CANNES LION 2012: NEW MODELS FOR CONTENT CREATION

jessica litwin

As I take a moment to reflect on this week, one thing is clear: four days in Cannes, attending the International Festival of Creativity, has given me a thirst to learn more about the world of creativity, PR, messaging, content creation, and advertising.

There is a buzz here that goes well beyond the scene along Blvd de la Croisette, and delves into the basic questions of why we make content and how content creation is changing.

Having now attended seminars, workshops, keynotes and panels hosted by a variety of industry leaders, one theme seems to underpin the conversation: there is a new world of content creation out there that is giving us platforms, venues, and voices never before seen.

Here are a few of the extraordinary and original ideas I’ve heard that I think go a long way to demonstrate how new forms of content are changing the paradigm of traditional platforms and messaging for PR and advertising.

Partnerships:

Universal McCann (UM) hosted a talk this week laying out their strategies for keeping ahead of the curve in terms of audience reach. They partner like-minded companies in order to deepen relationships with the consumer. Examples of these partnerships include ESPN working with Twitter, Google with Johnson & Johnson, and Time Inc. with UM. The belief is that partnerships are capable of launching traditional industry players into new media spaces, targeting more dynamic audiences and leveraging their messages onto a multitude of platforms.

Empowering the creator:

Throughout the week there has been an emphasis on empowering emerging creators with resources and incentives. Youtube is increasingly linking industry leaders with, what they call, ‘networks of video influencers’. These influencers have expertise with communities in certain brand areas and speak to those communities without any formal link to business interests. Creators like bloggers, filmmakers, and creative types are being targeted as the next generation of thought leaders capable of delivering content to audiences on behalf of the business sector.

Sticking to an idea:

In the worlds of advertising, PR, and lobbying it is important to pick a strategy and stick with it when delivering campaigns. Over the course of the week we have heard from a swath of leaders in these fields: Obama’s and Bush’s political strategists, Regional Director of Digital, AMEASCA at Hill and Knowlton Strategies Rishi Saha, Damian Kulash – lead singer of OK Go, and writer Alain de Botton. Though these speakers voiced their thoughts on a variety of topics, they underpinned their messages with a single mantra – that consistency is king. Whether it’s ‘leadership’ for a Presidential hopeful or ‘youthfulness’ for a skin cream, understanding a brand’s values and sticking to the plan enables trust and, in the end, will deliver better results.

Integrating all three principles of new content creation:

In a world where FinalCut Pro and other film editing software has enabled anyone to produce high quality video, there is a shift to the co-creation of content between agencies, industry, creators, and influencers that never previously existed.

MOFILM, one of the world’s largest crowd sourcing creative agencies has taken these principles and established a successful business model around them. MOFILM joins industry clients with emerging filmmakers through contests and events. Recently, MOFILM partnered with Chevrolet on a Super Bowl spot – the most lucrative advert space on US television each year. MOFILM developed a brief on the client’s goals for the spot, then went viral with a competition to create a Chevy advert, offering a trip to the Cannes festival and a cash prize as the reward. The prize in itself offers unparalleled networking opportunities, and winners are given a platform for their work not historically available without signing with a talent agency.

This is an incredible example of how new forms of content are being created outside the box of traditional agency-client relationships. Instead, we are seeing innovative content developed by implementing strong partnerships, empowering emerging creators, and sticking to an idea.

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