The Biggest Winner at Cannes Lions Talks Survival, Video Storytelling & State of the Industry
In the second episode of season two of The Rough Cut, Storyhunter co-founder Alex Ragir went to Cannes, France for the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, often considered the biggest event and award show for the advertising industry.
In this Cannes Lions special series, we’ll be releasing a new episode every week for the next two months with some of the biggest names in the industry (get email updates here). In our first episode from Cannes, we talk with Ari Halper, Chief Creative Officer at FCB New York, a division of FCB Global, the world’s second oldest advertising agency.
Ari led the team that won arguably the most coveted award at the festival, the Titanium Grand Prix, for a campaign for Burger King called “The Whopper Detour”, where customers can unlock a 1 cent Whopper if they go near its rival’s McDonalds’ restaurant, and then head to the closest Burger King to get the discounted burger. FCB broke their all-time Cannes Lions record, bringing in fifty-one lions.
Alex and Ari discussed the importance of adapting in the fast-changing advertising industry, how diversity of talent can positively impact your company’s productivity and what traditional agencies like FCB will look like in ten years.
Below are edited highlights of the conversation:
Be Prepared to Evolve
“FCB’s philosophy is ‘Never Finished’ which is fitting because they’ve been continually evolving ever since their inception in the 1800s when television didn’t even exist. Then when the internet came along, they adapted to that as well. Darwin’s philosophy of survival applies to this industry. It’s not the smartest, strongest or the fastest that survive; it’s the most adaptable.”
Diversity + Open-Mindedness = Opportunity
“Diversity has allowed us to keep up with the increased amount of competition that the advertising industry is seeing. We have a staff that is ethnically and culturally diverse, but they also come from a diverse array of disciplines like PR, digital, social and many others. When you add diversity to a mindset of not excluding ideas based on whom they come from, you’re opening yourself up to another world of ideas and opportunities.”
Producing Branded Content In-House Has Its Drawbacks
“Producing content with an in-house agency can brutally hinder the content’s potential. When you bring in outside influences, they have an attitude toward your brand closer to the consumer than your own. This can be beneficial when appealing to customers because the outside influences know what the consumer wants to hear. After all, in some cases, they are the consumer. Some companies utilize both in-house production and outside resources, which creates a healthy balance when developing and executing a message strategy.”
Don’t Give Consumers All Your Information At Once
“While we live in a world of instant gratification, it isn’t necessary to give viewers all the information they need right off the bat. Bombarding them with information can turn them off to your content while using a small piece of what you want to tell them can captivate their attention and give them a reason to look forward to new videos. Treat your content like a TV show where you slowly develop the concepts into a story that consumers will care about and want to follow.”
Interactive Content Is On The Rise
“Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch had massive success on Netflix, and I think content with that ‘choose your own adventure’ framework is only going to become more pervasive. The industry has only scratched the surface of this kind of entertainment where consumers can experience the same content differently. This focus on the individual experience is something that is growing in popularity, as we’ve seen with the rise of one to one programming.”
Previous episodes of The Rough Cut:
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By Jake Watkins, Storyhunter Writer