Asier Carazo (lead image) is national head of strategy at Atomic 212º. In France for his second-ever Cannes, here Carazo reveals his main takeouts from 2022’s event…
In this year’s edition of Cannes Lions there was something special in the air. The last time I had the chance to attend it was well before COVID-19 changed our lives. Don’t mind me I won’t talk about the pandemic in this opinion piece.
After five action-packed days of talks, catch-ups, parties and events I can say that I feel reinvigorated with a renewed love for the job that I do, having reconnected with many of the reasons that made me choose a career in Strategy a decade ago. As I start to process everything I’ve seen, experienced and discussed this last week, I wanted to put on paper the learnings I’m taking back to Australia with me:
Reach vs. depth
Our job as media strategists is getting more complex but also a little bit more fun.
There was a lot of talk inside and out of the Palais about the shift the media industry is experiencing: fragmented audiences, the hard to reach ‘Gen-Z’, the rise of communities and how consumers pay less attention to media and advertising than ever before. What is clear is that we are shifting our focus to depth and in this new context we will be prioritising more audience attention instead of pure campaign reach. This will challenge many of the brand growth theories we all embraced as marketers but from a media strategy perspective I’m excited to see what we can do as an industry. Planning for attention sounds like a great opportunity to change the way we think about media channels and how these fit within a media strategy.
Activism in all of its forms: advertising as a force for positive change
I was pleasantly surprised to see that this year activism was present throughout the festival: from award campaigns to the talks. There were strong themes of many of the topics I care about including diversity, inclusion, equality and climate change. It was very refreshing to remind ourselves about advertising’s power to change things but most importantly our responsibility to aim to make the world a better place in every campaign we work on. A lofty ambition perhaps, but an undeniably worthy pursuit.
Web 3, NFTs: are we at the dawn of a new revolution?
NFTs got a lot of attention in this year’s Cannes Lions but these were not the only ones: metaverse, web 3 also got their fair share of voice across different talks. Gary Vee said on stage that NFTs and the Metaverse will be very soon the next big thing and he compared this revolution to the internet revolution that happened a couple of decades ago. There’s no doubt that these technologies are being adopted and embraced by more and more consumers every day across the globe. My questions are a) when will these innovations become part of mainstream culture? And b) If this is happening so quickly, how can brands jump on board and get it right?
The best part of it: the industry is thirsty to reconnect
The last point is probably the most important one for me. I have expressed in the past how much I’ve hated working from home in the last two years – though I know many others have loved it and I love seeing that the post-pandemic world is so much more fluid and flexible when it comes to work. One thing that I discussed with many was how ‘thirsty’ everyone was to reconnect with the industry. I had the pleasure of bumping into old colleagues, friends and industry leaders I admire and respect. The best part of this year’s Cannes Lions is that feeling of pride and gratitude I have in working in such an incredible industry. Personally, this
past week has been testament to the amazing energy that is generated when we get together and take some time to talk face to face, exchange ideas and share experiences. Cannes Lions 2022 will be one to remember.
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