Archive for the ‘Cannes’ Category

Case Study: Sports & Push Notifications

In Cannes, Mobile, Sports Media on July 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I can remember a time when I would ask friends to text me updates during Penguins Hockey games when I couldn’t watch them. That reliance on someone, something was in place to assure that you knew the score, even when you weren’t at the game or in front of a TV. A lot has changed since then. Twitter’s inception has forced both news organizations and sports entities to constantly communicate in the now. No longer needing a text or the next day’s paper to inform you, you can know the second that anything happens. Play-by-Play and commentary come from the teams themselves but also journalists and anyone, allowing the pool of information to grow. However, even as technology advances all of these required the user, or interested person to go and search for the information.

Enter Push Notifications. Many of us have them for our favorite news organizations or sports teams. Fitting in with the developing Web 3.0 trend of the news and media coming to you, an alert or nice looking text box will appear on your screen and sometimes send you into utter distraction reading whatever article or latest score update has come your way.

Self admittedly, I’m a junkie for push notifications and have allowed them to become an integral and absolutely daily/regular part of my life. I was really excited, then, when I came across Urban Airship at the MMA both at Cannes Lions. Specializing in mobile marketing management, Urban Airship offers management of push notifications from creation to delivery and also houses analytics to study how push notifications are viewed or used.

Their website features several success stories in sports, one of which being the Vancouver Canucks.

The case study says that for the first agency who attempted to institute a push notification program, a scalability problem arose. With over 100,000 downloads and multiple notifications per game and night, size was massive. After utilizing a platform such as the one Urban Airship offers the results were as follows:

“The reaction was astounding – not only did the team exceed their expected downloads by 600%, but over the course of the season the Canucks sent out over 90 million targeted push notifications to fans and grew the opted-in fanbase by 56%.”

This is just one example, but you will be hard pressed to find a professional team in the NHL, MLB, NFL, or European Soccer that doesn’t consider push notifications as a given.  Not all AHL or minor league teams have created such offerings yet, but the notifications have become common place.

The next consideration is how to use them. When downloading the general NHL app or even an ESPN or TSN app, favorite teams can be selected and notifications set up through that platform as well. In this way, you could receive score alert information in the form of push notifications from 4 apps at once. It all comes down to preference, however. You have the option to choose to receive notifications after each period, or in real time, or even just once after the game. This allows for preference for a number of teams, giving the fans the ability to get limited news about some teams and heavily detailed updates about others.

In the land of social TV, sports is one broadcast in which live and timely will never disappear. Post airings of sport games or time shifted information will never be successful when up to the minute remains the priority in this sphere. Push notifications allows for fans to have all of the information at their finger tips and not search for it, it comes to them.

I think this type of information sharing will only increase as digitization continues and the shift towards a web 3.0 goes on. Perhaps will see customizable push notifications being offered such as indepth line up or injury reports, or even fun facts before a game. In this way, it can almost become a form of content creation rather than just statistical notification.


Canning up the #CannesLions

In Cannes on June 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Day 8: Final awards and Wrap Up

Tweet of the Day:

Not sure how to put a cap on such an interesting, unique and glorious experience.  Albeit it sounds cheesy, However I honestly feel like Cannes Lions has taught me a lot about not just trends in the industry but also about who I am and the type of career I hope to have. I’ve learned about professionalism and networking and enjoyed spending some time with fellow Newhousers in the South of France.

View from Old Town, beautiful Cannes, France.

View from Old Town, beautiful Cannes, France.

So  22 seminars, 4 workshops, 2 forums, 1 master class, and 1 tech talk later, here’s an attempt to wrap up what I’ve learned:


Favorite Things I attended:

  • The Logic Behind the Magic seminar with Mindscapes discussing creative patterns.
  • Data Driven Creativity with 360i on how to utilize data successfully and turn it into a campaign.
  • Hearing from Conan O’Brien on this personable social campaigns and entirely crowd-sourced episode.
  • Seeing the Innovation coming from Burberry with their global Burberry Kisses Campaign.
  • Watching McDonald’s use communications, social media and honesty to change a brand perception.
  •  Learning about the customer buying culture in China at Cannes China Day.

