It’s a wrap!

My trip to Cannes for the Festival of Creativity has absolutely been the best trip of my life. I have experienced a lot of first.

  • My first time to France.
  • My first time attending a conference of this magnitude.
  • My first time traveling abroad with a group of students.

And many more….

There were a lot of lessons learned on this trip but I think my biggest take-a-way from this conference are:


BE INNOVATIVE not just Creative

BUILD PERSONAL NETWORK with people you meet



Life Outside of the Festival

One of the amazing benefits of the Festival of Creativity are the auxiliary events that occur everyday in tandem to the seminars. Unfortunately, this scheduling conflict can sometimes make it difficult to know which events to attend but the networking opportunities are well worth it.

Through out the week I attended an array of networking events and visited a variety of locations to take in the scenes. By far there was one event and one location I found the most valuable: @TheGirl’sLounge and The Carlton. Both of these provided very different experiences and I enjoyed each.

The Ipsos Girl’s Lounge at Hotel Martinez was an amazing experience because it gave me the opportunity to meet high level executives in a relaxed environment. Upon entering the room, you immediately felt a sense of sisterhood which made it comfortable for you to speak to anyone in the room. I am 100% confident that many of the friendships which were ignited at the The Ipsos Girl’s Lounge will flourish into strong friendships in the future. I was very grateful and humbled to be allowed to take part in the experience.

Letter from Shelley Zalis describing the Girl’s Lounge


The Carlton Hotel is a more intimidating networking environment but it is well worth it if you are able to stay up late nights. Through my past professional experiences I have learned that you never know who you might meet at the most random places. On average, people arrive to the Carlton between 10pm and 12am to meet with friends. As a student coming into this environment, I had to force my way into conversations but also had no problem doing so as I wanted to maximize the opportunity of being in the room with such power industry leaders. The first day I visited the Carlton I met an older advertising executive who took it upon himself to introduce me to top level executives at various advertising company’s. The upside to this scenario is not only did I get a soft introduction, but the next time I saw the same execs I was able to approach on my own. Naturally, they introduced me to other people within their circle.


In closing, when you attend an event of this caliber, the auxiliary/networking events are just as important at the main festival. Any person taking part in a festival like this should not be afraid to introduce themselves to any business executive, and should always stay in contact post-festival to keep their contacts fresh.

Enjoying “Cannes Extra” Events!

Friday at the Cannes Festival was very different from any other days. Over the course of the week I spent much of my time indoors listening to phenomenal speakers talk digital/social media. On Friday, I decided to take advantage of the workshops and opportunities available outside of festival walls.

The day began with a visit to the Google Beach to take in the different activities and technologies that were on display. Google did a great job of attracting people to their beach, and making them not want to leave. The activities ranged from virtual games and massages, to burberry kissing booths and free drinks! Luckily for me, Google is not all play and no work. I was able to attend two different panels while at Google Beach, which helped with giving me a change in scenary. One of the talks is on how YouTube creators develop their content for their YouTube channels and how they use Social Media to increase their fan base. The other was a ‘Lightening Talk’ to discuss how creativity and innovation are not the same thing. Both talks were very well attended and filled with valuable information.  Through this conversation I learned more about how YouTube content creators develop their successful strategies. For a channel to be successful, you have to create content that makes people want to watch a show until the end. Additionally, you must be sure as to who you are trying to target with your content. If that is unclear, you may fragment your fan base.

Although this was my day outdoors, I did attend an indoor session hosted by CP+B titled Physical Computing Goes Social.  I am very happy that I atteneded this session because it exposed me to some new technologies that I did not know where even possible.  According to the speaker, Ivan Perez-Armendariz (EVP, Chief Digital Officer)  there are threes things that have lead to the advancement of the digital age and social transformation: (1) Open source software, (2) Open API, and (3) perpetual internet.

According to the speaker, the new technologies that will drive the 2.0 revolution are physical computing and 3D printing. With hardware becoming the new software the arduinio chip (hyperlink: is an increasingly important technology. Arduino is a prototyping chip that can identify physical conditions. IT is trending and will be part of this 2.0 wave. The software for this technology is open source therefore it can be adapted in any way necessary. It allows you to build a product that has advance motion and do things like make chess pieces move across the board.

Below is an example of the arduino technology be used on two chess boards.

3-D printing is another technology that will forever impact the 2.0 revolution. I like the idea of 3-D printing but when I first heard of the concept I could not quite conceptualize it because I did not immediately think beyond printing papers, coupons or boarding passes. Once I learned that 3-D printing was about creating objects, I then began to think, well isnt this the same as just manufacturing a product? What is the need for the 3-D printing? Take a look at the video below, and you can see for yourself how and why this product is going to revolutionize a lot of industries.

