Cannes Lions: Behind the noise, real talk

From running Cannes or Bust for some time now, I can see a very definite pattern. Journalists globally feel obliged to mention the parties, the beach and the excess. It’s as if editors worldwide wouldn’t believe people come here for something other than a “jolly”. But I’ve got news for them: work does actually get done here! Imagine that!

So it was interesting to read an article in India’s Economic Times about some of the discussions being held at the Cannes Lions. Like other “content” industries, advertising is being massively affected by the switch to digital. Much has been written about the impact of the game “Second Life”, and how brands can connect with a whole new audience. IBM have apparently sunk $100 million dollars into it. But Norm Johnston, managing director of Digitas, has his doubts – to put it mildly. “We’ve done a couple of workshops with clients in Second Life and it’s full of a lot of perverts… it’s a mad risk for IBM to spend $100 million on it. It’s a complete waste of money.”

The ideas being bandied about at Cannes now could affect the industry over the coming two to three years. Everyone is looking to bring their clients to new levels of awareness (and probably spending). The price for backing the wrong horse, however, could be very stiff. If your company is considering investing in Second Life. Maybe you should throw an eye at the article. Or maybe you should attend the Cannes Lions next year.

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