Recap From The Riviera: What The Future of Marketing Looks Like

Aug 05, 2019

Alexandra Matthews

Shiny awards, thought-provoking panels and of course, rosé, are the hallmarks of the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Thousands of people made their way to France in June to celebrate major breakthroughs in the advertising, tech and creative industries. 

But it wasn’t all about yacht hopping and drink pouring. Having been to Cannes two times before, I found this year particularly thought-provoking and future-thinking. If you didn’t get a chance to cross the pond and hop over the channel to France, you can discover three key trends and learnings from this year’s Cannes Lions below.

1. The future is purpose-driven

The first learning I gathered is the emphasis placed on purpose-driven marketing. Empathy, inclusiveness and authenticity have become the golden words of marketing this past year. More than ever, brands must understand their purpose and take a stand. Becoming more purpose-driven means playing a role in culture, not just selling to it. Consumers are taking note of brands that understand their purpose and that use it to be socially responsible – in an authentic manner. 

Being socially responsible isn’t just a trend and consumers know all too well when a brand is implementing CSR initiatives simply to check a box. Brands need to partner with companies who use their technology for good because they truly want to make a difference. An example of this is by partnering with non-profit organizations.

Ogury recently partnered with the American Lung Association and AdCouncil on an awareness campaign to identify and inform former smokers about an innovative technology that detects early-stage lung cancer. Ogury was able to use its unique first-party data to support a campaign that affects millions of people. This is an example of how companies have the ability to make an impact – but they must be purpose-driven to the core. 

2. It’s time to humanize experiences

Another key learning when it comes to reaching the consumer of the future is the importance of humanizing experiences, and contextualizing campaigns. This came to light during the Cannes awards announcements, where Burger King was awarded the Grand Prix for its original and revolutionary direct marketing campaign, “Whopper Detour”. 

Consumers could receive a one-cent whopper for downloading the Burger King App; the catch was that they must place their order at a McDonald’s location. This may seem like a bold app install campaign, but the personalized nature of the brand messaging created a fun and actionable user experience.

The campaign quickly grew and consumers were excited to participate in today’s “trolling” trend. The consumer no longer saw just an advertisement, rather a challenge with a tasty reward. They even created stations for people to take pictures with Burger King branding, in front of McDonald’s stores. This allowed consumers to immerse themselves deeper into the ad experience, and increase brand interactions. And the results speak for themselves. 

Burger King and the “Whooper Detour” succeeded with 3.5 billion impressions and a 37-1 return on investment. After hearing the results of this interactive app-focused campaign, I decided to take a look at Ogury Active Insights to see if Ogury’s consented first-party data reveals similar findings to what was shared at Cannes. Turns out, it does. 

Below you can see a comparison of McDonald’s and Burger King’s app usage in December 2017, compared to last December when the campaign ran.

December 2017
December 2018

Above you can see that possession growth for the Burger King App increased by 44 percent last December, while McDonald’s possession growth decreased by -104 percent. In addition to owning the app, the number of sessions on the Burger King app increased by 32 percent, while McDonald’s decreased by -93 percent. This reflects the success of the campaign, and in turn, reflects the consumer demand for more humanized experiences. 

3. Consumers demand control but have little time to read consent notices

Finally, the third key learning I identified at this year’s Cannes Lions is the consumer demand for control. In a fireside chat moderated by Ogury, VaynerMedia CMO and Tracer CEO, Jeffrey Nicholson, spoke about building brands on mobile platforms. A key takeaway from the conversation was that brands are finally listening to the growing demands for more stringent data privacy regulations. Brands need to understand that they can still engage with consumers in a non-invasive way. 

Jeffrey mentioned: “I taught a class at the University of Virginia and I asked every student if they’d seen consent notices and everyone said yes, but then you ask everybody did they read it, and only one girl in the entire class of two hundred kids read the actual policy.” 

It’s crystal clear that people aren’t paying attention. Ogury also asked over 287,000 consumers the same question, and 78 percent of them admitted to not reading consent notices in their entirety. So how can we, as marketers, tackle this growing problem? Consent notices must be in plain english, short and to the point in order to be effective. This is the era of less is more. 

This year’s Cannes Lions was full of great conversations, memories, and of course, rosé (did I mention that already?) The Grand Prix winners shared a theme of purpose-driven emotional marketing and social responsibility. David Droga, Sustainable Development Goals Jury noted, “we all cried at different times during the jury.” Brands are finally listening to the demands of consumers and understanding the need for social responsibility. 

At the same time, Ogury understands the importance of keeping the consumer in control. As a leader in consumer privacy, Ogury has always been ahead of the conversation and requirements for GDPR and CCPA compliance. As regulations continue to advance, we remain rooted in our commitment to helping organizations move into a new era of data responsibility.

Want to learn more about what you need to do to ensure you’re only partnering with companies who are completely compliant and are innately purpose-driven? Reach out to me at

Laura Chamberlain, Director of Marketing