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Cannes in figures

Cannes in figures
Matt Pye, COO of Cheil UK, picks some impressive figures for the industry to mull over from a whirlwind Cannes Lions trip.

As adland shakes the sand from its shoes following another seven days of inspiration, networking and backslapping at the annual festival of creativity that is Cannes Lions, it’s time to reflect on lessons learned in 2014.

In the spirit of big data (is that still this year’s thing?) here are six sexy statistics that I picked up in the Cannes ecosphere that will give us all food for thought.

37,427 - That’s the total number of entries submitted this year, which is an all-time high and five per cent up on last year. It’s an astonishing amount of work, much of it very impressive, so for those who have come home empty-handed – no names, no pack-drill – it’s not worth beating yourself up, especially if you were shortlisted. Your time will come. Stay inspired.

12 - This is the percentage decline in the number of press awards entries. Although it is still the largest category at Cannes with 5,007 entries this year, the decrease underlines the changing of the guard as other traditional categories like film (-9%) and radio (-7%) are heading in the same direction.

There are no prizes for guessing what the beneficiaries are. Entries for the digital Cyber Lions are up by 39%, making it the third largest category in the awards now. Branded content and entertainment (22%) and mobile (12%) are also on the up, indicating the changes in channel mix that agencies increasingly have to consider.

At least 50 - According to my finger in the air estimate, that’s the percentage of big winners that adopted a storytelling approach this year. If further proof was needed that brands need to go beyond the 30-second spot to communicate with people, it was here in spades.

Brands such as Chipotle, Honda, British Airways, Coke and Nivea all won big with campaigns that engaged at a deeper level and across multiple channels. Cannes might remain associated with advertising, but the nature of the work on display increasingly demonstrates that a more nuanced approach is required to speak to today’s agile consumers.

4.5 billion - There are more smartphones in the world (4.5bn) than people with toothbrushes (3.5bn). This slightly bonkers stat was revealed by my colleague Daniele Fiandaca during his presentation with Samsung’s Younghee Lee. We all know that mobile is important, but stats like this underline just how much part of our everyday experience they are. And they’re not just being used for playing games. Samsung’s Power Sleep initiative used smartphone downtime to help Vienna University search for a cure for cancer. Try doing that with a toothbrush.

$30bn+ - This is the size of the opportunity that mobile now represents, as debated by Sir Martin Sorrell, Dick Costolo of Twitter and Viacom’s Philipe Dauman. Even Costolo said that no one had truly appreciated how quickly mobile would grow, which perhaps explains why only 43% of marketers have mobile as part of their strategy. Elsewhere on la Croisette, David Droga admitted that “cracking mobile” was the biggest challenge facing the ad industry today.

69 - In our technologically powered age, where shopping it everywhere, instant and personal, it’s interesting to note that we haven’t completely fallen out of love with stores. Google revealed that 69% of consumers said that retailers and store visits influenced their purchase decisions, second only to word of mouth which was named by 74%. The research, in conjunction with TNS and Ogilvy, noted that consumers make purchase decisions in the same way that they consumer content, choosing brands that engage their passions and interests.

Just one final set of figures – 21, 6 and 2015. That’s the date when Cannes 2015 opens for business. See you there!

Matt Pye is COO of Cheil UK. Follow him on Twitter

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Last updated 04/07/2014

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