Favorite side parts of the conference:

  • GOOGLE BEACH, enough said.
  • Getting Mentioned in @HeinekenCannes storify. Also attending their party.
  • Browsing the award winning and nominated campaigns and work.
  • Seeing successful people justly rewarded for their creativity and hard work.
  • Dumb ways to die…
  • Free copies of international trade publications.
  • SU being featured in the Lions Daily News

Best Parts about Cannes:

  • The view from, well, anywhere.
  • The awesome beach.
  • Rose’
  • Hearing so many different languages and seeing so many different cultures in one place.

**Shoutout to the Monoprix, without which most of our group wouldn’t have eaten.

General Trends in Media

  1.   Honesty
  2.   Transparency
  3.  Always innovate, do not accept what’s been done before—trailblaze and be who you are.

When I first heard about this trip upon starting as Dr. William Ward’s instructor’s assistant, I planned to go. I never could have anticipated all that I would see and learn. So also a special thanks to him for letting me know and digging me even deeper into my social media addiction throughout two semesters of being a teaching assistant for his undergraduate Social Media Course as well as the long lasting implications of knowledge and further media passion from this trip.

I just love Twitter @Cannes_Lions #CannesLions 2013.

I just love Twitter @Cannes_Lions #CannesLions 2013.

Finally Robotic Beings Rule the world?

In Cannes on June 22, 2013 at 9:09 am

Day 7: How far can technology go: from global kisses to humans needed for creation.

Just to set the mood:

Tweet of the day:

The book Super Sad, Super True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart takes place in a futuristic world where the fears of big data and hyper technology are true. We are constantly ranked, evaluated and glued to these “aparati” which tell us everything about who we are and our health numbers and ranking. I was reminded of this futuristic world by a number of speakers and topics at the festival today.
From a 3D printed robot who could dance and respond, to the innovative HTML 5 games at the Google Creative Sandbox, it’s no surprise technology is evolving and becoming ever more advanced. Not that I think that these unlikely portraits of extreme technological futures are super likely or likely to be nefarious, but some of the content at the conference today suggested the possibility of the farfetched becoming possible.

I started off my day by visiting the Girl’s Lounge at the beautiful Hotel Martinez. Hosted by Ipsos, the area allows for women to network and interact. I enjoyed visiting and the concept as well, it’s very cool to see women who have become super successful and hold amazing positions in the media industry. It’s another glance into the future of creativity.

I then had way too much fun at the Google Creative Sandbox. The innovative space on Google Beach allowed visitors to try out new HTML interactive games. These games often involved syncing many different devices such as Racer which connected a number of touch screen devices across which multiple players cars would race. The things that can be done and the way game play and even commerce is ever changing can be seen through innovations such as these. The augmented reality game Ingress allows an additional layer on top of real life through the currently android only application and field trip allows you to learn about significant events in history over top of the places you live and visit.

Creativity is here!

Creativity is here!

In the afternoon, I visited three back to back seminars. Beginning with hearing from Heineken who’s duel strategy of placing the global brand of beer everywhere is coupled with local culture and taste brands. It was refreshing to see this company, as well as Burberry later, who both have lengthy and rich histories to be so keen to innovations and changes.

Humans: Maybe still needed for Curation.

A presentation from Lowe and Partners coupled with wire really dealt with the future with a number of examples of technological changes and borderline eerie advances.

The above idea for Scanadu provides Super Sad, Super True love story-esque accuracy and monitoring of personal health. While the advance could be amazing in preventative care and even assuring efficiency in hospitals by advising when emergency care is needed and when it is not, the technology can still be a bit jarring at first. Like most rapid advances, the helpfulness will outweigh but I can’t help but shake off a little bit of scifi in the process.

