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Cannes: Tech and content on La Croisette?

  • Date:

    01 July 2015

Cannes: Tech and content on La Croisette?

Ella Dolphin, Group Commercial Director, Hearst UK shares what she learnt about content on the Croisette in Cannes.

So Cannes is over for another year. A lot of Rosé has been drunk, a lot of parties have been held, and a lot of Awards have been won.

For Hearst Magazines UK, Cannes started early when two of our Editors attended Cannes Health for a session that highlighted how magazines were a new way for pharmaceutical companies to communicate health information. The thinking behind this approach is that magazine brands can influence consumers through content that informs, inspires and motivates them to take action. Which is useful in this age of self-diagnosis, when you have virtual GPs on every tablet and mobile phone.

Two glamorous magazine editors presenting to an audience of pharmaceutical marketing experts is a not an everyday occurrence. But it’s an approach that seemed to be welcomed by the people we were talking to.

For everyone I met, growth is at the top of the agenda and there’s no doubt that developing content that motivates and engages will help drive it.

I’m an old hand at Cannes, and I found it fascinating to compare last year’s Cannes Lions to this year’s. The chat around Snapchat replaced the buzz around Buzzfeed. The main stage interview with Evan Spiegel, the hottest man on La Croissette, was a powerful conversation curated and lead by Joanna Coles, Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan U.S.

The blend of expert and entrepreneur made for an interesting conversation. Both brands are collaborating with each other to reach new audiences and revenues. The popularity of Cosmopolitan’s content on Snapchat Discover in the U.S shows the growing demand for magazine content on a variety of platforms. 

Something new this year was the tech company yachts, which were bigger than those belonging to the advertising agencies. Nevertheless, the message from Cannes seemed to be that while getting the technology right is crucial, if your content isn’t hitting the spot, you might as well not bother.

There were a lot of sessions held in cool beachside hubs that explored how to get content right. Creativity and gaining cut through is everything. As is moving at speed – or as it was called at Cannes, “the speed of now”  – which for anyone who works in a media business like Hearst translates to “warp speed”, and which we all need to keep on operating at, so that we keep on growing and thriving.

Meanwhile, back at this year’s Cannes, the best session I went to was Tim Berners-Lee talking about the opportunities that Artificial Intelligence will bring all industries. Marketers listened intently to how AI can drive a more efficient and effective marketing plan. Until then, it’s our job to talk to marketers about how magazine media can help them deliver their objectives, and from what I saw in Cannes we have an increasingly relevant story to tell…