The sessions on day three of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2007 focussed on what went behind building right brands. Needless to say, at the centre of it all continued to be the digital fever. One of the most sought after sessions of the day was presented by Manchester United, where Sir Bobby Charlton spoke on stories and insights that brought out the relation of creative and content specialists with every aspect of life, even a sport like football.
Charlton narrated various stories on his experiences, and instances about Manchester United that made it the brand it is. He said, “ManU is an exciting brand that plays offensive and is full of edge-of-the-seat surprises. But even in this sport, the game has to be about being creative and getting the right ideas, and in the course of time, you build a brand that has followers. They can love you, they can hate you but they never leave you.”
Charlton was of the opinion that the creative fraternity could learn a little from examples like Manchester United, just as organisations like that can learn from advertising. Commenting on his take away from the session, Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT, said, “The first half of the session was really interesting on the setting up of the brand. There really is a point or two that can be learned from such examples.”
Another interesting session of the day was the ‘Entertainment Advertising: Leading the Content Revolution’, which was presented by Initiative. The speaker on the session was Alan Cohen, EVP and MD, Initiative Innovations and Entertainment. Cohen said that the paradigm shift in brand building today really was innovations integrating with media and allowing marketing that made a difference.
For him, in the new matrix, strategy, content execution and ideas were still at the centre of brand communication and the change in traditional media agencies was moving from the conventional domains of research, planning, media tools and so on was to creativity, promotions and technology.
Citing examples of conglomerates like Microsoft and Making Bee Magic Movie, Cohen pointed out, “Advertising is only about story telling. Organisations are creating long and short form of content for these kinds of stories.”
He concluded his presentation stating, “Media is the new creative and it is transforming marketing.”
Another session spoke of sponsorships at the heart of brand communication. The speakers comprised Jeremy Clark, MD, EMEA, MEC Sponsorship and Julian Yeomans, Managing Partner, MEC Sponsorship. Sponsorship has never been more important than it is today, and its popularity is on a tremendous rise. Substantiating this, the presentation brought out that in the last five years, the percentage of spends on sponsorships has increased by 31 per cent, which is higher than the growth of advertising in comparison.
Articulating the pitfalls that brands normally face while engaging themselves with a sponsored event, the session cited the lack of strategic planning with unclear objectives to meet, and a poor choice of platforms that causes the confusion.