STORY Reto Bloesch, Patrick Weiss, Stefan Jermann
PHOTOS Stefan Jermann
Fri 6th, 2022
After a physical two-year break, the Cannes Lions – the most prestigious creative and tech gathering is finally back this summer. Not that creatives have remained idle, but the world has changed markedly during corona, but new opportunities and challenges have emerged. The motto of the festival “One Moment can change everything” and the development of the last few years make us look forward to Cannes 2022 with great anticipation.
We are experiencing dire times: Corona virus, war in Europe, race riots in the USA, Fridays for Future demonstrations. The world is changing and will never be the same again. Our society seems more fragile than ever. The question is how the advertising world will react to these developments, dangers and opportunities. For several months now, sustainability has been the order of the day. The Black Lives Matter campaign was very quickly taken up by international brands and actively integrated into their communication. It will be exciting to see how these developments are progressing.
We start our preview of this year’s Cannes Festival with a short interview. Uwe Walter is a seasoned storyteller from Germany who supports and advises numerous renowned clients worldwide.
Uwe Walter, what are the biggest challenges for creatives today?
There is a demand for louder music instead of the right music. Stress has increased among clients. More superficial, quick solutions often lead to actionism and less well thought-out briefings, worse designs and more proofreading loops.
How has the pandemic affected the industry?
Budgets tend to go down. Coordination within companies and departments is becoming more difficult. If you only meet in video calls, if you don’t develop a common language, often only bad compromises lead to project stops due to lack of quality.
Can creativity help find a way out of this difficult situation?
Structured creativity is the key. Instead of only briefly effective micro-solutions, open your eyes to the big picture and then, with good project management, moderate the creative process step by step in a coherent and constructive way. Always remember, make several drafts.
How important is creativity in the modern world?
Creativity means fertility. Today we have to become more fertile than ever, for living together, for the environment, for technology. Those who have process, budget and creativity under control are the people of the hour.
«Those who have process, budget and creativity under control are the people of the hour.»
What advice would you give to a young, motivated creative?
Advertising is universal because it affects all walks of life and all industries. Do advertising with the same passion as the inventor of quantum physics or the astrophysicist who flies to Mars, then it’s the most awesome job in the world.
What does the expression “One moment can change everything” mean to you?
The tipping point is the most significant moment of any story. The gate of the fortress opens. The turning point from before to after. It’s the ray of light into the darkness that changes the world.
«It’s the ray of light into the darkness that changes the world.»
«Data is the new oil»
David Fletcher, Chief Data Officer and Lions Creative Data Judge, Wavemaker UK
There is no longer any distinction between new and traditional media. All that counts is data. Anyone who has missed jumping on this bandwagon should hurry up: there is nothing like collecting data. This development also offers classical media the chance to reinvent themselves and to successfully tackle the way into the future.
Data offers the opportunity to better understand the audience, to integrate them directly into the processes and to better analyze the results. These aspects are essential for the development of a brand, a medium or a campaign. And they will become increasingly important in the future. One of the most discussed topics at Cannes will be the emergence of new platforms and communication channels. And it becomes clear: whoever takes care of intelligent data collection will be among the winners. Because the possibilities of control and flexibility on digital channels will continue to increase.
The world is facing immense challenges in terms of climate change, environmental protection and sustainability. “Climate change is a global crisis. Marketers and advertisers are in a unique position to raise awareness and encourage action that others cannot take,” said Cannes Lions Chairperson Philip Thomas. “The Cannes Lions are a platform to engage the best creative minds and encourage them to commit to sustainability to ensure the future of our world. We go beyond just raising awareness and organizing conversations that make a difference in our industry.”
Most ideas, campaigns or even companies are originally created from a sketch on a napkin. At some point, however, the idea, purpose and goals go their own ways, which can do enormous damage to a brand. If it does not remain honest to itself and as close as possible to the original idea, it no longer appears authentic. It always takes the courage to go new ways and try things out. Just like when the basic idea was born on a napkin. Undoubtedly everyone is looking for new ways to expand their creative boundaries. Julia Goldin from LEGO: “I think you have to feel comfortable when you feel uncomfortable. Because if you don’t take risks and try new things, you will never be able to develop, and I would also say from my personal experience that the more you know, the more you don’t know. And I think that the recognition of this aspect is very important. So you also have to be thirsty and hungry enough to learn, to unlearn and to relearn. And you have to be very open, as much as possible, to the diversity of wisdom. Because diversity in an organization brings all the new innovation, excitement and inspiration that we need.”