Cannes Lions: Day two recap

A huge opportunity

$700bn dollars is waiting to be earned in China’s middle-tier cities according to Chen Xin, Chairman of SinoMedia Holding Limited. The top 10% of the spending pyramid might get all the heat and light, but the urbanization that is currently driving the Chinese economy is bringing 160m more people into cities.

As this new urban population comes in, consumption in China’s lower-tier markets will be unprecedented. Who’s going to benefit? Popular, mid-priced, good quality brands. There are rather a few of those running around the world.

Chen Xin’s message: First come, first served.

A massive ambition

Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots. With a handle like that, we’d follow him anywhere. Which is a good thing when you consider the scale of his ambition.

A moonshot, Teller explained, is “a seemingly impossible and yet impossibly important idea that through science, technology and creativity can be brought to reality.”

As head of Google[x], the innovation division of team don’t-be-evil, he’s already launched a few capsules into lunar orbit—self-driving cars, Google Glass and high-altitude balloons to that will provide Internet access to the billions still cut off from the web.

Moonshoots take story telling skills of the highest order. After all, you’ve got to get people to follow you on an enormous problem, the solution to which will make the world ten times better. Success is not assured. But, heck, we’re storytellers, right? Sure, Teller says, but these aren’t the kinds of stories we’re used to.

The stories that launch moonshots are, “deep, hard, weird.”

Sizing-up creativity

Facebook knows a thing or two about creating at cosmological scale. Mark D’Arcy, who heads global creative for them, joined with Boz Bosworth, who invented a little thing called “Newsfeed” joined up with David Droga, who is the founder and Creative Chairman of New York-based agency Droga5, to consider how we can scale up creativity.

Advertising needs to learn from the tech industry. Not a single person in the audience was surprised. Still, how do you argue with a business that can generate 300 million Newsfeed stories about school funding based on a modestly-sized campaign for a national retailer.

Droga pointed out:

We work like pack mules to get the work polished and pretty, launch the campaign, and head to the bar to toast a job well done. But really, when the tech folk put the product out, that’s the starting line. It’s a creative marathon from there on out.

You can see how Facebook took this marathon approach with its photo sharing service, which even they thought was so-so when it launched. Instead of scrapping it, Facebook turned it into a the market leader through creative iteration based on the priciple of tagging.

Oh, and a Little Magic TED came to Cannes with Technoillusionist Marco Tempest. While few people can match his magical skills, everyone can learn from the style of storytelling embedded in the three elements of magic.

Magicians are early adopters of technology who understand psychology and keep secrets. Sounds like Steve Jobs.