Philip Ellis
News & Views
5 things we expect to see at Cannes Lions 2017

It’s that time again; thousands of delegates from the world of advertising are about to descend on La Croisette for a week-long, rosé-fuelled celebration of creativity. Here are the five topics we predict will be on everybody’s lips this year.

Brand Safety

This was on every publisher’s mind at NewFronts earlier this year, thanks to the controversy surrounding YouTube’s programmatic ad placement. We expect plenty of speakers to address this during their sessions, as it’s still the number one fear for a lot of advertisers.

Artificial Intelligence

Whether it’s blue-sky sessions in the Palais, award-winning cognitive creativity, or examples of machine learning at the cool tech cabanas on the beach, it’s almost a guarantee that the potential for AI in advertising will be on show everywhere.

Brand Activism

The question of just how politically engaged a brand can afford to be is one that has come up repeatedly in the last year. The guest at this year’s Edelman seminar is Rev. Jesse Jackson, known for his lifetime of human rights campaigning. Jackson believes that now more than ever, corporations need to use their influence in society to drive positive change — and marketing plays an important part in that.

Gender Equality

The overwhelming whiteness and maleness of the ad industry is on show every year at Cannes. On the agenda this year are a number of meet-ups, seminars and keynotes all aimed at tackling the gender imbalance in advertising and media in general.

Entertainment: the old guard vs the new 

We all know by now that the brand/influencer relationship is an important one; but what about the old school celebrity? Hollywood actress Laura Dern, known for her work in Jurassic Park and HBO’s recent miniseries Big Little Lies, as well as a long-standing collaborative relationship with director David Lynch, will sit down on Sunday with YouTube personality Grace Helbig. The panel, chaired by Ketchum, will explore the difference between “timeless” and “real-time” talent, how consumers interact with both, and the respective benefits of each paradigm to marketers.

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