For over 60 years, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has brought the media and advertising industries to the South of France to celebrate the campaigns that change hearts and minds.
While the festival will again look different this year, June remains an important month for the industry to reflect on the current and future state of “creativity.”
Cannes celebrates the superheroes of creativity — that one-in-a-million creative idea that strikes a chord with the masses and perhaps shapes a pop culture moment. But as advertisers are increasingly demanded to be in more places, communicate with more people and measure more outcomes, what we define and celebrate as “creative” needs to evolve.
Rather than focus on the extraordinary, we should celebrate the everyday heroes of creativity — those data-driven campaigns that meticulously drive results and support business growth. It’s what business success demands today and will only increasingly demand tomorrow.
What is an “everyday hero”?
In the world of creative, superheroes are the campaigns that spark a pop culture moment, such as Budweiser’s “Wassup,” Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop” or Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” They can become part of common lexicon, get referenced on Saturday Night Live, redefine a brand and ultimately sell product…a lot of it.
But everyday creative heroes are the ads that work just as hard to capture attention, deliver a message, and, of course, sell — but they don’t do so in a revolutionary way. This is the content that catches consumers’ eyes as they scroll through Pinterest, read a news article online or flip through apps on their devices. Brands need to focus on creating more attractive content as audiences diversify and attention fragments.
Using data to create “everyday hero” campaigns
Creating successful everyday campaigns is challenging, from platform diversity, to short content lifecycles to targeting and measurement restrictions.
While daunting, the good news is marketers can more reliably use data to support these workhorses of marketing campaigns. Truly culture-defining creative — the type celebrated at Cannes — often requires out-of-the-box thinking that can only be so informed by data and insights.
Everyday hero campaigns are easier to engineer for success. There is a growing field of “creative analytics” that marketers can use to understand what types of messages, visuals and talent resonate with audiences and drive their KPIs.
Our industry obsesses over extremes. Awards shows are no exception. Cannes Lions celebrates the extraordinary, but the content that brands run day in and day out to support their businesses are the true unsung heroes of the creative world.
Brands need these everyday heroes more than ever, so let’s recognize and celebrate them when we can.
Lucas Loeffler is CEO and Founder of QuickFrame.