Cannes Takeaway: Digital is Fueling Ad Creativity Evolution

The annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity was held June 18-25, drawing global advertisers, agencies, celebrities and tech companies to honor the very best in advertising, creativity and media. A total of 26 Grand Prix awards were presented to winners, highlighting eye-catching and engaging creative across several media.

One big story from this year’s festival was the growing presence of technology companies, especially within the advertising space. “What used to be a bastion for creative directors and producers to talk about their craft and celebrate ideas has also become a global hub for the ad-tech world to tout their targeting, optimization and attribution tools,” writes Ad Age’s Abbey Klaassen.

While this influx of ad tech is leading to a noticeable change in the festival’s vibe, it’s also producing great work, according to Klassen, who felt that some of the absolute best examples of advertising creativity came as a result of “cleverly exploiting a particular digital-media platform's nuances or limitations, or building on an ad-tech platform.

Digital media will only continue to grow in the years to come, and this is great news for advertisers of all sizes.

While big festivals like Cannes are often dominated by household-name advertisers and huge agencies with multiple creative directors and international offices, those companies don’t have a monopoly on creativity. What we’re seeing is that technology is democratizing creative. Even the smallest of advertisers now have access to international creative minds that can produce logos, websites, email templates, display creative, and mobile optimized ads. While this work may not necessarily win an award at Cannes, it can stand proudly next to creative from larger advertisers without being overshadowed.

SMBs can have creative that is comparable with Fortune 500 advertisers, and ad campaigns that take advantage of the latest ways consumers interact with media. Cannes awards are always hard to come by, but today, great creative is not.