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Standing For Something and Doing it Direct – Report from Cannes

I’m reporting from Cannes, France, at the Cannes Advertising Festival 2007. It celebrates global advertising and marketing from around the world, and hosts some pretty fascinating workshops and seminars on the industry. The buzz is certainly “digital” this year, as more and more advertisers are faced with the challenge of trying to get their client’s products on the minds of the digital generation. I’ll be giving you some insight throughout the week on what’s happening, but I can tell you the initial things that stand out on this first day are “conscience marketing” and “direct response.”

Both are priorities here, with direct response advertising now having it’s own category in the awards competition. Apparently, the George Foreman Grill has come into it’s own. But kidding aside, there’s something here for non-profit advertisers and marketers. You can do direct response that matters, and do it with class and style. It’s not just about picking up the phone. Direct response competition judge Rory Sutherland is quoted as saying “Direct is no longer necessarily all about transactions.” Which means it can accomplish any number of advertising goals. While the majority of direct response advertising is about picking up the phone or going to a website, you can use direct response to make the audience react in a number of different ways.

The other issue is “conscience marketing.” In other words, brands are now joining great causes to try and change the world in some manner. Whether it’s hunger, poverty, breast cancer, or any number of important causes, the world is discovering that advertising can have a conscience. This is great news for non-profits and religious organizations as well. The advertising world is trying to make a difference! Actually, they’re trying to make a buck, but I find it fascinating that they’re seeing something many of us have known all along.

That when you present a great cause, people will respond.

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  1. Along with this is the latest craze: cell phones with internet access starting to make an impact with "direct" response?

  2. Absolutely. I’ll be writing soon about the move to mobile platforms. Interesting things going on here….

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