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Cannes Lions Recap – The Rise of Consolidation and Efficiency

As an admirer of all things luxe, Cannes Lions holds a place near and dear to my heart. From the rosé to the yachts and networking in between, it’s truly a week where everyone is ready to mingle and learn something new within our vast industry. Amidst the shuttling from meeting to meeting (and of course, glasses of rosé), there were several themes that popped out to me compared to years past.

Data is the new currency
As a neutral location data company, our message continued to resonate, with current and prospective partners praising our approach. In discussing strategies for driving results, I overheard an agency lead say “data is the new currency.” From creative agencies hungry for data and insights, to holding companies centralizing data and marketing science teams in-house, it seems like data is finally the cool kid on the block.

Consolidation is on the rise (again)
If the launch of Oath is any indication (not to mention their rockin’ party on Monday night with Stevie Nicks), consolidation is a continuing trend in combatting the dominance of Facebook and Google. But this movement isn’t reserved for the publisher and platform side – it seems the holding companies are also taking note and condensing their agencies to simplify for clients. Notably we’ve seen this with Neo@Ogilvy moving under Mindshare, and I won’t be surprised if more specialty shops shift as well.

Excess traded for efficiency
With the exception of a very cool (and custom) Ferris wheel on the Croisette, this year’s festival seemed toned down in both attendance and excess. Following industry trends, it seemed apparent that festival goers are needing to prove the ROI of the event, more so than years past. There were less over the top parties, smaller agency teams attending, and more focus on getting value out of meetings. I suspect we’ll see a similar pattern in years to come, but you should still expect to be spending 12 euros on a hotel iced coffee.

As always, this week was full of building connections with new and old industry friends, and useful insight into what’s on the horizon for ad tech. So, for now, I’ll say au revoir to Cannes. See you next year!