Below are websites where you can purchase smart products and get 3-D printing done.

Smart Products
3-D Printing

How brands leverage YouTube?

Today YouTube is the most popular platform on which people consume video. When there is a word we don’t know, we “Google it.” If there is something we don’t know how to do, we “YouTube it.”  The archive of video available to us on this platform is amazing. As every company becomes a media company, they use YouTube to speak to their audiences 24/7.

The key to being successful with the platform is to understand that YouTube is nothing like TV.  YouTube talks back, it is interactive and can be shared. YouTube is skewed toward Generation C, a generation that is hyper-active  with a short attention span.

With YouTube, anyone can be a content creator but content creators for brands know that these people who spend hours on YouTube videos are fans, not just viewers. With that, the content has minimal restrictions because that is the nature of the platform.

Robert Kyncl, Vice President and Global Head of Content from YouTube provided us with some examples of brands that are doing a great job leveraging the platform to grow their audience base and create news fans.


Evian’s Baby Dance Video (shown below) is global content that was spread throughout the web organically. Over 100,000 people saw this video, and over 5 million shares. When you make people want to share you have to appeal their emotions and/or give them social capital.

Porta Dos Fundo is a YouTube channel that has become famous by making fun of local Brazil brands. One of the brands they did a parody on, Spoleto, decided to join the conversation instead of complaining about it.

The secret to success with YouTube is

1)Create Ads People CHOOSE

2)Cultivate a COMMUNITY

3)COLLABORATE with YouTube partners


Social Media and TV

Day 4 of Cannes was just as exciting as the first 3 days of the conference! We discussed what’s happening with the merger of Social Media and TV aka Social TV. The crux of the overall discussion was centered around several informative sessions. Below is a summary of the highly anticipated Time Warner Inc. seminar.

Time Warner Inc. Presents: What Connects In Comedy

Anderson Cooper interviewed Conan O’Brien as we learned how The Conan O’Brien Show leverages social media and their relationship with the fans on the medium to keep the show relevant.

Conan O’Brien always tells his staff “technology has changed but the important things have not changed”. O’Brien as a comedian has to still be funny and stay true to who he is while integrating social media and advertising into his show.  People think you are either funny or not funny. Going viral is not going to help if you are not funny! Therefore it is not a good idea to force a product or mention into the show just because the “data” says its a good idea.

Conan O’Brien has worked with some advertisers and social media in some very interesting ways. One  example of this is when Will Ferrell appeared on the show as “Ron Burgundy” from Anchorman. Before the show aired, a picture of Conan O’Brien and Ron Burgundy was tweeted to the fans. That night when the show aired fans were anticipating the comedy bit. The next day it took on a life of its own.  If there is a way to have advertisers involved but feels hands off…then that is great. If it doesn’t feel right then he will not do it.

Another example of Conan O’Brien leveraging social media to differentiate his show from the competition is with his digital campaign called “Occupy Conan”. With Occupy Conan, fans were given the opportunity to make an episode of the show. They uploaded an episode of the show and encourage his viewers to remake the show any way they wanted.

Once upon time in the land of the Conan O’Brien show, digital strategy was an off-shute thing that they added as a layer onto the show but did not integrate it. Today that has drastically changed as they have close to 30 ppl working on digital strategy today.

Another digital campaign that The Conan O’Brien shows uses to build their brand is the “Clueless Gamer” Series. The “Clueless Gamer” is a series of video reviews that Mr. O’Brien does of video games. This simple interaction with video games has brought Mr. O’Brien lots of new fans online. Video game makers love the idea and soon he had programmers asking to be reviewed online.

Apart from his show, Conan O’Brien also host a digital series online called “Jibber Japper”. This show is slightly different from the broadcast show because it more serious in its nature. It’s about sitting down with iconic people and having a real conversation.

Younger people, also known as millennials,  are hyper aware of phoniness. When the Game of Thrones author, George R.R. was on the showed a clip of real fan reactions to the “Red Wedding” scene. This interview was indeed an advertisement for the show but it did not feel phony because it got the fans involved.

At the end of the session, Mr. O’Brien joked that all advertisers have to do is
(1) Wire money into his account and (2) Don’t follow up on the ad if they really want to be successful in advertising.

After this seminar, I have a deeper understanding of how social media can positively impact the success of the entertainment industry from TV Network.

Day 3 of Cannes Lions: China & Mobile Marketing

Today’s theme for Cannes was centered around China and mobile marketing innovation.

