising?
In 2023, the issue of carbon measurement was addressed from the angle of defining a common trajectory on the market. This is what Udecam is trying to do at the national level with the Glimpact tool (on the scope of the environmental footprint): “We are seeing a desire to discuss the entire interprofession to put in place common points of view, reflection and benchmarks, because we know that by being isolated we will not achieve anything”, comments its president Thomas Jamet.
But the approach goes beyond borders: AdNet Zero, the initiative in favor of reducing the carbon impact of advertising, GARM, the coalition in favor of better media responsibility, as well as the WFA, the global association advertisers, have announced that they are considering a common measurement standard for the end of 2023. An opportunity that the UDM intends to seize, which has for its part developed a “meta-reference” for the carbon measurement of creation and distribution in television, digital, display, print and advertising events. “France being a very advanced country, if not the most advanced, in measuring the carbon footprint of the sector, we must ensure that our benchmark is adapted to the international level”believes Jean-Luc Chetrit (UDM).
Searching for “total video”
Another notable trend is the efforts of media, buyers, adtech companies and measurers to achieve a “total video” market, which would allow unified measurement and purchase of all video formats (linear television, IPTV , segmented television, SVOD, AVOD, etc.). Netflix, which made its foray into the advertising market last October by launching a subscription with advertising, was also present with a huge “N” overlooking the JW Marriott hotel.
Among the big announcements on this theme: the expansion of the One Platform marketplace, created by NBCUniversal and Freewheel to offer a single gateway to online television and video inventories on a global scale, to seven new groups audiovisual including TF1; the opening of the linear television and CTV inventories of the RTL group in Europe to the DSP of The Trade Desk; or the integration of the AVOD Rakuten TV offer into the unified video measurement tool Bee, created by Realytics and Bouygues Telecom.