Media Redefined: How to win a Cannes Media Lion
by Martin MacGregor (@MartMacG) I’ve had a look through this year’s Cannes Lion winners and there are two very clear themes that are being rewarded: relevance and dominance.
Relevance now is all about how well data has been mined to serve up the right message to the right consumer at the right place and time. The better the data has been analysed, the tighter the targeting and the more relevant the message will be. The Media Lion Grand Prix this year was given to the ultimate relevance campaign for Tesco’s. It was called “Food Love Stories” and used a plethora of data to build recipes across UK, relevant right down to the street that you lived in. It is this kind of ultra-localised campaign that is the future of both media and message. Ultimately, every message will be customised and served just for you.
A further example of relevance was a campaign for Argos in the UK called “80 days of Argos”. It wanted to push its same-day delivery service, and so developed a bespoke TV ad every day for 80 days (with a cheap and efficient production solve!) with a one-day-only same-day delivery promotion. But the real key to getting traction for the campaign was ensuring the messaging was relevant to each day and what consumers would most likely be interested in. Some days it was obvious (Fitbits for the London Marathon) but others relied on robust data which pointed to what was most likely to be bought on that day.
In the old days, dominance was about spending big money on a big campaign and dominating competitors by outshouting them. A fragmented media landscape has now made this very difficult. Only big-budget brands, usually with a big announcement are able to that these days — think the Absa relaunch and South African Reserve Bank launching the Mandela 100 notes.
Dominance now means dominating a small and targeted space or time, but with a substantial twist.
I went to a talk by a “Twitter scientist” a few years back and he spoke about a new marketing formula based on an old scientific one: Force of Media = Mass of Media x Social Acceleration. What this means is that, even if media spend is small, if the idea is powerful enough and generates social conversations, it will still have the necessary force and impact.
A great example of this was a Gold winner called “David Bowie is Here” to advertise a new David Bowie exhibition in New York sponsored by Spotify. Instead of doing a city-wide advertising campaign, a takeover was done of the subway station he used in SoHo, showcasing his life in the city through artwork and photography and how it influenced the music he created. He was even on the metro cards. Dominating this small space was all that was needed to create a huge amount of conversation and actually make the station a must-view destination.
Another good example of a dominance strategy was a campaign by Intel at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang this year. It was trying to change the perception that Intel was a PC company, and that the world actually runs on Intel technology. Here it took one moment in one event — the opening ceremony at the games — and dominated it by creating the Olympic rings in the sky using drones, something that’d never been done before. The visuals were spectacular and, while the TV audience itself would’ve been limited, it was shared on a global scale; I remember seeing it. Intel really understood the power of social acceleration.
So, if you want to win a Cannes Media Lion next year, you’ll be much closer to success if you focus on two different types of ideas : data-driven hyper-relevant messages or dominance of a place or time with huge social acceleration potential. Funnily enough, and this is not always the case with awards, these two kinds of ideas are likely to be very successful for your clients as well.
Martin MacGregor (@MartMacG) is managing director of Connect, an M&C Saatchi Company, with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Martin has spent 18 years in the industry, and has previously worked at Ogilvy and was MD of MEC Nota Bene in Cape Town. He contributes the monthly “Media Redefined” column, in which he challenges norms in the media space, to MarkLives.com.
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