Did Cannes Lions Awards Simply Say Content material Beats Promoting?


We didn’t get to the south of France this week, however we’ve been speaking about Cannes Lions.

On the Worldwide Competition of Creativity, probably the most attention-grabbing factor occurred. The early large prize winners weren’t nice advertisements as a lot as they had been basic content material advertising and marketing.

In his most up-to-date e book and in his keynote presentation at Content material Advertising and marketing World 2023, Robert Rose requested if advertising and marketing was merely turning into content material advertising and marketing. Nicely, this yr’s Cannes Lions Awards could point out a tipping level.

What does Robert, CMI’s chief technique advisor, assume? Watch the video or learn on.

Lesson from Cannes Lions

As a riffraff marketer, I by no means get invited to issues just like the Cannes Lions Worldwide Competition of Creativity. However advertising and marketing professionals, content material creators, and a who’s who of inventive of us flocked to the south of France and had a take a look at the greater than 25,000 entries.

Seventy years in the past, advert company executives jealous of the Cannes Movie Competition began the creativity pageant. They needed their work acknowledged, and one want solely take a look at the south of France to understand it was by no means going to be the Florida Worldwide Competition of Creativity.

The pageant has all the time been identified for a celebration of pure promoting, particularly B2C promoting created by large firms that may afford large entry charges.

Enjoyable truth: In 2013, McCann Australia made historical past, profitable probably the most Grand Prix awards (5) for any entry. It received for what would in the present day be known as content material advertising and marketing — the Metro Trains’ Dumb Methods To Die marketing campaign.

This yr’s early winners struck me.

Storytelling for the win

Siemens Healthineers received the Grand Prix Pharma for its Magnetic Tales marketing campaign. The maker of MRI machines partnered with youngsters’s authors to inform audio tales paired with the sound patterns of MRI scans, which will be loud and disconcerting for teenagers.

For instance, a baby can hear via headphones to a narrative known as “The Flying Practice” whereas getting a cranial bone scan. The chugging sound of the MRI matches in properly with the narrative.

Is it an advert? No.

Is it a model utilizing content material to create a extra participating, inspiring, and satisfying buyer expertise? Completely.

Chalk this winner as much as the observe of content material advertising and marketing.

The Well being and Wellness Grand Prix went to Dramamine’s mini documentary about — of all issues – barf baggage. Company FCB in Chicago created this 12-minute movie exploring collectors of airplane barf baggage. Sure, individuals gather all the pieces you’ll be able to think about. They focus on the decline within the want for air illness baggage and the model, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, takes credit score for the drop.

Is it an advert? Probably not.

It’s a beautiful piece of inventive content material that transforms what can be a not-very-compelling subject into one thing enjoyable and interesting.

Lastly, Pedigree received a Grand Prix Out of doors. Utilizing dynamic expertise for outside promoting, the marketing campaign used a listing of digital advertisements that includes actual, adoptable animals. When a pet was adopted, its advert was faraway from the stock.

Is it an advert? After all. Nevertheless it’s only a great piece of content material — beneficial to the viewers even with out the Pedigree model behind it. It’s more likely to create model affinity as a result of it doesn’t actively promote one thing.

Name the Pedigree marketing campaign the spirit of content material advertising and marketing coming via a standard advert medium.

Content material on the middle of excellent promoting and advertising and marketing

The spirit of delivering worth, belief, and extraordinary content material appears to be the order of the week at Cannes. Is it half of a bigger development to evolve how individuals outline model promoting? Is it pushback to the programmatic, buy-now commodity of efficiency algorithm advertising and marketing?

I hope so.

Cannes presents a ton of classes, even for these of us who don’t hobnob with the celebrities within the south of France.

Possibly after we get collectively in San Diego later this yr at Content material Advertising and marketing World, we are able to pop the champagne and speak about how your differentiated advertising and marketing has turn out to be simply nice content material.

Need extra content material advertising and marketing ideas, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising and marketing Institute

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