The speaker suggested that robots will eventually be able to do it all leaving humans with the role of curating, approving and value layering over. Narrative Science creates generated news stories and while the information may be pulled from many sources it is still lacking human touch. I don’t know how far it will go, especially when Big Data can tell you every place I’ve foursquare checked into in the past few years (over 2000 in case you were curious) But I do know it will be an interesting ride filled with innovations that need to be adopted and will likely begin to feel normal.

Adaptabilty is the New Experience

In Cannes on June 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Day 5: A Lion’s Pride, Passion & Adaptability

Tweet of the day:

Passionate Production

It was kind of a star-struck morning at the Cannes International festival of creativity. Kicking off the morning was a dialogue between Mofilm and Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. The discussion centered on crowd sourcing and just how far it can take you. Wales painted a clear separation in strategy for Wikipedia—with an analogy to YouTube. Where YouTube has thousands of user generated and submitted videos on any given topic, Wikipedia’s focus is on ONE contributed, double checked, verified ideal page on each topic.

After thinking about the success of Wikipedia and its various topical wikis such as LOSTipedia which posts over 7,000 entries, I considered what it was that motivates people to contribute to the ultimate sources of knowledge to which we all flock.

The answer didn’t entirely hit me until after the next seminar where Anderson Cooper and Conan O’Brien not only nailed some South of France jokes, but also where I noticed there honest, uncompromising passion. What is it that makes Anderson willing to go into any situation and risk it all for the story? How is it that Conan can engage adoring fans, entertain the masses and also be a pioneer of social media crowd sourcing? It’s because they absolutely love every aspect of what they do. From the moment the pair stepped onto the Cannes stage, it was clear they were going to have fun. Their interview also gave awesome insights into the entirely crowd sourced episode of Conan and how the comedian’s digital team of 30 went from being an afterthought to the forefront. But it was their identity that made it truly memorable.

Its this same “umpf” that allows crowd-sourcing to be successful. Without the dedication of LOST fans, they certainly wouldn’t work on pages with every appearance of the Polar bear in the jungle or the Dharma Initiative.  A company that can channel this passion in content creation or through putting big data to use will not only find traffic and success for themselves, but happiness for their users/customers. And isn’t that a win win?

I’d like fries with that. And I’d like to know how they are made.

Later in the day, I saw an interesting presentation from Joel Yashinsky, CMO SVP of Marketing & consumer business insights for McDonald’s Canada. They showed how after segmenting the existing market into lovers, haters and fence sitters, the fast food chain launched a campaign to change food quality perceptions in the Canadian Market. Operating with total transparency, McDonald’s launched “Our food, Your questions”: where a team of staff would honestly answer ANY question about the food and in the process hopefully regain the trust of consumers.

In doing this, McDonald’s took a huge risk. Putting out the man power and hoping that there would be success. And there was. McDonald’s passed Starbucks in social media recognition after this and although they were already second in marketshare, felt that they had more of a foothold in the Candian Market. This type of adaptability for a company which everywhere struggles with negative connotations and hate (I mean from me too, I’m super not a fan) shows adaptability. I think it’s a groundbreaking idea and while transparency and honesty have been pounded (quarter-pounded? Maybe? Idk) into our heads this week, I think it’s a perfect execution and a benchmark for food companies.

Adaptability is the New Experience

A linkedIn conference later, and some photos with the LinkedIN background for fun had me thinking about this concept of adaptability in the workplace and in careers. I came to the conclusion that Adaptability is the New Experience. Currently I’m going through the job search process and struggling with lack of prolonged experience. Just coming out of school, I’m running on internships and academic consulting projects. But a lot of what I’ve seen this week has shown me that adaptability may be more important than experience. Ad execs who have been rockstars their entire careers must constantly be learning new platforms and ways of life. Every lion winner this week has taken the new, the changing culture, the shifting media landscape and done amazing things with it. Sure, their experience helped them be prepared for what will work and what has worked in the past. But empirical experience is nothing without the ability to shift and take shape into whatever is new and coming. Like the Liquid Creativity and mobile yesterday.

Sarah and I are LinkedIn.

Sarah and I are LinkedIn.

