Five business-critical challenges we’ll address at Cannes Lions 2019

From digital innovation to restoring trust, read on to understand the insight we’ll provide at this year’s festival to help you respond to the biggest challenges in creative marketing today.
Challenge 1: You need to master multi-touchpoint storytelling, experiences and craft to keep customers engaged
R/GA won a Gold Lion in 2018 for a bold campaign that merged AR storytelling to create a compelling new retail experience

Why now?: Brands are prioritising exceptional customer journeys – with 60% of clients seeing CX optimisation as "very important"1. The new requirements will change the structure of the landscape.

What you'll learn at Cannes Lions 2019: Long-lasting engagement comes from creating rich customer journeys. Cannes Lions 2019 will explore how to create compelling, beautiful experiences for customers, with creative applications of data and mapping of touchpoints. We'll also look at how you should invest in talent and technology to keep your customers interested.

Challenge 2: You need to find ways to deliver digital innovation everywhere – from product development and customer experiences, to talent sourcing, processes and partnerships
Jen Rubio is the founder of disruptive luggage company Away. She'll be speaking at Cannes Lions about how she put technology at the heart of her start-up.

Why now?: Digital innovators win. Those using digital to compete in new ways, and those making digital moves into new industries are twice as likely as to experience exceptional financial growth.2

What you'll learn at Cannes Lions 2019: The need to embed innovation in the fabric and culture of your organisation is now do or die. We’ll explore how to deliver digital transformation and integration and how to collaborate with start-ups.

Challenge 3: Brands need to restore trust and transparency to keep customers listening
On stage at Cannes Lions 2018, Keith Weed called on the ad industry to take “urgent action now to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever”.

Why now?: 42% of people claim to distrust brands and 37% say they trust them less than they used to3.

What you'll learn at Cannes Lions 2019: Brand trust is one of the most valuable assets a business can have when it comes to the affecting the bottom-line. But customers won’t respond to surface-level PR campaigns – they want true transparency and cold hard evidence. At this year’s festival, we'll hear case studies from the new challenger brands and agencies whose entire ethos – from material, product development, supply chain and advertising – is set up to maintain trust.

Challenge 4: Diversity, equality and inclusion are critical for growth, but we still have a long way to go
Omnicon Chief Diversity Officer Tiffany Warren told the Cannes Lions audience: "When teams are diverse, diverse ideas can happen.”

Why now?: The industry has a problem with female representation in leadership, with only 36% of women holding positions at director level or above4.

What you'll learn at Cannes Lions 2019: From the teams we build to the work we produce to the voices we champion, investing in diversity is no longer optional. This year, Cannes Lions will look at what it takes to move from talk to action, with perspectives from equality pioneers. In 2019, we'll hear how we can create truly inclusive workforces and benchmark the work done by brands.

Challenge 5: You need to find a way to adapt to a world where new technologies will become co-workers and creative collaborators
"We’re at a place in the discussion of AI in creativity where we need to discuss evaluating the quality of the work.” Natasha Jen at Cannes Lions 2018

Why now?: 81% of executives think that AI will work next to humans in their organisation inside the next two years5.

What you'll learn at Cannes Lions 2019: AI and other new technologies will continue to play a fundamental role in the industry – from the service we offer our customers and audiences, to the way we produce work. With a focus on the implications and application of AI, Cannes Lions 2019 will take a look ahead at a world where automation enables exceptional creativity.

You can’t really afford to miss it, can you? Cannes Lions 2019 is a business-critical investment.


1 'Toolkit 2018: The CX battleground', Warc, 2018
2 'The cornerstones of large-scale technology transformation', McKinsey Quarterly, 2018
3 'What we know about brand trust', Warc, 2018
4 'Wacl calls on industry to close 'leadership gap' for women', Campaign, 2018
5 'Citizen AI: Raising AI to Benefit Business and Society', Accenture, Technology Vision 2018