Boosting Consumption in China

china day

I started my day learning about China with John Anthony Quelch (CBE) a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He also holds a post as fellow of the Harvard China Fund and is a member of the Harvard China Advisory Board. His research focuses on global business strategy, and has spent a number of years living and working in China.

In our session Mr. Quelch presented the key strategy points needed to structure effective marketing and communication plans to penetrate the Chinese market. The main discussion points were:

I. Eight things you must know about China
1. Huge population that moves around alot
2. Connections are critical to success
3. Consumption of brands signals social status
4. Vast differences in buying power
5. 10% of population controls 87% of the wealth
6. Ethnic and language diversity
7. China has urban and rural areas
8. Findings in McKinsey’s 22 Regions Research on China (see below)
McKinsey Study

II. Consumption is Fun
1. Forbidden fruit-They like the things they cannot have
2. Economic trigger point
3. Nine hours shopping per week
4. But savings rate remains high

III. Value is Key
1. Consumers are price sensitive
2. Shop multiple channels
3. Transaction vs relationships
4. Online buying groups
5. Promotions and deal

IV. Brands are important
1. Aspirational
2. Signal status
3. Loyalty ephemeral
4. Prefer Foreign vs local

V. But Trust Is Low
1. Brands are young
2. Business trust<government
3. Ads draw skepticism
4. Credible celebrities
5. Word of mouth
6. Social networking

VI. Digital Media Are Crucial
1. Social Media, Micro-blogs
2. E-commerce reaches beyond retail
3. 4,000 online group buying websites

VII. Women are almost equal
1. Communist legacy
2. Educated ambitious

VIII. Going to market
1. Collaboration
2. Acquisition
3. Localization
4. Distribution

Every Moment is Mobile Sponsored by


This forum discussed the power and potential of mobile marketing as a vehicle of creativity and engagement. The mobile platform allows for advertisers to advertise to their customers at relevant times.

The panel consisted of Sheryl Daija (Chief Strategy Officer of Mobile Marketing Association), Brent Poer (President of LiquidThread, NA), Frank Voris (CEO of Vivaki) and Brian Cooley (Editor at Large, CNET).

One of the bigger takeaways from this forum is that “our customers are our partners now. They help us promote.” As advertisers we can no longer dictate to the audience what they want to see or force them to like our product. If we are doing our jobs properly, they will help us grow our brand.

With mobile marketing, the target consumers are Millennials. For this generation their first screen is their mobile screen. Millennials like to look at everything in list. Twitter is their newsfeed, and Facebook is how they stalk others. Branded entertainment is one of the ways to target them on the mobile platform.

There are several ways to use mobile marketing with apps, mobile web, display, text, and email. There is no one size fits all for mobile marketing. It really depends on what your marketing objective is.

Marketing Form @marketing2020B

marketing2020 panel

Hosted by Effective Brands, the Marketing 2020 seminar discussed the future of brands, the marketing organization and how to evolve client agency collaboration to get the greatest creativity.

There were three speakers Marc de Swaan Arons (Co-Founder of Effective Brands), Sucheta Govil (Global Head of Marketing, Decorative Paints Business) and Kevin Burke (CMO @Visa).

Marc de Swaan Arons, Founder Effective Brands
Presentation Take-A-Ways

Quick Stats
2.1 million ppl have marketing in there title
923,000 active marketers
100,000 marketing leaders

How are marketers are being judged in their work?
#1 Business growth
#2 ROI
#3 Brand health


“Marketing works closely with the CEO to grow business”
“Marketing approves large growth projects”

What separates winners from loosers?
Overperformers are thinking more about big data and they integrate it into the way they work.

A majority of marketers feel that big data and creativity go hand and hand.

McCormick had a campaign where they created a spice profile for consumers and sent them recipes based on it. This was a creative idea that drove share growth.

Its about purpose. Brands, everything else being the same its about steping up and saying you can make a difference.

When people believe you are doing something well you get the earned media.
Its about big data, yes, but it is also about big ideas…thats when you get the big growth!

Consistency across touch-points has more success. Those who are more successful, work with more companies (agencies) and collaborate with more people.

Sucheta Govil, Global head of marketing for “Let’s Colour”
“Color the world” campaign


Check out the website link below. The “Color the World” campaign is a great example of a brand carrying about the community around them doing something about it.

For the “Color Your World” campaign this company simply brighten up the lives of others by giving them paint and helping them to paint their community.

Let’s Color Project Website

See data below for how this campaign affected the health of the brand.


Kevin Burke, CMO, Visa Inc. @kevinburkeSF


What will marketing be like in the future?
It will be seamless, smarter, and omnicommerce.

