#Cannes 2023: The Year We Set TV Free

#Cannes 2023: The Year We Set TV Free
By Stephanie Nerby, VP, Marketing
June 28, 2023

Is it just me, or did the Cannes Lions Festival ‘hit different’ this year?

The festival saw a record number of entries, and the winners were some of the most creative work we've seen in years. But Cannes Lions is more than just a competition. It's also a forum for the advertising industry to come together and discuss the future of the industry. 

This year, there was a lot of talk about how the advertising industry can move forward in a way that is more inclusive, accountable, sustainable, and ethical, rallying around building a better future for advertising.

Here are some of the big takeaways from the 2023 Cannes Lions Festival

The Streaming Wars Continue to Transform TV Advertising

Yes, Cannes Lions started as a gathering around advertising awards and creativity, but the festival has expanded considerably with TV advertising continuing to be front and center. And whether it be Amazon’s port, Netflix’s presence or Telly’s inaugural Cannes voyage, figuring out how to navigate streaming advertising is one of the top priorities for every advertiser. It's also a top revenue priority for every Ad tech company; this is like the run on social media dollars back in the early 2000’s, everyone and their brother is now claiming CTV capabilities, but buyer be weary.

The Role Of AI in TV Advertising

One of the biggest themes at Cannes was undoubtedly AI and its role within shaping creativity. AI tools are aiding in tasks like generating ad slogans, crafting news releases, producing billboard images, and even helping to brainstorm new brand names.

And AI is already making in roads in programmatic TV advertising both on the buy and sell side. As more viewers migrate to streaming for their TV consumption, integrating AI into your streaming TV ad stack can ensure each ad dollar generates maximum impact. For example, we use AI to make smarter purchasing decisions. This has helped our clients realize the true promise of CTV: securing premium inventory in milliseconds based on huge swaths of data and reaching audiences for a given brand, wherever those audiences are.

Creativity Shines Bright

In my Cannes 2022 recap post, I mentioned how Madhive took a different direction in highlighting our culture and creative spirit. This is, after all, is a creative festival and artistic inspiration for the entire industry. And when it comes to creativity this year, hats off to my fellow CMO, Ryan Linder who was one of the visionaries behind Stagwell’s Sport Beach. I met Ryan before the festival kicked into high gear. Ryan, Mike Tyson (Yes, THE Iron Mike Tyson) and I all were getting a workout in before the rush of the festival. One thing’s for sure, whether you were familiar with Stagwell or not, chances are you at least know the name now.

The Power of Partnerships

Besides CES, Cannes is really the only other tentpole capable of bringing together every influential player in the marketing and advertising world on a global scale. This presents a massive opportunity to meet with clients and potential partners in person, which can then accelerate collaboration for the back half of 2023 and into 2024. While Cannes has its challenges that range from lost baggage to flight delays to increasing costs, if you poll attendees the vast majority will say the full Cannes experience far exceeds a week in Vegas at CES.

The Real ROI

Last year, 2022, was the first year back for Cannes after a two-year hiatus due to Covid. The entire town was buzzing with people ready to leave their homes and let loose. 

That same “when in Rome” attitude was present this year, but with a bigger focus on the “collaboration” aspect. And one thing that became abundantly clear over the past week, was the overwhelming ROI with getting teams off their couch, out of their homes and bringing teammates together in one place for an extended period of time — often to the early hours. With all the talk around return to work, hybrid and flexible staff, nothing beats the ROI of multiple team members spending real, extended quality time together.

The Madhive Experience

Coming into Cannes 2023 we asked ourselves how do we top last year? What did we want to accomplish this year? Simply,

-To have a POV, in our case Set TV Free

-Being at a creative festival, lets be f$$$n creative

We want people to feel something. To create an experience.

Stay tuned for my second post about Cannes Lions 2023 where we dive deeper into how we built the Madhive Experience @ Cannes 2023.