Why Cannes Adding Data to Lions is Huge

Over the past few years, more and more marketers have been turning to technology as inspiration and fuel for big ideas that rock the industry from the ground up. And now it appears that those who recognize excellence are finally following suit.

A few weeks ago, Cannes announced that the prestigious award ceremony will be adding Creative Data Lions in 2015, joining a newly expanded Innovation Lions festival. New awards will include categories for standalone and branded technological solutions, adtech platforms and models. The official Cannes website reads, “The new Creative Data Lions will exemplify the innovative uses of data that allow brands to tell better stories and drive personal, relevant and meaningful engagement.” But what does this mean for content marketers? To us, this is huge and exciting news.

At Unify 2014, we heard a number of assertions from our panels of prestigious speakers about the need to define clearer parameters for measurement. Content is a key tool for marketers to meet KPIs more efficiently, using data as a springboard to see what works and optimize it for better results. The 2015 Creative Data Lions judging criteria are fairly broad, but instructive on how creativity and data science are emerging. From the awards:

“Entries must:

  • Demonstrate how the execution/campaign was enhanced or driven by the creative use, interpretation, analysis or application of data
  • Execute an idea that has the creative use of data at its very core
  • Be related to the innovative uses of data that allow brands to tell better stories and drive personal, relevant and meaningful engagement”

That last point is where things start to get really interesting. To cut through the noise in which all brands are trying to create a genuine connection through richer storytelling, data becomes a critical asset to provide context and meaning for consumers. Data can help deliver specificity, localization and personalization at a granular level, thus allowing brand stories to be more resonant and targeted. It can also help light up the path to ROI marketers relentlessly pursue by allowing brands to target the right audience at the right moment.

We know that a great idea isn’t enough to make creativity deliver ROI. To achieve peak performance, marketers must get to know the faces behind the clicks. Data is quickly becoming the connective tissue between the art and science of marketing, and the fact that Cannes is recognizing the importance of it proves a huge step in the right direction.

We’re fortunate to have customers that embrace these ideals and are elevating the overall playing field relative to connecting data, storytelling and creativity – and we’ll look forward to seeing them strut their stuff among the many other data-progressive brands that will surely be represented as part of Cannes in 2015. Until then, vive la data!



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