Thought Starters from Cannes Lions 2019

July 2019 – The IRI Media Center of Excellence team spent its fourth straight year at this renowned annual event for major advertisers, their agencies, large publishers and the rest of the advertising ecosystem, hosting and participating in several thought-provoking discussions. We were blown away, as usual, by the speakers, content and discussions, and we wanted to share some key points from the sessions we participated in.

How Brands are Promoting Social Values Through Surprising Campaigns
In 2018, Cannes Lions announced The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Lions which “celebrate creative problem solving, solutions or other initiatives that harness creativity and seek to positively impact the world.” In this spirit, this panel – made up of leaders from Amazon, the NFL, IRI and advertising agencies – explored how brands are creating surprising campaigns to authentically promote and deliver on their social values.

Key takeaways: Always’ “Like a Girl,” Microsoft’s “Power of Zero,” and PMI’s “Year of Unsmoke,” were among the campaigns that enabled global brands and meaningful partnerships to come to life. More than ever, consumers are looking for values-driven brands BUT brand purpose doesn’t count unless the brand actually has a purpose and is authentic about it. The focus on social good has been slow to manifest through creative content but getting key insights via the right data can help inform the direction of value-driven campaigns and also effectively prove their effectiveness.   

Stereotype Busters: Male Leaders Advancing Change
This discussion with male leaders in advertising and media, moderated by Shelley Zalis from The Female Quotient, discussed how men have been socialized to be stoic rather than share their feelings, and this automatically carries over to portrayals of men in the media.

Key takeaways: Media and those in advertising – both men and women – have numerous opportunities to shift these long-held stereotypes and help men embrace all sides of themselves. Consumers want these barriers broken down, and it’s up to the advertising and media industry to make it happen.

Power of Personal: The Magic of Combining Data & Creativity
IRI, Tivo, The Stagwell Group, Axios and Code and Theory had a candid discussion on the power that data and creativity can have in building unique, personalized experiences.

Key takeaways: By 2020, more companies will be more transparent about what they do because they’re concerned about backlash from consumers. Creativity should begin with a strategy that is informed by data. And, as long as personal information is protected, data pools will need to be more addressable and accessible to improve the messages marketers take to their consumers.

Measurement for Accountability  
IRI, the ANA and L'Oréal teamed up for the #SeeHer initiative to provide sales measurement for TV campaigns and show the purchase impact and return on ad spend for CPG advertisers, and this session highlighted how effective advertising can be when it speaks positively towards women.

Key takeaways:
Closing the gender gap in advertising is good for business. Women are influencers for both messages produced and the buying power they command, and when ads speak directly to them, brands improve their bottom line. Leveraging SeeHer’s Gender Equality Measure (GEM™) score, a measure of the level of positive portrayal of women in ad creative, shows, in a recent study, that ads with the highest sales lift had the highest GEM scores, whereas ads with the lowest sales lift had the lowest GEM scores.

Circle of Influence: The Keys to Success in Influencer Marketing
This interactive conversation between IRI and Influential shared best practices in influencer campaigns, how AI is beginning to play an important part, and the ways in which CPG brands are successfully using influencer marketing to increase sales lift that drive real results for brands.

Key takeaways: Leveraging artificial intelligence for real-time vetting of potential influencers can help keep your brand safe. Bots have infiltrated social media, so you will want to have an agency that can deal with identifying and eliminating bot fraud across audiences and engagement. Finally, effective influencer marketing requires a data-driven approach to measuring ROI. This means linking campaign KPIs to business outcomes, then creating a measurement stack that integrates both sales lift and brand lift so that you can understand the full impact of a campaign on your brand.

Questions? Read more about IRI’s pre-campaign, mid-campaign and post-campaign targeting, optimization and measurement capabilities, reach out to your IRI representative or contact