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Cannes Hit by Data Tsunami

Been to Cannes Lions this year? If so, I’m sure you didn’t fail to notice the giant banners from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and even three-year old Snapchat draping over the historical buildings next to the famous Croisette. And if like me, you tried to stroll down to the beach on the other side of the street to get a breath of Mediterranean Sea air, you’d have seen the huge stands from those digital brands disrupting the gorgeous ocean view. Not to mention the yachts and rooftops occupied by programmatic companies such as Millennial, OpenX, Rubicon or MediaMath.

Image: adexchanger.com

Image: adexchanger.com

A seasoned ‘Cannesseur’ (the term long-time Cannes attendees have given themselves) told me that this Las Vegas atmosphere has been creeping up on Cannes for the past few years, driven by global tech players who are bringing in huge stacks of money to reach brand and agency decision makers, an audience they usually don’t get to at ad-tech events.

That brewing development was made official with the launch of Lions Innovation – A “festival within the festival” where “data, technology and creativity will intersect”. Lions Innovation quickly gained momentum, mirroring the substantial shift in the industry: Data and tech are key for every player in the advertising space.

The digital transformation has matured from the niches of slow computers in dingy rooms to our everyday lives: Digital phones, digital TV, digital radio… even digital out-of-home. The world is going digital and Cannes is a real wake-up call for everyone still stuck in the nostalgic haze of newspaper readers, linear TV watchers and over-the-phone media deals. The future of advertising is digital. It is based on data and traded fully programmatically.

I’m sure that five years ago Cannes Lion was an endlessly romantic place, and might even remain that way in the hearts of ‘Cannesseurs’ (I’m sure 2015 will stand out for the bold couple who went viral for having sex on the Cannes red carpet). I’d love to travel back in time to enjoy a Rosé wine on the beach without the looming buildings in view. But there’s no escaping the inevitable truth: From now on, the Creative Director must share his beloved spot at the Croisette with tech nerds and data scientists.

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About Christoph

Christoph is VP Marketing, is five years with Adsquare and based in Adsquare's head office in Berlin. Before stepping sideways to join the Marketing Team, Chris was VP Data Partnerships at Adsquare. He has a weakness for print ads and also reads the small print on product packaging. Chris acts as an unsalaried Brand Ambassador for Lufthansa, plays the drums, field hockey and golf.

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