Thought Leadership

3 Quick Things (not named AI) Before Cannes Lions 2024



Bonjour! Team Stagwell is headed to Cannes Lions, ready to cover the Palais, fringe stages, and maybe even a yacht or two, bringing you the latest insights from the Festival. We’ll also be bringing sports and business icons like Carmelo Anthony, Sue Bird, Joe Burrow, Jason and Travis Kelce, Megan Rapinoe, and JuJu Watkins to SPORT BEACH for some exciting action.  

Ahead of the Festival, we’re sharing three predictions to track as the programming unfolds. While AI will undoubtedly be a hot topic, in this edition we’re focusing on everything else – though you won’t want to miss our Monday mainstage session on “The Contrarian’s Compass: Navigating Emerging Tech Hype.”

Let’s dive in,
Beth Sidhu
Chief Brand Officer, Stagwell

  1. ALL ROADS WILL LEAD BACK TO SOCIAL: At Cannes, two key discussions will shape future investments in the social media space, where ad spend is set to surge in 2024, led by TikTok (anticipated to grow 38%) and Instagram. First is the future of social video. As the popularity of bite-sized videos diminishes and Gen Z gravitates towards longer-form content (although this mainly just means 90-second videos), expect significant discussions about new monetization and creative opportunities in social video. We’ll also be keeping an eye on how marketers view the viability of “challenger platforms like TikTok, which have built incredible momentum in recent years but face a shifting regulatory and consumer landscape in the U.S. and abroad. Learn more about what social-savvy brands can do to prepare for the future in this blog from Movers+Shakers CEO Evan Horowitz 
  2. BRANDS WILL GET SCHOOLED ON THE RIGHT ATHLETE SPONSORSHIP PLAYS: Today’s athletes are multi-hyphenate leaders and aspirational figures who excel in business, media, nonprofits, and more, far beyond their achievements on the field. As the Cannes spotlight turns to sports, be sure to attend SPORT BEACH panels such as “It’s a Win-Win: Why Sponsorships Make Sense” with Channel Factory and Relo Metrics, and mainstage events such as “The Rapid Evolution of Athletes as Brand Builders” with the NFL. These sessions will guide brands on shifting from a brand ambassador approach to a true partnership mindset when collaborating with athletes. By involving athletes in product development, marketing strategies, experiential initiatives, and impact-driven projects, brands can benefit from their unique perspectives and vast audiences. Brush up on this shifting dynamic by streaming our SXSW 2024 talk, “Athlete as a Brand: Creating Authentic Connections.” 
  3. MARKETERS WILL TRULY PLUG INTO GAMING: Marketers are no longer overlooking gaming and e-sports, which boast 3.3 billion gamers globally and will reach $4.3 billion in global ad revenue this year. With immersive consumer experiences now a priority for brands, gaming is the perfect market. Keep an eye out at Cannes for insights emerging from campaigns that win big at the Entertainment Lions for Gaming and Brand Experience & Activation categories. Their success will demystify the nascent big-C creative and performance media opportunities. You also won’t want to miss Stagwell’s GALE in conversation with Lenovo, Activision Blizzard, and the National Women’s Soccer League at SPORT BEACH on Tuesday on the future of consoles and community. One other thing to track: 2023 was a big year for the convergence of gaming, marketing, and branded entertainment, as massive titles like the Super Mario Bros. movie and “The Last of Us” translated into branding opportunities galore. Brush up on the insights with National Research Group’s whitepaper, “Why Video Games are the New Frontier for Hollywood.” 

Follow the Buzz from SPORT BEACH

Join us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube as the Stagwell network hits the ground at Cannes Lions and brings to life SPORT BEACH, our flagship activation home to 50+ of the most renowned athletes, brands and cultural icons coming together around the power of sport and its massive global impact on business and culture. 

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