A data in the life

In Cannes on June 18, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Day 4: Big Data and Storytelling

Tweets of the day:

Another busy day in Cannes. I started off the day with the introduction and an interesting presentation from a Harvard Professor who specializes in the Chinese market at Cannes China Day. Translating headphones allowed this content to be heard in Chinese and/or English as speakers planned to converse in both.

After that I went to a number of cool seminars, a workshop and a forum.  Here’s some takeways:

The Hero’s Quest

A workshop with Lee Maicon of 360i worked left brain and right brain to show the data driven side of creativity. I think this workshop might have been my favorite part of the conference so far. Big data and analytics and the direction in which it can send strategy are fascinating to me. Huge impacts for all aspects of media as big data is constantly collected around us. In an example 360i used a focus on bacon related content to create a creative and engaging campaign for Oscar Meyer. Combining the skills of harvesting data to paint a picture and then telling the story, 360i’s creativity is outstanding.

One key take away from this was being realistic about the story you are telling. As previous seminars have stated, humans think in narrative. A brand’s story must be told as a solution to a problem or as a campaign. But realistically, this workshop showed that there are only really seven basic stories and 20 plots, jungian archetypes if you will. Utilizing one of these often happens consciously or not, so I enjoy the idea of consciously choosing and building a campaign around one.

Storyline 4: Quest

Storyline 4: Quest

2013-06-18 11.56.49From there we got sample data and a sample solution. Using the data in groups with other delegates, this time with cool people from California, Russia, London and India, we highlighted the most important data. The data translated into our solution choosing an archtype and brainstorming an iPad app to change the mind of football fans. Overall it was an insightful workshop, providing me with a frame work for not only looking at the data in a situation but creatively figuring out how to put it to good use.


Future of Mobile Ads (Game of Cones)

I attended a late afternoon forum with IAB discussing liquid creativity. Technologies for creating adaptable web ads and aesthetic web ads were discussed in conjunction with creative ways to advertise for mobile. I heard from Lincoln Bjorkman, CCO of Digitas, John San Giovanni of Zumobi and Steven Rosenblatt, CSO of Foursquare on up and coming ideas.

We also heard about Foursquare’s Game of Cones: a unique way to bring together current events and geolocation.

Regaurding Big data, truth telling and personal story telling (three ideas that keep happening): Steven Rosenblatt of Foursquare kept stressing the importance of transparency and trust. These two things in a company will cause people to share their geolocation of their own will and partake in the greater story contributing data of their own.

P.S. It's beautiful here

P.S. It’s beautiful here


The Trick & Treat of Tangibility

In Cannes on June 17, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Day Three: Learn by Example

Tweet of the day:

A NEW DEFINITION OF MEDIA: Anywhere Peoples & Ideas Meet.

Cheil Worldwide’s seminar titled “Every company is a media company” featured examples of organization’s campaigns that crossed lines and created change for their products and community. Often taking the digital and connecting it with the real world, the inspiring campaigns here paved the path for all the award winners that I later got to watch at the first night of the Cannes Lions awards.  I attended five seminars and one workshop today and again saw a lot of repeat themes. Today spread my awareness to a number of global agencies and some outstanding campaigns. Watching ones I’d never seen before as well as enjoying some I’d already studied, today was certainly a case study style of day.

FAME SPOTTING: Jack Black made an appearance at the conference today. Luckily, we were second row to get an up close and personal peak at his new show Ghost Ghirls. (Yeah, also Dave Grohl might play the drums in it. So there’s that) But this show will be exclusively distributed online and part of the conversation today went to all of the positives this allows.  For example, other networks may turn down a show or never have an opportunity to air it. Online allows for a totally different style, not to mention direct feedback and metrics from the audience. A deal also granted Yahoo exclusive online distributive rights to show old SNL episodes and skits, positioning itself as an online comedy location.

The #NewhouseIDSM gang got some attention today too! Featured in the Lions Daily News, our group discussed goals and what we were most looking forward to getting out of the festival.

