Soul POVs

Transformation: The Soul Of Success

Written by Marian Bunte

The impressions in Cannes are limitless, diverse and on the third day you already feel that it is gradually difficult to process them for yourself and to bring the issues under one hat. But there is one central theme that runs through Cannes Lions 2018 at any point: TRANSFORMATION. The industry with its challenges, the companies, their employees and the extensive cultural systems are all transforming rapidly and steadily. To capture the heterogeneity and the various themes of Cannes Lions, I made the "Transformation" the heart of my present POV. It was also exciting and motivating to see our WPP agencies accompany and shape these changes in a leading role.

Starting with the transformation we see in the advertising market. On the one hand, data has made the media scene very complex, on the other hand, data gives us a much greater opportunity for efficient communication. Therefore, it is not surprising that "Artificial Intelligence" is one of the key themes of the Cannes Lions this year. Every festival day comes across lectures and approaches to AI, machine learning and the processing of data. Also Xaxis and our colleagues of Wavemaker dedicated the topic in an open talk named "AI IS YOUR COPILOT". In summary AI is still very complex, it needs real experts to be always up to date and there will be a lot more discussions in the future. But in one, all participants agreed totally, artificial intelligence is not an all-purpose weapon or miracle cure. We got an instrument of predictions and calculations. Meanwhile, we are able process collected data in an efficient way, which supports us in dynamic campaign management. But that is still the fact, artificial intelligence remains a tool that supports not replaces humans in their daily work.

The Mindshare colleagues from China were particularly very impressive with their presentation "Game On: If You Do not Play Games It's Game Over". ESports and Gaming have also grown into an extensive trend of advertising markets, opening up completely new possibilities. What began as a parallel world has merged with the real world totally. The Asian market in particular has a pioneering role here, so the expertise of our colleagues was very inspiring. In China professional gamers have become influencers and companies create their own gaming avatars, which they provide exclusively for consumers. "Gamification" is not only a new buzz word, it will shape our industries and cultural systems in long term and comprehensively. Therefore, it is essential to be well positioned even in this market transformation.

Very emotional and even motivating was another talk, which was organized by Vice and Mindshare in a cooperation. The special guest and winner of an Olympic medal: Ibtihaj Muhammad. She is an American sabre fencer, and a member of the United States fencing team. She is best known for being the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the Olympics. Her religion, skin color and gender have been obstacles very often, but she made her way and she became a professional athlete finally. Now she is trying to be an ideal for so many other young girls on their own way. And at the end of the day, we have seen a woman as a symbol for this one topic “transformation”. Because this is no longer just about the advertising market, it's about transformation of an entire cultural systems.