The Changing State of Marketing: A Conversation with Experts from Unilever, Nokia, and Beyond at Cannes Lions Festival 202

Tune in to Time for A Reset

In this episode of Time For a Reset: The Marketing Podcast with Global Brand Leaders, host Paul Frampton connects with a range of industry experts at Cannes Lions Festival 2024, including Lars Silberbauer, Philippa Tilley, Jerry Daykin, Fiona Davis, and Stephani Estes. Join them as they discuss the growing concern around digital overconsumption and the need for more balanced experiences with technology, sustainability in marketing, and the democratisation of tools like AI. They also explore the role of marketing in driving growth and creating value, emphasising the importance of creativity that drives results and the need for marketers to focus on metrics that demonstrate business impact.

Digital Overconsumption 

Lars Silberbauer, the CMO of HMD & Nokia Phones, notes the growing concern around digital overconsumption and the need for more balanced experiences with technology. He says that, while he doesn’t want people to go back to the stone age, there is a need for balance. 

“There is a growing consensus that it’s not just good to be more in digital. So a lot of the conversations I’ve had are about how do we mitigate that? And how do we actually do things and create more balance?”

Lars discusses the surge in mental health issues, caused by smartphones and social media, that started a couple of years ago. He cites a statistic that says up to a third of girls and young women have mental health issues, and that this is exactly correlated to the rise of smartphones and social media. He says that HMD is attempting to address this with their relaunch of more basic Nokia 3210 phones. Lars emphasises the need for more companies to deliver choice and new ways for users to connect. 

Growth-Driven Creativity

Philippa Tilley, Head of Brand, Radiant & Care at Unilever, notes a trend towards growth-driven creativity at Cannes Lions Festival 2024 and the marketing industry at large. She says there has been a pivot away from topics such as sustainability, with more marketers interested in “the discipline of marketing and what we are meant to be doing as marketers and what our jobs actually should be about.”

The work that has been succeeding has been more oriented towards creativity that translates to growth. Philippa suggests that this stands in contrast to previous years. 

“So I think this is the point where I sometimes feel like we’re waking up from a collective industry hallucination. There’s been a long time where we seemed to just forget what it was that we’re here to do.”

Philippa says that marketing should be about creating real value for people and real value for businesses. Unlocking that in a way that is “creative and brilliant and magical” is all well and good, but if it is not done to drive the value, then “it is just fluff”. 

GenAI and Marketing

In previous years at Cannes Lions Festival, AI was usually spoken about in the future tense. Fiona Davis, the Global VP of Growth at CvE, says that there were a lot of panels talking about how Gen AI would change the world, but none that would talk about how they would actually use it. Fiona says that in 2024, things are different. 

“I think what’s been interesting is watching several people give real-world examples of how they’re using Gen AI in marketing now—like actual things they’re doing right now, not things out in the future.”

She cites Mario from 7-Eleven discussing how they were going to allow brands to create assets more easily using AI. Fiona also mentions how Microsoft spoke about the tools that they’ve developed so brands can create assets more quickly. 

Join us on Time For a Reset: The Marketing Podcast with Global Leaders

Tune in to the latest episode of Time For a Reset: The Marketing Podcast with Global Leaders, where we sit down with representatives of household brands to uncover the secrets behind driving transformation in today’s rapidly evolving world. From shifting consumer behaviour to the increasing importance of marketing in driving business growth, this podcast delves into the strategies and insights that are shaping the future of marketing.

You can read the full transcript episode here.

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