Your Future is Rosé: Marketing Lessons from Cannes

Published on July 6, 2022

What’s your view of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity? Amongst the seminars, rosé and inspirational work, there’s some scepticism, but McCann Central Chief Creative Officer, Vince McSweeney, views Cannes in a different way.

To Vince, Cannes is a 1938 Buick. The Buick Y-Job to be precise. The Y-Job is considered the first concept car, it gave people a glimpse of what the future could be. Electric windows, flip lights and lots of features were adopted and are still used today. The creation of a concept car started to push manufacturers to think in a new way, and that’s what Cannes is. Like concept cars, Cannes is a time portal which gives us a glimpse of the future.

The big concept from this year’s festival? Purpose.

Cynics might say that purpose led campaigns are just ad people trying to make themselves feel better and forgetting they’re in the business of selling products, but Vince doesn’t believe these winning campaigns need to be viewed in this way. In a world where businesses are now glass boxes and employees can be advocates for your brand, we need to really understand and reflect on a new approach.

As social creatures, we seek connection and judge other members of our community on measures of warmth and competency. In the context of marketing, we need to remember that ‘social’ doesn’t just mean platforms and instead reclaim the word and apply it in a broader sense.

It’s clear from the work at Cannes that brands need to demonstrate their value to society and be social in the way that they talk and connect with audiences. People want to interact with brands in a human way, and as marketers we need to understand the human side of what we do.

So, how do we demonstrate value and create social brands? Meaningful interaction isn’t just broadcasting a message, and demonstrating a human side shouldn’t be a corporate front. It’s all about human interaction where what’s meaningful can change and evolve with the customer journey.

Walking through the Palais, the importance of meaningful interaction was clear at this year’s Cannes. Purpose led campaigns that are built on meaningful foundations will become the norm and propel forward the most successful brands.

Vince’s picks for meaningful campaigns at Cannes