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Nothing Beats A Great Story

As the advertising/ad tech/mar tech/data industries converge on Cannes next week, it makes sense to stop and take pause, lest we lose sight of what matters. 


There is no doubt that there is a certain seduction that technology and data have these days.  And, there is also no doubt that data and technology are important, but during the Cannes Festival of Creativity, let’s remember - there is nothing that beats a good idea or a good story.


How many times have we all been part of an industry event, panel discussion or cocktail party where the entire conversation revolves around media, data, technology, targeting, etc.?  Then, there will be a perfunctory statement by someone, “let’s not forget about the creative part of the equation!”, and then we resume talking about privacy, 1st party data, programmatic, and the like.


The truth is, if as an industry we don’t spend time thinking about delivering as awesome an ad experience as we do a content experience, we are going to be in a hurt locker.  That involves making a meaningful change in the ad/edit ratio in television (which we have all acknowledged, but failed to action in a meaningful way), and making the remaining ads more relevant, more entertaining, more captivating.


As new streaming services begin to come online this year and they offer an ad-free tier, our objective of aggregating a scaled audience for our mass advertisers will become harder than ever before.  Sequential messaging across content and screens, dynamic creative built on the fly and assembled to meet my needs, moods, desires, and just great insights that translate to immersive stories are the name of the game. 


I always find it a bit disingenuous to offer creative commentary as a media professional, but the best media strategy and plan in the world is worth nothing without breakthrough creative.


For those of you in the south of France, enjoy – and let’s be sure we don’t lose the forest for the trees.  Technology, data and content are all around us - great storytelling isn’t.

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