SU featured in Lions Daily News

SU featured in Lions Daily News

Recurring Themes

1.  Narratives, story telling: I heard this first yesterday repeated by Gloria Steinem and others. Many speakers have suggested that the human mind thinks in narrative, and even more today suggested ways to utilize this. BBDO Worldwide suggested three historical figures, who all contribute to what would be ideal story telling and agency makeup. Quoting Ernest Hemingway on the need to listen, Michelangelo and Dickens for his outstanding characters, this seminar showed the need for honest, structured communications no matter what the initiative.

2. Taking the online, offline. What I’ve been noticing in all of the examples is that these two locations benefit each other. Great online content, when taken offline can lead to even greater loyalty. In turn, this offline can drive greater traffic back to the online.

3. Making a change not just in the brand, but the community. A number of the award winners made real change in their communities. Saving lives, effecting legislation, even changing the mind of a nation. Although difficult to execute, payoffs for creation like this can be ongoing and rewarding in so many ways.

Adelyn in Workshopland

My favorite part of today was a workshop with Yonathan Dominitz of Mindscapes. I walked out of this workshop having synthesized what was similar in campaigns and working with a group of other delegates briefly to devise a plan for a sample product. Having just sat through other seminars, the opportunity to converse and participate was refreshing. I spoke with some delegates from Amsterdam, Tokyo and Sao Paulo and our four-country approach created, I feel, a unique and well rounded proposal. Even if it was just a few minutes of brainstorming, we discussed concepts I won’t forget.

The main idea of the workshop was to identify patterns and transform them into thinking tools. We talked about three tools, derived from previous Lion winners and creative campaigns:

  • FIGHT FOR A CAUSE: Instead of focusing a campaign on the brand—create a cause. Include a call to action,
  • SABOTAGE/REMOVAL: instead of adding something, take existing and add. But this suggests let’s take existing system and sabotage it—remove norms and thus provoke.
  • RELOCATION: suggests to take one part of the system and to relocated it somewhere else. Several different worlds: product, media, POS, event, users, etc. challenges us to break the system and to divide. Combining the digital world with the real world: more possibilities.

Culture- Looking forward to China Day at Cannes

A bonus side of awesome that has come with this entire festival is the immersion into other cultures and the ubiquitous array of different languages. When we first got off the plane, Nomi Foster, Sarah Roche and I took a nap on the shores of Cannes. I fell asleep hearing at least four different languages and throughout the week have been exposed to and greeted in many more. Ciao, Bonjour, Guten Tag, etc. I love all of the flavor, background and mindsets of the folks at the festival. All of this being said, I’m excited to attend some events surrounding China Day at Cannes tomorrow.

Specifically I’m looking forward to this event and hearing some different perspectives: How To Reap The Benefits of 1.35 Billion Chinese Consumers

China is one of the most complicated and mysterious markets on the earth. Consumers in China are therefore also complicated and mysterious, not least because their modern consumptive lives are still governed by many traditional or indeed ancient values.

Here’s a cool interactive game I had the opportunity to take a peek (well almost reach a peek) at today:

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 7.05.27 PM

But #Honestly

In Cannes on June 16, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Day 2: Honesty in strategy

Tweet of the Day:

Although today got off to a rough start (slept through my alarm!) it did not disappoint in seminars and experience. I was parked in the Grand Audi room at the festival from about 9:30 am to about 3 p.m. hearing from filmmakers, celebrities such as Martha Stewart, Nick Cannon, and Scary Spice and creator of the Obama hope posters: Shepard Fairey.

#NewhouseIDSM made a serious appearance on the festival word cloud today:

#NewhouseIDSM showing up to the game!

#NewhouseIDSM showing up to the game!

After the seminars we took a short train tour of Cannes, seeing the new town developments and swanky city life that is so legendary and heard about in pop culture. After popping into a networking event on the beach, our Syracuse University group went to dinner at a Lebanese Restaurant and polished off the night with some creme’ brule gelatto. Its funny how I’m not usually a fan of such things but when in Rome.. or Cannes. I mean France is across the water from Italy?

