Conversations on emotional data, digital commerce & storytelling dominate day 2 of Cannes

Day 2 of the Lions packed in the insights into the big wins at the festival of creativity

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Jun 23, 2021 9:42 AM
cannes lions

This year at Cannes, where azure seas of the French Riviera, the rose, the live networking sessions and yacht parties were missed, Lions Live definitely managed to dish out some thought-provoking discussions. Day 2 overall was marked by adland discussing emotional data, digital commerce and how a year in Covid changed storytelling and marketing as we knew it.

The day was off to a great start with Juan Senor, President, Innovation Media Consulting announcing winners from the Creative Data Lions, Direct Lions, PR Lions, Social & Influencer Lions, Media Lions and Creative Strategy Lions, Media Network of the Festival, and the Young Lions PR and Media Awards.

This was followed by an insightful session by David Tiltman, Vice President Content, WARC who spoke of rethinking brands for the rise of digital commerce. 

Tiltman spoke about how marketing budgets are under unprecedented pressure. He looked at how the events of 2020 saw deep cuts to investment in marketing in general, and brand-building in particular and explained how more than ever before, marketers have to achieve more with less.

The session expounded on how if we hold that a strong brand is a key to the long-term health of businesses, we now face a profound risk - both to our commercial prospects and to the reputation of marketers as drivers of growth. Tiltman contended that as the business world looks toward a post-pandemic world, the marketing discipline needs to rethink the way it talks about the brand, and reframe it for a world of digital commerce, algorithms, and almighty walled gardens.

One of the most awaited and insightful session had Josy Paul, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, BBDO INDIA delving into questions like how does one create work that leads to a more honest consumer connect, conversation and conversion and work that transforms brands and society and where do these ideas come from? Paul spoke of how the answer lies in our understanding of emotional data and is data that is rooted in human confessions, not just insights but is data that goes to the “the ocean floor of our selves”. The place where we are all the same. He looked at how finding it requires a deeply emotional and sometimes uncomfortable understanding of people and society. This discovery process is not in textbooks. Getting it right is not easy, but when you do, society responds and the brand prospers. The remarkable session was about discovering sensitivity in a world where no one is listening.

Next up the Direct Lions Debrief featured Direct Lions Jury President Reed Collins in Hong Kong for a one-hour special show who was joined by Reed Collins - Ogilvy APAC, Santosh Padhi - Taproot Dentsu, Atifa Hargrave-Silk - Haymarket Media Asia for a one-hour special show which featured data analysis, interviews with the jury and winners talking through their work.

Another awaited session of the day featured Lorraine Twohill, Google’s CMO, in conversation with Founder and CEO of Performance Paradigm, Reggie Butler, reflecting on an extraordinary year that changed the landscape of marketing and storytelling.

The Creative Strategy Lions Debrief had Jury President Suzanne Powers in New York who is also Global Chief Strategy Officer, McCann Worldgroup, Gabriela Soares - Talent Marcel, Cathy Taylor - WARC and packed in data analysis, interviews with the jury and winners talking through their work. Similarly, the Media Lions Debrief had Media Lions Jury President Philippa Brown in London accompanied by Philippa Brown - PHD, Esther *ET* Franklin - Spark Foundry, Arif Durrani - Bloomberg Media Studios took a look at data and winners from the category.

The day ended with Lions Wrap Up that had Susie Walker, Vice President of Awards and Insights, LIONS pulling the 10 most important stories into a neat package for the audience to enjoy and stay up to speed.

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