Publicis Takes Potshot At Its Marcel Critics With Cannes Campaign

Blank billboard mock up next to the beach

Six years ago at Cannes, Publicis Groupe launched Marcel – an AI tool designed to be at the service of its talent. What followed was a barrage of naysayers and skepticism. Reactions of outrage, jest and negativity reigned.

Six years later, as the industry gravitates to the Croisette for the most high-profile event of the year, a plethora of mainstage sessions, fringe events and panel debates are set to regale the benefits of AI.

To celebrate, Publicis has launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign in Cannes that uses a demo of AI itself to playfully recreate those initial reactions to this early AI investment. From industry execs, shareholders and talent, the campaign is designed to remind the industry just how far AI has progressed in a short amount of time. 

“Six years ago, AI was laughed at and criticized. Fast forward, and you see that every company at Cannes is keenly announcing its latest AI partnership,” said Carla Serrano, chief strategy officer, Publicis Groupe.

“AI is a tool that has long sat at the centre of our model: across Sapient for enhanced customer experience; at Epsilon to enrich and activate in real-time our first-party data; in Media and critically in Creativity, where it enhances dynamic creativity while optimising, accelerating and simplifying production processes.”

Since 2017, Marcel has grown and evolved to become a competitive advantage and central part of Publicis Groupe, connecting our global talent with content, growth and opportunity.

Today, Marcel is:

  • providing generative AI capabilities and offerings, enabling employees to leverage GPT-based services through industry partnerships, as well as our own self-created generative AI services to enhance productivity of our people.

Most recently, Marcel launched PublicisGPT, which puts the power of generative AI in the hands of our global talent. This platform ensures our people can create data, text, image generations in a safe and private environment while remaining AI-agnostic. PublicisGPT leverages the most powerful language model in the world from OpenAI, with new modes added from all AI players such as Microsoft, Google and Adobe.

  • a true investment in growing our people, our business and our clients:
    • Marcel’s AI is developing tailored learning and development plans for employees, fuelled by Marcel intelligence – a collection of 100 million data points to provide relevant, personalized and targeted offerings.
    • Marcel Classes offers more than 30,000 courses and 30,000 jobs and gigs.
    • Using AI to enable problem solving and insight generation at scale through
      targeted insights crowd sourcing.
    • Provides clients access to Open Briefs, solving needs across Publicis’ global geographies, agencies and teams.
    • Bringing our clients and partners on Marcel to allow them to collaborate, learn, share, connect and do their work in smart, connected ways.
  • a global destination for health, wellness, and personal growth 
    • Partnered with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global to enhance employee well-being
    • Launched dedicated Working With Cancer hub with resources, manager trainings, and CareBnB, an easy way for employees to share their property with cancer patients in treatment or needing to travel.
  • reinventing the future of work by offering unprecedented experiences like Work Your World, allowing talent the option to work anywhere around the globe for up to six weeks.

Marcel’s impact was accelerated throughout the pandemic, helping to save over 2,500 jobs through its ‘Gigs’ function, while connecting us all, around key moments including Viva La Difference, the Cannes Do Awards and Pausing for Action. Now through generative AI capabilities, Marcel continues to enable and connect clients and talent with the latest innovations and opportunities. 




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