We live in the physical world, but now we also live in a virtual world with no boundaries. People can purchase your product from anywhere, and often times it will be from their mobile phone. The mobile phone is what you must keep in mind when developing your marketing strategy. “If you can’t tweet the strategy then its not probably worth creating.”

Things to think about as you strategize:
“Why should a customer share, why should a customer care”

“Now is often too late” think about the future. Need to anticipate outcomes so you are ready.

Quick Facts:
620 million searches are being done on mobile everyday. They often lead to a transaction.

Audience Deficit Disorders is a social ailment and its contagious.

1.2 bill smart phones in the world
6.2million subscriptions

View the world through this mobile window

Use the cellphone at work more to optimize the consumer experience.
What ever we do has to be done for the flick (mobile phone)


Coca Cola Does #workthatmatters


Coca Cola representatives @ivanpollard @mildenhall did an excellent job presenting the history of the #workthatmatters campaign. As a person very familiar with the Coca Cola brand I was less familiar with the #workthatmatters campaign. They have made it a priority to get involved in important social, civil, and world issues over the years.

#workthatmatter Began with Mary in 1955

#Workthatmatters began in 1955 with the hiring of one person – the new face of Coca Cola – Mary Alexander. Ms. Alexander is the first African-American woman to be casted in Coca Cola advertising; which was a bold move for the brand considering the country’s racial climate. It is important to note that when this ad was published the murder of Emmet Till and the Rosa Parks protest were highly covered news stories that White and Black Americans had conflicting views.

Article on Mary Alexander




By Coca Cola portraying Mary Alexander as a woman with a family, it made her appear more “normal” and more “American”. They wanted Americans to see each other for the “content of their character”, not the color of their skin.

This ad was just the first of many ads that Coca Cola would create as part of their #workthatmatters campaign.


“The Bench” is an ad that in todays world is completely innocent and does not appear to be provocative. During the time that this ad was created, segregation was still a thing of the present. We see the children sitting on not just any bench, but a segregation bench…touching each other and drinking Coca-Cola. This ad is calling for unity among the races and almost demanding that racism be put to an end.

Just after the Detroit race riots, and after Dr. King was assasinated, Coca Cola created “Straddle Boarders”.


This ad called for world harmony as America was ending its involvement in the Vietnam War. It was a time for cultures around the country to begin learning from one another rather than trying to kill one another.

Coca Cola Challenges Racial Prejudice
During the 1970’s racism was still a big problem in American soceity. Coca Cola created the famous “Here Kid” commercial, featuring Mean Joe Green,  to illustrate that the African American male is not someone to fear just because of his skin color.

Coca Cola Defies Gender Stereotypes

In 1994 when Coca Cola aired an ad that featured a half-naked man drinking a diet coke, it was one of the first times a man had been objectified in the media.

This classic ad turned the tables on objectivity and made it appropriate for men and women. Some may argue, that this was the beginning of “sex sales advertising” as many ads that followed from other brands were filled with sexual imagery.

This commercial is called “Diet Coke Break”

Coca Cola is Stubbornly Optimistic

In 2007 when the media was starting to connect violence in the streets to violent video games, Coca-Cola created a commercial using the character from Grand Theft Auto (a popular and violent video game) to show the world that video games are not the enemy and they can be pleasant.

Coca Cola Promotes Real World Stories

As social purpose becomes an increasing mandate Coca Cola starts doing things for real people, real people that matter. It’s not just about the storytelling, it’s about the brand behavior. They have to engage with people in real life, if they are to continue producing #workthatmatters.

“Brands must be and do before they have a right to say.” @ivanpollard

Coca Cola Gives People Reasons to Believe
With the world financial crisis taking center stage and war being waged around the world, Coca Cola developed the “Believe Campaign”. With this campaign it was the first time Africa was put on display on the main stage of advertising. The singer from the ad is blind therefore he is “seeing the world through his heart.”
Coca Cola Doesn’t Have to Be Serious
Not all work that matters needs to be serious in theme. Coca Cola had an idea to highlight create moments in human nature. What if all of the worlds security camera were filmed by Coca Cola? What if they only captured the good people do? What if it captured the spontaneity of people?
Coca Cola: What Unites Us Is Greater Than What Divides Us
In typical Coca Cola fashion, the brand inserted itself into a controversial conversation between two nationalities of people in hopes of uniting them. The brand created an interactive Coca Cola experience between India and Pakstan, two nations that are constantly at odds. Their innovative approach allowed people from different sides of the border to enjoy themselves and enjoy a coke together.
In the end, how can a brand use its influence to make the world a better place? By creating #workthatmatters. Coca Cola is a brand that serves as a model for big and smaller brands.