Every year, the Cannes Lions brings the advertising industry together to celebrate the most innovative creative in the world, and we have great discussions that influence the way we think about the brand-customer relationship. This year’s festival was no exception.

At the festival this year, our leadership team took part in excellent conversations on advanced TV and building brands. Cadent President of addressable Michael Bologna hosted a panel on the future of addressable TV with Adam Gerber, President of Global Media, Essence; Laura Nelson, SVP, Advertising Solutions and Performance, Disney Ad Sales; and Bryson Gordon, EVP of Advanced Advertising, Viacom. Cadent COO of addressable Jamie Power spoke on Freewheel’s agency POV on addressable panel alongside Finecast’s Rich Astley and Cadreon’s Sean Muzzy. Cadent Sales President Jim Tricarico spoke to Burger King CMO Fernando Machado about the power of risk-taking creative and television.

Here are a few takeaways we heard:

The value of addressable TV must be made clear. At our panel on Tuesday, Adam Gerber, President of Global Media, Essence, said most buyers are frustrated by the complexity of addressable TV, adding, “They are used to the turnkey simplicity of linear, and it’s not there. TV needs a transparent marketplace that values the underlying audience.” Additionally, Cadent COO of addressable Jamie Power spoke about jargon at Freewheel’s agency POV on addressable panel, saying, “If we don’t speak in English and we make it too complicated, then we won’t move the industry forward.”

Measurement challenges persist. As Laura Nelson, SVP, Advertising Solutions and Performance, Disney Ad Sales, said at our panel on the future of addressable TV, the TV industry has to come together to solve measurement challenges. “Every TV conversation devolves into measurement and that needs to change,” Laura said, adding, “For us to get the full value of our video inventory, we need to fix the measurement collective – publishers, agencies and tech platforms.”

Culture and diversity are prevailing topics once again. John Legend, Marc Pritchard and Katie Couric talked about racial and gender inclusion efforts, with Pritchard saying his hope is P&G’s spots like “We Believe” and “The Look” are intended to “change perspective, to promote introspection, to think about things.” On the topic of diverse hiring and focusing on the pipeline of talent, Verizon CMO Diego Scotti said, “You might hire all the diverse people that you want, but if they come to an environment where they’re not going to feel included, then it’s just a waste of time.”

Influencer marketing gets both a hot and cold reception. Chrissy Teigen’s appearance at Twitter Beach was one of the buzziest events of the week – the Twitter icon and author spoke about the power of social media and how she connects with a diverse spectrum of people through her Twitter presence. Others were not as receptive to influencer marketing in general with a campaign of street signs posted around the city saying ““STOP Encouraging Influencers” and Samsung’s global CMO saying she’s pessimistic about the form of marketing.

Mikayla Shunk

Posted by Mikayla Shunk