Inspired by the Cannes Film FestivalCannes Lions is now the largest gathering of the advertising and creative communications industry with over 16,000 attending this year’s event. Plenty was discussed with attendees hearing over 360 hours of inspiration across 9 tracks from experience to innovation as well as watching performances from the likes of Akon and The Killers. For me, two key industry lessons came out on top.

Brands are looking for transparency with influencers to cement trust with consumersUnilever’s CMO, Keith Weed, talked about the need for greater transparency with influencers to not only improve ROI but track authentic engagement. In fact, Unilever made a commitment that it will not work with influencers who buy followers and their brands will never buy followers with Mr Weed stating “we believe influencers are an important way to reach consumers and grow our brands. Their power comes from a deep, authentic and direct connection with people, but certain practices like buying followers can easily undermine these relationships.”

Proof that data-driven creativity will workMcKinsey released a report at Cannes that shows brands will grow by unifying creativity and analytics. The report found that those who have united data and creativity grow their revenues at 10 percent a year, twice the average rate of S&P 500 companies. And these CMO “ integrators” use four or more types of insights, from focus groups to advanced analytics, to improve the customer experience. This is compared to non-integrators who use three or less. 

It will be interesting to see how these play out in the industry and what further steps brands and marketers take in data-driven creativity and authentic influencer engagement.