Cannes Journal - Monday

Jun 19, 2017

This year at Cannes, we'll be sharing our thoughts and observations from on the ground in a daily journal. Over the past few days, we've been presented with a host of different seminars ranging from virtual reality to the changing environment of online content. Below are our highlights. 

 

SESSION: THE CASE FOR VR - SHOULD WE OR SHOULDN'T WE

Robert Holzer, creator and executive producer behind the Emmy-nominated VR series 'Inside Impact,’ led a fascinating discussion that explored the growth of virtual reality content, and whether or not it can be a useful tool in brand marketing and social impact initiatives. 

Key takeaways:
 
  • Tech is developing quickly and expanding our capabilities. To remain successful, brands must be flexible and keep up with changing times.
  • In the past year, the VR landscape has grown and brands are ready to invest in larger and more ambitious VR projects. The real opportunity lies in VR's experiential capabilities. For brands, the main question they must ask themselves is, “Where can you gather people and drive an experience that will make people better understand the message you’re trying to get across?”
  • VR experiences are shifting from a single viewing to connected multi-person experiences. VR headsets like Oculus give users to the option to interact with one another and collaborate.
  • For VR to work for your company, you need to have meaningful content. VR demands a larger-than-usual investment from the audience, so make the experience valuable.
  • There are four key considerations to remember when embarking on VR as a brand: audience, distribution, and ecosystem.

 

SESSION: CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD MEETS THE YOUTUBE GENERATION: WHO ARE FANS FOLLOWING? 

Film legend Laura Dern (Big Little Lies, The Last Jedi) compares notes with one of today’s YouTube sensations, Grace Helbig, on how she engages with fans and brands. Their conversation, moderated by Ketchum’s Head of Entertainment, Marcus Peterzell, explores the similarities and differences between working with 'timeless' and 'real-time' talent, what the big screen and small Hollywood have in common, and how marketers can tap into both worlds successfully.

Key takeaways:

  • As a content creator you can create revenue streams, but be mindful of the brands you work with and the kind of content you make with them. People don't necessarily want to watch commercials, but as a creator, you start to realize that the connection with your audience can be transparent.
  • Success doesn't always have to be measured by economics. "Our audience doesn’t pay us in finance. They pay us in attention." (Laura Dern)
  • Brands and media platforms must constantly evolve to meet changing audience needs. The digital and traditional space are merging more and more - they're not shoehorned, but coming together naturally. 

 

SESSION: THE CHANGING FACE OF ORIGINAL CONTENT

Over one billion hours of content are watched every single day on YouTube, setting the stage for a diverse video ecosystem fueled by creators, music artists, and brands. YouTube’s Global Head of Content, Susanne Daniels, Head of Culture and Trends, Kevin Allocca and Demi Lovato discuss the latest global trends driven by viewers around the world.

Key takeaways:

  • There are three YouTube trends that have been shaping modern, popular culture: niche content experiences, individual expression, interaction. “On YouTube, creativity comes to life through interaction. Relationships that form through content are driving some of today’s biggest trends.” (Kevin Allocca)
  • YouTube represents a living and breathing culture that’s changing every day. People create culture together on YouTube. “The cycles of interaction that we see among YouTube’s biggest trends demonstrate how the fluidity between mainstream distributing and the web has lured the line between mainstream culture and web culture. 10 years ago, these 2 things felt very distinct; but now thanks to this new interactivity they are together just Pop Culture.” (Kevin Allocca)
  • YouTube's strategy revolves around highlighting creators’ talent and bringing creative visions to life. “With over a billion hours watched on YouTube every single day, we also see an opportunity to create a powerful new partnership with brands from around the world; brands who want to align themselves with new creative content that drives global conversations on ad-supported YouTube.” (Susanne Daniels)
  • More and more new series are showing up without ads on online subscription services and premium cable channels. 5 years ago 85% of all original series were ad supported and now it’s just over ⅔. 
  • Original series are taking over. Demi Lovato is starting a new YouTube series called “Simply Complicated.” When asked why she chose YouTube as her platform, she responded, “Youtube is the OG! YouTube has been around for so long and I started my own YouTube channel over 10 years ago and I’ve been able to create content and put on my own channel. 

 

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