Marketers descend this week on the French Riviera for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Like SXSW and other ideas festivals, it can be inspiring to see some of the most creative work from our industry.
But anytime marketers like us get together, we’re in danger of breathing our own exhaust. As inspiring as these festivals are, they potentially make us even more out of touch.
Quartz put together their latest installment of Cannes Lions Buzzword Bingo, with insider terms like ”Zillennials”, “micro influencers”, and “Martecher” to follow throughout the week. Mark Ritson once published an article titled “My Comprehensive Guide to What Marketers Can Learn This Week At Cannes.”, followed by a completely blank page.
Among marketing awards, I’ve always preferred the focus of the less sexy Effies, which prizes effectiveness above everything else. It puts the creative work that marketers do in context of the actual impact on the business.
Mark Ritson recently penned a comprehensive tribute to the this year’s Effie winner, “It’s a Tide Ad”, from strategy to execution to results: “Tide’s award-winning Super Bowl ad is the best of marketing and creativity.”
I like how Denny’s former CMO Frances Allen once framed how she views marketing awards:
“Creative purists among our industry generally don’t like the Effies because the winners don’t always represent the most original, exciting, or creative ideas. They revere Cannes and hold up Lions as the ultimate compliment from their peers. I am not one of them. Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to win a Lion as I deeply admire great originality in advertising and innovation but not in isolation.
“Successful advertising has to break through to effect the required change in consumer behavior. Just ‘breaking through’ alone does not mean that change will be effected or results delivered.”
Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years: