Cannes Lions: Apps Vs Ads


Though the Cannes Lions Festival brands itself as an event for “professionals in the creative communications industry”, the awards present the ultimate opportunity for advertising agencies with the chance to showcase their work and gain invaluable business opportunities from prospective clients wanting to use the most creative ways to promote their product. As well as competing between each other, however, ads will have a new contender to deal with: the almighty app.

In what is becoming increasingly common scenario,  social media’s influential role in generating hype makes way for the app to become involved as well. Like we do with Oscars and the Grammys, we share our excitement for these events through the power of social media: our tweets, status updates and photo uploads are becoming increasingly focused on exchanging our opinions on the nominees’ list, who we think will be attending, and sharing our favourite works. However, the app’s nature as the ball-and-chain of social media, its increasing ability to detract attention from other forms of creative communications

Though seemingly harmless, daily updates on apps’ developments and plans centred around the Lions are starting to detract attention from the event’s original stars.

Articles reporting on the latest news of the Lions are sided with news that Facebook-owned Instagram is urging brands to partake in a photography competition for the ‘La  Galerie d’ Instagram’, where the winning photos will be showcased in a gallery space in Cannes. Participants are encouraged to share photos using the hashtag #InstagramCannes to get their chance to win. Though the flurry of hashtags, filters and regrams that will follow the launch will increase Cannes’ appeal to social media users (i.e. basically everyone in the world), nothing will be said of any actual advertisements.  Will 18-year olds be sharing photos of sunsets with the innovative ‘Sound of Honda’ ad in mind? Not likely.

Furthermore, the fact that apps have even managed to find their way into the awards themselves with nomination lists for Mobile and Innovation is an additional, and probably affirmative, indication that ads are in danger of being swiped to one side. With apps reaping the same benefits from this week’s event as the ads, we should probably ask – is it time for apps to get their own awards show


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