Cannes Briefing: Marketers swear they’re interested in Cannes’ metaverses even though they’re skeptical

For an industry that desperately needed to be reunited in person, there is certainly plenty of talk about the virtual world as the metaverse shines brightly at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Marketers and advertisers are getting into the space, creating a virtual presence and giving presentations this week on the topic, as they have been since earlier this year. At the same time, many question its value as the metaverse has yet to prove to be worth the investment.

“There’s a lot of sense that it’s a land grab right now,” said Gareth Jones, vice president of marketing for North America at Wunderman Thompson. “Lots of clients are like, ‘I don’t know what this means, but I want one. “

To kick off the four-day event in southern France, Wunderman Thompson and McCann Worldgroup both created their own metaverse experiments under the title Cannes. (At least in these virtual worlds, the Carlton Hotel appears to be open. It is unclear if the actual deals were signed in the virtual space.) The Wunderman Thompson design features a space for collaboration, communication, and presentation of the company’s business. Ironically, her photos mimic the WPP beach that is actually here in Cannes. Later this week, an interactive shopping space and DJ booth is expected to be added to the metaverse space. Meanwhile, the McCann Experience is a virtual exhibition showcasing the most memorable ad campaigns of the year.

At Meta Beach, the social media giant is offering tutorials using an Oculus virtual reality headset as well as a fireside chat about its so-called best metaverse strategy.

On a quick tour through the palace, several groups can be heard talking about the metaverse and eventually Web3.

Marketers here told Digiday that Kahn’s Metaverse-themed foray aims to invest in a hybrid environment, providing another avenue for those who were unable to attend the festival this year. A paradox still exists in the character’s grand return to the south of France while yearning for the world of virtual reality.

There’s that healthy dose of sarcasm that Cannes has always given. While the global pandemic still looms, economic stagnation threatens consumer spending and marketing budgets and the war continues in Ukraine, the flow of rose has yet to stop. (More on what was meant to be a moderate return to Cannes after a two-year hiatus over here.)

Apparently, the industry itself has wrapped itself up with the idea of ​​a metaverse at a time when marketers and advertisers want to be in front of another screen, especially after two years of separation. It points to an industry-reversed identity crisis as marketers scramble to figure out what it means — and most importantly, how they can make money from it.

“The metaverse still has such a striking quality that people want to come in, want to create an avatar, look around and try things if they haven’t before,” Jones said.

The hype also comes when most people – including brand managers – still don’t even know what the metaverse is. still, Digiday’s latest research shows that those who know something about the metaverse are willing to spend money on it.

When asked what they think about the metaverse on drinks likely very early in the morning, a senior media agency executive and chief marketing officer shared their unembodied views of the metaverse as a near-term environment for media dollar investing and brand building.

“For marketers, there’s a lot of foam fear around the metaverse and Web3, but no one really understands what’s missing from that. If we’re not there, what are we missing? It seems like nothing to me at this point,” the chief marketing officer said.

Echoing those sentiments, the agency’s CEO said, “Are we trying to pull together an understanding of Metaverse and how we can play there? Well, we are. Do we have a clear vision of how to make that happen? We’re not doing that. This is the next generation of media. We’re spending Much more time trying to solve the analogy than our avatar strategy.” The marketing manager gave a slow nod and reached for his wine glass – half full (or half empty). – Kimiko McCoy

3 Questions with Randi Stipes, Vice President of Brand Marketing for IBM, Director of Marketing for The Weather Company and IBM Watson Advertising

IBM just announced a new suite of open source AI tools to detect and mitigate marketing bias. What do these tools do, and why are they being introduced for the first time at Cannes?

We don’t want to do this in a vacuum and that’s why we were seeding the market even before this announcement and why we’re partnering with groups like Mindshare, talking with Ogilvy, WPP, The Ad Council and so many people we care about this issue so we can get their feedback along the way and we’ll have something more. intrinsic. The research has been running for a year, and the toolkit has been in development for at least six months.

When we as an industry tend to think of bias, we tend to think of it through the creative lens. And don’t get me wrong, this is very important. Are the images we portray as fair, equitable, equal, and diverse? The same with messages. But that’s not what it is. This is looking at the technology that we have and what the toolkit does is provide 75 different measures of fairness to help organizations identify the presence of bias and then 13 algorithms to mitigate that discrimination and bias throughout the lifecycle of an AI application.

What’s really unique here is that we’ve been talking for a long time about bias through the creative lens, but what we hope this will do is drive more convergence between creativity and technology because there’s [are] Biases that are in both, and if we can get the creators to talk to the engineers, to talk to the developers, I think that leads to accountability across disciplines.

When it comes to algorithms, what kind of data did you use to train this when it comes to public data or other IBM private data for this open source tool?

It comes from the research we conducted. We used some of our own data and then, along with the Ad Council that contributed data from their vaccination campaign, did a huge “It’s Up to You” campaign that they were generous enough to contribute data to us to help provide the toolkit. [Digiday note: IBM released its findings in January, which includes more info about the data used.] It has been so important to us throughout this process to be transparent about everything we do, which is why we published the research first. It’s one of the three principles that IBM follows in creating ethical AI, which are transparency and interpretability. New technology – especially when we’re talking about AI where there is a lot of mistrust – we want to make sure we over-index the details we provide.

Since humans train algorithms and humans are biased, how do you make up for that?

Bias is a combination of humans and machines. It starts with us. We come to the table with our conscious and unconscious biases. It is the machines that inadvertently perpetuate this bias. So make no mistake, the toolkit can start to tackle machinery and technology, but for us to drive real progress as an industry, we have to continue to tackle the human side of that as well. And every company, every responsible company, has those transfers across their organizations, but it can’t be just a moment in time. It must be continuous. It’s also why we’ve partnered with groups like 4A who have focused on the people side and really explained how we as humans can be more aware of the biases we bring to the table. – Marty Swant

Quote from today

“In the past, whenever the industry faced big problems, marketing managers would stand up and talk [them]. They have given great speeches on the subject, and taken strong directions. They are missing now. And they’re either saying their legal teams are taking it or they’re too scared to go on stage – I don’t know what. But there is a concession. The fact that we as a marketing society use industry associations so that we are anonymous, rather than standing… is a blatant shame. Because we look around and see all the other technical players [but] We do not find marketers there. Marketers, stand up and listen. You guys are big companies, you have big brands.”

Aaron Kumar, Chief Data Technology and Marketing Officer, IPG, and CEO of Kinesso, browse the daily Digiday Cannes Podcast recorded at the IPG Collection at the Martinez Hotel with a great view of the sea.

What do I do

  • 10:30-11:15 – Cannes Lions and Deloitte – CMOs in the spotlight
  • 11:30 – 12:00 – Amazon – When Women Tell the Story: Changing the Culture of Inclusive Storytelling
  • 1:00-1:30 – Deloitte Digital – What got us here won’t take us much: Creatively Transforming Business
  • 2:30 – 3:00 – Carats – Emotional intelligence at the heart of brand growth
  • 3:30-4:00 – Pereira Odile – The future of production in the future of marketing

what are you expecting

  • Several Cannes Awards shortlists have been announced, including Brand Experience, Activation, Creative Business Information and more.
  • Much of Wednesday’s program focuses on the impact of women on industry and the future of women in the creative field.
  • More than 40% of the attendees New to the festival this year. – Carly Weahy

what we covered