Ever since I entered the advertising industry, Cannes has always been my dream place. Not only has Cannes Lions been called the Oscars of the advertising that symbolize the highest industry standards of work, the coastal city on the Southern France itself is among some of the most attractive places in the world. Two years ago, I participated in the China’s Young Lions competition to win the tickets to Cannes Young Lion competition, but then me and my partner stopped at the final round. So, when I got to know that this year I can finally set my feet in Cannes, it is very much like a dream come true.
What is even more unimaginable is that I get a chance to speak this time on the stage! For the first time, Yong Lions week is brought to you by Mindshare. For this sponsorship we are curating and creating content designed for Young Lions (under 30 years old) like me. Each day the program kicks off with a 9am talk around ‘Advice I’d give my 20-something self’, there are lunchtime meet-ups and networking opportunities and 5pm learning sessions with beer & pizza. I am doing a Tuesday 5pm session with our very own Chief Development Officer Marco Rimini. We both will share our stories and views on what a good strategist is and how strategy and creativity connect. I hope you would find it interesting as Marco’s expertise is in more traditional strategy, coming from a creative agency background and mine is digital first, as well as there is a combination of a Western and an Eastern view.
To extend to this point, one of the themes that we will be covering this year is precisely “East meet West”. I am very keen to attend seminars on topics like storytelling in the East, diversity in the East, East’s impact on Brands, Eastern influences on the West, etc. This year some of the tech giants in China like Tencent and Bytedance (TikTok mother company) will also show up in Cannes sharing their cases and insights. Coming from China, I have the front row seat to witness and participate in some of the most innovative work like KFC- Colonel KI conquers esports or UNIQLO – Smash the Biggest Shopping Day . However, in a still very much western-led narrative in the industry, we definitely need to speak up more and connect the eastern wisdom with the larger west world. What I see from some of the global brands that I work with, is a clear trend of taking China’s practices as pilot and laying out similar road map for the rest of the world especially in areas like omnichannel retail, social commerce, and mobile innovations. The growing appearances of APAC cases and players in Cannes is definitely a great start to have more conversations going.
Also, because there’s so much disruptions and changes in the industry, I’m looking forward to getting some critical insights on new digital era regarding programmatic, blockchain, AI and how future success can be defined as we head into it. In our day-to-days, we are too easily inundated by the numbers and tactics. Lot of times we start to forget why we leverage data and technology at first place is to empower our creative work. Therefore, as a leader in my office for programmatic and data strategy, I would like to explore how to better combine creativity with technologies, and get the creative juices flowing in this seemingly more commoditized digital space. We should humanize data, tell better brand stories while still have measurable success.
Written by Camille Lin