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Cannes Advertising “Celebration” Questions Quality of Creative

For those of us who didn’t make it to Cannes this year, there was plenty of coverage of this decades-old festival intended to honor advertising creative. But, this year, the headlines were more focused on “crap advertising” and “no wonder people want to block ads”, rather than honoring the creative work. The ever outspoken Brad Jakeman, said during a panel: “We are here celebrating 0.5% of the work that actually gets made. The other 99.5% of the work is generally crap. And when that happens, consumers don’t want to see it.”

Jakeman continued this thought during a panel hosted by The Economist where he told the audience: “Ad blocking is something we all have created. The whole industry has been lazy and produced crap content for years. How can we be shocked that people want to block it? We have to change the way we create content and add value to people's lives in some way.” Amazing, that during a festival that intends to honor advertising, so much time was spent discussing bad ads and the technology that allows consumers to block them. eMarketer chose last week to point out “US Ad Blocking to Jump by Double Digits This Year.”

Susan Credle, FCB global chief creative officer, has a theory about the current state of creativity. In an article contributed to the Wall Street Journal, she says: “I have a theory. We, as an industry, have forgotten that first and foremost we need to be storytellers. The best people in this business are relentless storytellers. The most successful brands are purpose-driven and don’t get bored with their story, because it is authentic to them.” Marc Pritchard, P&Gs Global Branding Building Officer, when it comes to ad blocking, admitted: “It’s no wonder people are skipping our ads. The people we serve are voting with their fingertips. We were producing thousands of new ads a year. I guess we thought the best way to cut through clutter is to produce more.”

As brands move away from interruptive messages and invest in content that people will find value in, they must demonstrate an ROI on that content. As today’s episode reveals, metrics for brand storytelling are less than established and far from standardized, but we’re getting there. Check out how major brands are approaching the metrics of storytelling. Watch the full episode here!

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