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This was my first visit to the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, and it certainly exceeded my expectations. Helps of course to get to spend a day with Steve Ballmer as he met with the heads of Global agencies, held his seminar and took Q&A from the Young Lions. But for me, I think I was struck most by the pervasive attitude that Digital had finally arrived. I have to say I was a bit shocked that it’s just now sinking in, but I guess better late than never.
The other big “ah ha” moment for me is that as an industry, both agency and marketers need to start rethinking the hard lines we’ve traditionally put on our functional groups. Most companies still have an Advertising Group, a PR group, a CRM/Direct group, some even have “viral or buzz” groups now, etc.
But it’s very clear with digital those lines not only blur, they eventually disappear.
At the Microsoft business forum we were lucky enough to have Naoki Ito, Creative Director of GT Tokyo on stage and he went through, of all things, an awarding winning campaign for a Japanese condom company.
The campaign was a month long web cast of two long-distance lovers who were walking across Japan to see each other. There was no branding the entire month and viewers chose which person to watch and registered on the site. Millions watched and the end product was an ad of the journey that revealed the brand…but what was that campaign? PR? Ad? Viral? Direct (once they had the names)? I think we’re seeing this more and more that you really need broad/big thinking marketers that don’t think linear to create the best “campaigns”…makes you think I hope, certainly did me.
Maybe now a question to leave you with. At the Young Lions Q&A SteveB was asked “What is the Microsoft Brand?”
I won’t detail the answer here, but he asked a question back, “Let’s assume we’re going to open retail stores, what would you call those stores? Would you call them Microsoft or Windows…….?”
Thanks, I look forward to your thoughts and see you in/from Cannes next year!
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My vote is for Microsoft because it's a broader brand - like a company store it would carry both software and devices. Windows brand would not cover Xbox, Zune and other products we have.... But it should be called MSFT to help create retail coolness and differentiation from Apple stores (think BCBG or more TJ Max - trendy fasions at value prices :) ).