But the most interesting part of today came from the celeb insight in social strategy and also the theme of honesty throughout film making, social communications and art.

Check out my storify of the speakers:

Check out my storify of the speakers:

Celebrities & Social Strategy

Like any brand, a celebrity’s name and identity need to be strategically communicated, planned and carefully executed. From the platform used to the type of content shared, any business or branded individual has decisions to make in order to become and remain successful. The second session that I saw at the Cannes Lions conference today edged into this discussion as well as the role digital and social play in fame.

From the beginning digital and social media have the ability to go viral or even to do the opposite and only reach the necessary audience. This can change the way an individual even rises to celebrity status. But once there, digital and social open up a number of opportunities for direct fan interaction and increased exposure. Nick Cannon, one of the panelists, mentioned that his wife Mariah Carey and him noticed sufficiently less paparazzi in their lives as opposed to other celebrities after releasing In sharing their own photos of their personal life, they have control over what is released. This can create and maintain their image and also decreases the need for spying or shame tactics to get close ups. This way even if there is some negative publicity or a less flattering photo, magazines and fan blogs no longer have the impact or authority when a celebrity can easily tweet, post or share for themselves.

A generational change of approach was also seen through from the three panelists. Martha Stewart is a media giant with a huge following. She mentioned strict rules which she follows on social. She often only allots herself about five minutes a day and follows family rules, never sharing photos of her kids’ faces. She strays away from political speech and tends to keep a lot of her personal life out it. In contrast, Nick Cannon and Mel B (Melanie Brown) both agreed that they are much more open. Their motivations are fun and hoping to engage with the fans by showing genuine moments and thoughts in their everyday lives.

However, there were two things that all three celebrities agreed with–both of which I enthusiastically agree with. The first is that celebrities are better off running their own accounts. Having a team running the social with the celebrity hands off may allow for a more created and consistent atmosphere but it is missing the actual connection. It is almost returning to the days of old when celebrities seemed out of reach. Digital and social have the capability to change that. Also when a team is running account, it does not show the actual personality of the celebrity–still a fictional or forced type of communications. The second is that honesty is the best policy. Nick Cannon advised to never delete a tweet. “Once it is out there, it is out there,” he said and Mel B agreed that honest communication and trying to not go back and delete are better. Martha Stewart also put weight into authenticity and honesty in social communications. Those two conclusions were good for me to hear because while stars are building brands and maintaining images, how long can fake ones really last? Isn’t it that much better to gain fans who agree with an honest representation allowing them to get close and feel even more loyalty?

Honestly, Just mention it.

Three of the other sessions I was fortunate enough to see today both mentioned honesty and the importance of example. Jack Sim, aka Mr. Toilet, is the creator of World Toilet Day: an initiative that aims to bring toilets and clean hygiene habits to parts of the world where contamination is ending mass amounts of lives.  Shedding light on a taboo subject, Mr. Sim said that if you don’t mention it, you can’t change it.

In the afternoon, we heard the inspiring story of the Makers project. With insight from the accomplished Gloria Steinem, Makers shows the story of women globally sharing powerful examples and spreading pride in what it is to take part in female empowerment. Steinem mentioned two things about truth. She said: “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” And also mentioned a pin that she owned which reads: “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”

Thirdly, a session on covering the Paralympics in London 2012 depicted how integrity and honesty to humor and the identities of the disabled athletes allowed for successful storytelling and sold out events. A sobering commercial depicting the super-humans who compete in the games with a risky middle featuring accidents and uneasy images painted a complete picture and grabbed the attention of the British population and the world. This honesty to what the games were and the humor allowed in the broadcast to match the personalities created honest coverage and led to an amazingly successful Olympic year.

So with the surprisingly recurring theme of honesty in media, in strategy, in coverage and even honesty  to one’s own goals in identity, film making and more today’s experience in Cannes taught me a lot about how to approach media.

ALSO: Companies & logos spotted around Cannes