5 Buzz Words for Brand Advertisers to Take Away from Cannes Lions

June 26, 2019 | By Itamar Benedy

Industry experts are just back from the sun-soaked corners at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France, wrapping up yet another bold edition of Cannes Lions. Amidst downing endless glasses of rose and signing deals on yachts, the industry saw some well-deserved winners in the advertising world. Not far from all this, ad tech  was keeping its own eye out on what this year’s festival would bring. We heard from Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg on what the social media giant is doing to enable transparency on ads, while a focus also remained on the topic of brand safety as advertisers remain cautious of TikTok.

Sun-soaked skies of Cannes provide an extraordinary backdrop for Cannes Lions 

I — along with Anzu team — came back with my own learnings from the event and have summarized these into my top five buzzwords that brand advertisers can take away from the event. Read on:


For the first time at Cannes, there was a big noise around sustainability, and it was a welcome step in a world that is growing more and more aware of the challenges of environment change. Brands have started to think about who they are, what values does their brand bring and transmit, as well as the responsibilities they have. It is interesting to enter a space where brands are understanding the larger role they play in the ecosystem and this will be progressive for the growth of the advertising industry. But it also means that consumers have a large role to play in supporting this movement to close the action gap. In the session on sustainability, I found out that of the 70% consumers who say they care about sustainability, only 30% are actually doing something about it.


KISS or Keep It Simple, Silly

After many years of the fragmented growth of the ad tech industry, we seem to be finally moving towards an environment where “keep it simple” is emerging as the new ad tech motto. The ad tech space is becoming more and more complex, and it is crucial to keep all the complementary tech as well as advertising in general lean. This means companies need to ask some key questions: can you answer what are you bringing into the world in 10 seconds? If not, the idea or tech is too complex for you and will most definitely be complex for your clients.

Lots of action-packed sessions at this year’s Cannes Lions with interesting discussions on transparency, brand safety, and more!

Ad Viewability

Advertisers want to measure how their ads are viewed by the target audience. It is becoming a hot topic as ad tech matures and new channels like in-game advertising and eSports begin to take centerstage. “If you can’t count it, it doesn’t exist” is the new mantra of big corporate guys. As advertising moves from in-house to ad platforms, brands want more control of their ad budgets, and hence the topic of ad viewability, along with brand safety, is likely to become more important.

Storytelling & Creativity

We all know the hard facts about ad tech. We know in-app or in-game advertising works wonders. As an industry we spend a lot of time talking about how to make the views, clicks and conversion happen. But, often, when focusing on the “whats” and the “hows,” we tend to overlook the importance of impressive creatives and storytelling. At Cannes Lions 2019, it was apparent that the power of creatives cannot be ignored. Plenty of sessions touched upon why creativity matters, what you can do to take your advertising to the next level, and how you can create a powerful story to connect your brand with the audience. My key tip to advertisers? Explore creatives that take advantage of the natural environment and blend in to create a connection with your users.

Anzu team getting some Vitamin D in between sessions!

Gen Z

Gen Z is ruling the world and are the next biggest buying group, with a purchasing power of $44 billion. These young audiences have new values and relate more to authenticity, pop culture and are influenced by their peers when it comes to purchase decisions, opening up new media opportunities. GenZers also relate and connect with brands and their advertising a lot differently — something that the new-age advertisers would need to bear in mind. For instance, gaming for Gen Z is much more than just escape or entertainment, and is key to how they connect with friends. Herein lies a big opportunity for advertisers to reach with audiences to not only buy their product, but also form connections with brands’ values and ideologies.

What do you think are the key lessons from this year’s Cannes Lions? I would love to hear your comments! Want to know how to leverage these buzzwords into your advertising efforts? Anzu can help you and your brand - connect with us to know more!

Itamar Benedy is the CEO and Co-founder at Anzu. With a decade of experience in mobile and marketing, Itamar has a proven track record of success in scaling global businesses across cultures. He is a member of the Mobile Steering Group Board of IAB, and the Young President Organization (YPO). A young leader with a curiosity of exploring new paths and human relationships, Itamar was also nominated for the Forbes Israel 30 under 30 in 2016. Follow him on LinkedIn.