Cannes day 3: It’s really about people.

Jack Blog

June 20th, 2012 By Jack Morton

A theme I picked out of day 3 at the Cannes festival of creativity (other than poverty due to all the money spent on taxis givenmy choice of the “cheap” hotel on the outskirts of town) is, simply, people.

Understanding people, creating experiences that are useful to people, making choices about technology and data and everything else for one reason alone—yes, people—was the theme of the sessions I attended:

#1: NFC

May I admit to having not really paid attention til now when colleagues gushed about near field communications (NFC)? Now I do see the potential to enhance very dramatically how people interact with brands in physical spaces, retail spaces, live events, what have you—because of the seamless, invisible, profoundly people-centered simplicity of the way that “contactless content collection” (ie tapping a phone on an RFID tag) lets the user get access to something that makes the experience more valuable. Terrific presentation by Tapit focused on applications and trajectory for NFC (available in 50% of all phone by 2015). Versus apps that have to be sought out or QR codes that require too many steps on the consumers’ part, NFC is seamless, transparent and focused on human need and behavior. 

#2: Facebook

Facebook’s Paul Adams told a capacity audience (I was in the standing room only spillover room, not even the main theatre) that the ad industry should think of Facebook not as a different medium in which to place content but instead as an experience built around people, not content. Examples: Gift Boxes, which aggregates information about your Facebook friends’ interests to make product suggestions when you are shopping for gifts; or Facebook as a source for news content aggregating world headlines, what your friends are reading and what Facebook thinks reflects your interests. He also made a case that anyone in advertising or marketing should master social science basics about how people interact.

#3: J&J

Kim Kadlek of Johnson & Johnson offered up a new set of “four P’s”—purpose, presence, proximity and partnership. She shared some terrific case studies, many from J&J consumer brands, all of which featured a deep and abiding commitment to building campaigns around people’s needs—in their lives (e.g., a terrific campaign for Listerine in Brazil, “Essencial”)—and their feelings about the product (e.g., a hysterical OB Canada ad that responded to an outcry over availability of the Ultra product). 

#4: HumanKind

Leo Burnett introduced a new “HumanKind Quotient” theory of measuring how successful brands are at defining a purpose and acting in ways that support and advance that purpose.