Joydeep Bhattacharya

Go Virtual or Go Home: The Biggest Cannes Lions Trends from 2016


It’s Nice That:

Joydeep Bhattacharya, managing director of design and digital agency Fjord, rounds up the themes that emerged at this year’s Cannes Lions event for It’s Nice That, having taken in the latest insgihts in the world of creativity, design and technology when not distracted by “the ubiquitous bottles of rosé, the promenade, beaches, luxury yachts and extravagant parties.”

This year’s week-long celebration of creativity introduced previously unimaginable campaign ideas made possible by the latest in gadgets, digital innovation and technology. Amidst stimulating presentations, award ceremonies and the flurry of ‘techie banter’, I noticed some overarching themes that were systematically woven into the fabric of the award-winning work on display.

VR gets real

Stealing the show, having come on leaps and bounds since last year and delivering more immersive experiences than ever, was Virtual Reality (VR). In our trends report for 2016, Fjord predicted that this was the year that VR would start to go mainstream… and we weren’t far off the mark.  You had the likes of Google presenting their Tilt Brush, which allows you to paint in a 3D space. You had Samsung take users on a wild rollercoaster ride brought to life through its Gear VR headset. With deeper degrees of life-like immersion and 360-degree viewing, the limits are endless to what you can create.  Then there were the usual suspects like Facebook (Oculus) and YouTube all proving that VR is providing the tools for creatives to build momentous stories and experiences unlike any we’ve seen before. It might be early days yet, but VR is headed in one direction — and it’s definitely mainstream.

Purpose trumps profit

Gone are the days when a company’s sole success was measured on high profit margins and ROI. Today’s savvy consumer expects a brand to serve a higher purpose, to convey a message that extends beyond the objective of making a hard sale, and to engage in a authentic conversation with the public. This was abound at Cannes, as campaigns and seminars alike centred on the importance of purpose. One award winner, Florida based Saltwater Brewery have elevated the notion of purpose, by creating 100% biodegradable or ‘edible’ six-pack rings. The idea stemmed from the fact that most plastic beer pack rings end up in the ocean and are being ingested by marine life. Their purpose is not only environmentally driven, but could — if implemented by most breweries — become cost competitive.

People not consumers

While not a new notion for us at Fjord, many creatives are now seeing the word ‘consumer’ as one that belongs in the past and a term that no longer resonates with people, who are tired of that label. What made an impression on me was the panel discussion hosted by the Wharton Future of Advertising Program called ‘Raves and Mades: New Creativity Standards for the Future’, which above all emphasised the point that today we deal with ‘empowered and sceptical people, not consumers, with lives, aspirations, challenges and communities.’ Understanding ‘consumers’ as people will ultimately deliver a more emotionally resonant brand intimacy.

Read the full article on It’s Nice That

Joydeep Bhattacharya

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