3 Developing Trends From Cannes Lions Every Brand Should Have An Eye On

The Envision Horizons team attended the Cannes Lions Festival and participated in an exciting STV activation at Amazon Port. While there, we took notes on the most important discussions circulating the festival. Here are 3 key trends discussed at Cannes Lions that every brand should have an eye on… #1 Ad Relevance We are bucketing […]
Published on June 27, 2024   |6 minute read

The Envision Horizons team attended the Cannes Lions Festival and participated in an exciting STV activation at Amazon Port. While there, we took notes on the most important discussions circulating the festival. Here are 3 key trends discussed at Cannes Lions that every brand should have an eye on…

#1 Ad Relevance

We are bucketing two themes into these two words – The cookieless future & first-party data sets.

Amazon’s announcement of its “Ad Relevance” product highlights a major trend across a myriad of conversations at Cannes Lions. As brands try to determine how to navigate these looming cookie changes, retail media giants were announcing means of addressing the future.

One such development, Amazon’s Ad Relevance, aims to help advertisers target online audiences without relying on third-party cookies or the plethora of ID solutions currently in the market. This new functionality within Amazon’s DSP uses AI to deliver relevant ads directly to consumers, simplifying programmatic media buying. Where first-party data comes into play, Amazon is allowing advertisers to not only leverage Amazon’s first-party data sets but allowing them to bring in their own data for even more hyper-personalized targeting capabilities.

A second announcement just this past week – media agency Omnicom has partnered with Amazon to integrate Amazon’s ad signals (including browsing and shopping insights) into Omni, allowing Omnicom to connect their linear TV insights with Amazon’s extensive proprietary data set.

Why Ad Relevance Matters

In an era of increasingly fragmented media, this technology streamlines the process for advertisers, potentially delivering stronger results without the need for constant intervention. It goes beyond basic addressability, focusing on content delivery driven by AI automation.

Why the Omnicom Partnership Matters

This partnership is significant as it’s the first time Amazon has shared its data so extensively. It signals a shift towards a more open Amazon, driven by the increasing demand from advertisers for comprehensive performance metrics across the entire funnel.

How to Use Ad Relevance

Amazon DSP tools like Audiences and Performance+ already incorporate this technology. Advertisers can leverage these tools in their DSP campaigns to benefit from Ad Relevance now and look forward to more updates in the coming months.

#2 Retail Media 

Retail media needs no introduction and was certainly one of the buzzwords at the Cannes Lions show last week. Retail media, which saw a 20% growth to $119bn in 2023, is not just a lucrative revenue stream. This financial opportunity is prompting retailers to increasingly view themselves as media owners, resulting in a paradigm shift in current business models.

Chief Strategy Officer Katie Streeter Hurle remarked, “What struck me most was the genuine recognition from the advertising industry on the transformative potential and power of retail media. It was the first time in my career that I’ve heard this category of advertising talked about with such passion and intent.”

Global Data Strategy & Analytics Director at EssenceMediaCom, Alan Morrissey, noted, “Fascinating reading all the Cannes Lions takeaways. Retail Media stole AI’s show! It seems everywhere, and it’s great to see Tech and Creative coming together.”

While Morrissey is mostly right, the fusion of AI and retail media is something to take note of. Applying AI within retail strategies, such as automated data aggregation, can manage, analyze, and support data insights. In retail media, AI can build predictive audience segments, forecast campaign performance, optimize campaigns in real time, and generate media plans and strategies with the correct data prompts.

Amazon-Specific Retail Media

Amazon used “creative” as the backbone of expansion and advertising growth for the Retail Media arm of the company. This was evident by Watching John Legend, singer and owner of Loved01 Skincare, doing a live Amazon Shopping show at Amazon Port. There was also Gwyneth Paltrow discussing ‘Embracing the New Entertainment Era’ and Marc S. Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at Procter & Gamble presenting Finding Creativity in the Everyday.

Why are these developments important? 

More upper funnel advertising options for brands and sellers means more opportunities for demand creation. Connectivity of measurement also allows brands to bring true performance and full funnel ads to Amazon.

Amazon TV ads and other DSP activities are fully available today for brands that have the budget and strategic ideas to bring them to life. Brands should 100% be using data clean rooms like Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) to analyze their full funnel activities for the best performance. If you aren’t using AMC or Amazon DSP yet for your brand but want to learn more, reach out to Envision Horizons for details on how you too can take advantage of these tools.

#3 AI in General

While less of a main attraction than last year at Cannes, AI conversation still permeated the show, with discussions around how to actually make use of GenAI now that some of the early hype has had time to cool off. OpenAI had a keynote from CTO Mira Murati about how it is the duty of the world to help bring about AI and large agencies like Publicis Groupe are having closed-door conversations on their AI capabilities according to Digiday.

Amazon specific:

On the Amazon front, Bedrock (AWS) powered an AI, interactive photo 

Generator at the Cannes show that transformed a simple attendee photo into a “Cannes-themed” souvenir photo of sorts. This activation, paired with announcements of continued evolution for the GenAI advertising capabilities is a clear emphasis from Amazon on their desire to push the development of GenAI for advertisers.

Of Most Interest to Advertisers: 

  • Amazon is now giving brands access to GenAI assets outside of the campaign creation stage. 
  • More formats and sizes will automatically be generated for brands to use across ad types
  • The Envision Horizons team had a great discussion with the GenAI team at Amazon and there is talk of Amazon moving towards better AI modifications (both pre & post-AI generation) to allow for stronger generated images in general. Think of the ability to upload a brand guide and then post a prompt being able to edit text or adjust portions of the output with little effort needed. These sorts of developments are aimed at improving efficiencies for brands and quick deployment of campaigns.

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