July 2019

For RTL AdConnect, the Cannes Lions were all about Innovation, Creativity, Trust and Responsibility

From June 17th to June 21st, RTL AdConnect set up on the Croisette for the Cannes Lions along with RTL Group and our partners SpotX and Fremantle. The RTL AdConnect tropical beach was meant as a hub for networking and sharing knowledge and we hosted inspirational speakers from international brands, agencies, partners and industry experts, covering key topics like the latest innovations in media and advertising, influence and influencers, creativity, responsibility and engagement.

Our first panels addressing Innovations started on Tuesday with Jorma Kremser (BOSE), Kim Younes (M6 Publicité), Tim Sewell (Yospace), John Piccone (Simulmedia), and Daniel Bischoff (RTL AdConnect), mediated by Sahil Patel, media editor at Digiday. Together they discussed innovation and the value of data for advertisers.

Innovation is a broad subject so for our next session Sean Buckley, CRO at SpotX, along with Kelly Leger (Merkle), David Fischer (Discovery), and George Manas (OMD USA) considered how addressability is currently changing TV advertising. Rhys Noelke (RTL Group) discussed alliances and collaborations in media industry. For him, creating partnerships between broadcasters and digital companies is vital.

Trust was also a recurrent issue for all speakers. In particular, Patrick Stal (Uber) thinks that creativity goes with trust. “You need to create a safe environment where creative ideas become possible,” he said. Relatedly, Ricky Ray Butler from Branded Entertainment Network (BEN) reminded Cannes’ audience of the importance of transparency when doing branded entertainment: “The more you are transparent about product placement, the better it is received and perceived by the audience. Not mentioning it is a rookie mistake,” he said.

Tuesday concluded with an insightful discussion between Simone Blei (RTL AdConnect) and Elena Galli (lastminute.com), focusing on how essential it is to adapt to local audiences when you advertise across different regions, especially in Europe, and the long- and short-term effects of TV and digital.

Influence and Creativity were at the core of Wednesday’s programme. Thomas Silve (Ctzar), Olaf Herzig (Divimove) and Nicole Haman (RTL AdConnect) discussed the present and future of influencer marketing, the connections between online content creators and the TV world, and described how to make the most of it. Olaf underlined how it’s crucial to “always seek to match brands and influencers in the best and authentic way, for a win-win situation”.

Then a panel was convened to discuss Trust, Creativity and the Future of TV Advertising. For this session, Andrea Carlo Pattacini (Barilla), Antoine Dubois (Accor), Samantha Glynne (Fremantle), Simon Daglish (ITV) and Stéphane Coruble (RTL AdConnect) debated what were called “the infinite frontiers of TV for tomorrow”.

There was a packed crowd to hear Kem Cetinay, Love Island 2017 Champion, TV presenter and brand ambassador, and Leon Harlow (YM&UGroup), who provided insights on transitioning from reality star to successful brand ambassador. They were joined by Stefan Heinrich from TikTok, the rapidly-growing short-form video app, who revealed to the audience how they work with content creators.

We then looked at how influencers can have a bigger impact in corporate brand building, in a conversation with Americo Silva (Shell) and Melinda Po (Edelman Shanghai). They discussed the role influencers play in Shell’s marketing strategy and why they are the perfect way to help the company join the conversation about sustainability.

Last but not least, on Thursday, we discussed Responsibility and Engagement at a number of panels. First Damon Berger (Mattel) and Allison Stern (Tubular Labs) inspired the audience with a great story around how to stay relevant and engage with a younger audience by extending the Barbie brand to content.

Brands have a responsibility to improve society: as a matter of fact, sustainability, business and advertising can work together as defended by Mia Ropponen (Kesko, recenctly named most sustainable retailer), Eka Ruola (Hasan & Partners group, who worked on the first solar powered music festival) and Bertille Toledano (BETC Paris), who worked on the Lacoste “Save our Species” campaign. All three were challenged by Hervé de Clerck (Adforum.com & ACT Responsible), who raised crucial issues. ”If companies don’t pay attention to sustainability today, they will not survive in the future,” he said. “Agencies have a responsibility to go further with sustainability. You’re storytellers, so you need to think about your own responsibility.”

Tony Weisman (Dunkin’) and Katerine Torina (Fremantle) also presented their successful marketing tie-up with America’s Got Talent and the best practice to create engagement with a brand in the most relevant way.

The busy week concluded with Tom Hidvegi, Creative Strategist at Coca-Cola, who reminded us of something essential: “We need to appreciate the fact that it doesn’t matter if we work for a brand or agency today, it can be another one tomorrow. We’re just one big tribe, we all work in this industry, we give our lives for an ad!”

Finally, RTL AdConnect was very proud to host the ACT Responsible Cannes Tribute Celebration, celebrating those that are not only doing good work, but work for good as well.

The RTL AdConnect beach programme didn’t stop there, with many occasions throughout the week to enjoy the setting or chill with morning yoga sessions and the opportunity to network and get together during sundowner drinks and Tuesday’s RTL AdConnect Tropical Party.

The whole RTL AdConnect team was thrilled to welcome so many people throughout the week. This Cannes Lions season was a success on every level, and we can’t wait for next year!