While we couldn't be over at Cannes ourselves, there's not shortage of insight coming out of the festival. In this worth-a-read piece, US publication Digiday had a sit down with Nike's brand chief about his first trip to Cannes, diversity in adland and how to overcome the ad over-saturation.
Last year, Nike’s popular Jordan Brand won the Cannes Lions Titanium Grand Prix for the Re2pect campaign, though the brand’s global director of advertising Desmond Marzette wasn’t on hand to celebrate it.
In fact, this year is his first Cannes ever. But he’s not staying for the duration: He’s already thinking of the location scouting for his next shoot, the Air Jordan XXXI campaign.
Digiday caught up Marzette during his visit to SapientNitro’s penthouse after delivering a talk on diversity, to hear why the ad industry needs a bit of a reality check.
Here are the takeaways.
How are you enjoying your first Cannes so far?
I’m loving it. I can only stay until Tuesday though so I’ll miss a lot of the talks I want to see.
Which parties are you going to?
It’s a pretty serious trip, I’m here with my wife, so we’re having some fun, but I need to get back into production mode now, location scouting and casting for our next shoot. I love my job so, it’s all good.
What are the biggest industry-wide problems that need addressing next year?
Oversaturation. There’s so much messaging out there, and it’s only getting worse. Every year there’s a new platform that will ultimately be used to sell you something. I worry that ultimately advertising will become a layer of noise and won’t be as impactful as it has been in the past or even as it has been today. Soon every street will look like la Croissette during Cannes or Time Square, where it’s just a bunch of lights and no one is reacting to it. When I was coming up I loved ads, I looked forward to them, especially Nike ones. I worry now that those young consumers don’t have that excitement. Instead they can’t wait to skip the ads.