After recently announcing a new £16.8m ($20m, €19.9m) podcast advertising deal with Omnicom Media Group, Spotify used Cannes Lions to cement its potential as a growing platform for advertisers. Since its last activation at the event in 2019, Spotify has built an entirely new business centred on podcasting; this year, it expressed that its ambition is to become the go-to destination for digital audio brand experiences.
In this vein, Spotify played host to several panels themed around its advertising initiatives, including Outside Voice and Culture Next. Elsewhere, Spotify’s global head of public affairs, Dustee Jenkins, hosted a panel exploring how Generation Z are using audio to redefine culture, fandom and themselves. Joining the panel were Teenager Therapy podcast co-hosts Kayla Suarez and Thomas Pham, and Ziad Ahmed, founder and CEO of Gen Z marketing agency JUV Consulting. They discussed how, for Gen Z, Spotify is essential for everyday living, as they turn to the audio streaming platform to suit every mood. They also discussed the top themes on the platform, with mental wellbeing ranking as the number one genre for Gen Z listeners.
‘Mental health being top genre for Gen Z – it doesn’t blow my mind,’ Ahmed said during the panel. ‘It is surprising to me to meet a Gen Zer who self-identifies as happy, especially coming out of the pandemic. Am I happy? Am I fulfilled? A lot of people came out of this with really mixed conclusions, and we had nowhere to turn for the next step… platforms like Spotify help us feel heard, seen and inspired.’
Technology giant Meta took over the Majestic Beach on La Croisette with a branded space featuring a range of experiential activations and thought-leadership sessions. Here, Meta gave visitors a glimpse into the metaverse and its intentions for the world of Web3. During one session, entitled Innovation Meets Creativity, Suzanne Powers, global president and chief strategy officer at McCann Worldgroup, and Todd Kaplan, chief marketing officer at Pepsi, discussed the limitless opportunities of the metaverse. Powers explained how great brand marketing means establishing strong memory structures with consumers, emphasising that ‘brand worlds, both personal and individual, can help create these memory structures’.
The power and potential of Instagram Reels was also explored, with Meta introducing the new features of its short-form video interface, via its Reels Super Studio. According to Meta, Reels now makes up over 20% of the time users spend on Instagram, so – in tandem with artist Felipe Pantone – the Reels Super Studio’s interactive experience allowed visitors to watch tutorials and pair the latest AR effects with dynamic movements to create their own Reel in Pantone’s immersive space.
Hosted at the Centre d’art La Malmaison in Cannes, fashion title Vogue and social media platform Snapchat partnered to create an exclusive, interactive AR exhibition for Cannes Lions attendees focused on inclusivity and access to luxury experiences.
The exhibition was designed to ‘break down the physical boundaries of fashion’, showcasing designs from seven luxury labels including Gucci, Stellar McCartney, Balenciaga, Kenneth Ize and Richard Quinn across six rooms. Here, visitors could try on designer items using Snapchat Lenses, while meandering through custom-designed rooms that immersed them in each luxury brand’s creations.
‘Redefining the Body is really about embracing people of all races, all sizes, all ages, all socio-economic backgrounds,’ explained Edward Enninful OBE, editor-in-chief of British Vogue. ‘[So] that when you have your phone and you can direct it to an outfit that is self-reflected, and be able to be whoever you want to be.'