Cannes Lions 2010 in one PDF

I never really understood the Cannes Lions advertising festival. Sure I like hanging out in Cannes sometime in June and see some of the best advertising out there mixed with a good party, it’s mainly the award categories that I cannot get my head around. Direct, PR, Cyber, … does that still work? You’ll see that more than 50% of the entries in ‘Direct’ are digital, so how does that relate to ‘Cyber’ then? I find it kind of weird that we all talk about integrated advertising but yet still award advertising filtered out per ‘medium’. Sure, I can see why you can recognize the best tv commercial or the best radio ad, but judging something like ‘Cyber’ what does that mean? Read the ‘Cyber’ entry category information and tell me I’m wrong. Isn’t it about time we rethink this?

Anyway, download the full award list right here in one handy PDF. Grab it before it’s too late.

canneslionsbook

Le Web ‘09

Have to admit, I’m kinda sad. Today and tomorrow the best web/tech conference in Europe is on in Paris… and for the first time in 4 years it’ll be without me. Since I had a good part in the sponsorship of the conference by Microsoft, the fact that I’m not even going this year makes the difference even bigger.

The first time I went to Le Web was in 2006. The conference just changed name from Les Blogs to Le Web 3 and MSN UK had been a sponsor for the first 2 edition of Les Blogs with Windows Live Spaces. With Le Web 3 we decided to sponsor from the EMEA budget and link it to Windows Live in general and not just Spaces… it wasn’t just about blogging anymore so that made sense. If you were there in 2006 you might remember that little piece of network cable in your welcome bag with which you could win a smartphone at our booth, it worked rather well I’ll tell ya :)

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© Peter Forret

That was where I met Hugh MacLeod for instance (where he did this interview), our paths would cross quite often again… especially in Paris.

In 2007 we were back, this time with shared sponsorship from the European and the French team of Microsoft. This was the year that Le Web became big, like really big. It was a always a good conference, but in 2007 it changed into big. Hans Rosling, Philippe Starck, Yossi Vardi, … just look at some of the videos I selected back then and see for yourself. Made a lot of good new contacts that year, unfortunately our presence (Microsoft’s I mean) wasn’t really good that year.

Last year Microsoft BizSpark took over the lead in the sponsorship, just like it’s the case this year. And I made sure we had the Blue Monster in Paris, with Hugh as our guest. Good fun, I’ll tell you that much.

hughinparis
© Dennis Howlett

Good thing about Le Web though is that the event is broadcasted Live, check out this page from tomorrow morning to follow the livestream from the main stage (via Ustream). Or check out the Le Web iPhone app.

And let’s hope I can make it back to Paris next year. Greetings to all my friends in Paris and good luck to Loic and Geraldine for what will be most certainly another great conference ;)

SMC2009: Marketing Renaissance

For more than 20 years I believe Stichting Marketing organizes the biggest Marketing conference in the country… and I’ve never ever felt the need to go before. For one because the 2 day congress happens to end on a Saturday, but also because I’ve always seen it as a well established marketing congress for well established marketers hearing to hear about … well you catch my drift I suppose. This year I was invited by the organization (thanks to @mediagast) so no reason not to check it out this time.

So I went to the congress, and truth to be told, I had high expectations. I hoped Stichting Marketing proved me wrong about my opinion about the congress, I hoped to see some interesting and inspiring talks and (last but not least) I really hoped to see at least a few speakers that could make that connection between the more traditional way of marketing versus what we’re all supposed to be doing right now. Why? Because there was a window of opportunity given the audience’s background I suppose. And the premise seemed to be right:

“There’s a growing consensus that in times like these not every ‘old rule’ still applies. More than ever, we have to be smart in marketing. Rationalizing our structures or adapting old models just won’t do it anymore. … We have to understand that marketing solutions are not there for eternity just because we’ve successfully used them in the past. Some insights still apply, others are clearly past their shelf life. What we need, in other words, is a true marketing renaissance.”

We kicked off day one in rather good fashion, Don Sull (Professor of Strategy of London Business School) did a talk on “The Upside of Turbulence”. And just as the title already suggests, Don talked about the opportunities you have in times of turbulence, stating clearly there aren’t just downsides linked to it. He showed us he sees to different kinds of ways to deal with turbulence, one being ‘agility’ and the other ‘absorption’. Something he explained using the famous Rumble in the Jungle fight between Foreman (‘absorption’) and Ali (‘agility’). Conclusion of all of this being you got to have both to be able to deal with turbulence in the best possible way.

After a quick stint from Nokia’s Global Marketing SVP (I’m sure he knows what he’s doing but presenting is clearly not his ‘shtick’) we got Jonathan Salem Baskin to talk about the “Digital Plague”.

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I expected quite a lot from this presentation and I think I was kind of severe afterwards to Jonathan when I told him he had missed the opportunity to really convince people. We agree on the main idea of his presentation, saying digital is not just something you do aside it is part of the whole thing. You don’t need a digital strategy, you need a business strategy (just like before) that’s ready for the digital age. Why missed opportunity? Because I don’t think it came across that way to everybody, I think some people will have walked out of that presentation thinking that doing business as usual is just fine. Anyway, that might be just me – I still enjoyed the presentation and we had a great chat afterwards so that’s good :).

Day two opened with Charlene Li, another keynote I was looking out for. Great personality, nice talk and we had a quick chat afterwards as well but nothing new to learn. The talk we had afterwards was related to the work of an analyst and it’s one of the things I still miss in presentations such as Charlene’s – tangible examples from non global high involvement consumer brands. It’s on thing to analyze why Vodafone or DELL have been successful with some of their social media activities, building and implementing your own strategy for a brand of say sandwich meat is something else. Charlene still is one to watch though, don’t get me wrong on that. Here’s Charlene’s presentation btw.

Dan Hill (President Sensory Logic) told us we get way more effect by being on-emotion instead of on-message, playing on human emotions instead of being factual. Nice talk but hardly anything new. And sometimes jumping conclusions – Dan showed some eye-tracking research showing people didn’t look at the ads to then suggest to change the ad placements… now that’s not really what this means right? Then Niraj Dawar (Professor of Marketing, Ivey Business School Canada) talked about “Downstream Innovation”, an interesting talk about re-focusing our innovation efforts into how we deliver products to consumers instead of just on what to deliver. We at Duval Guillaume often also ask our clients about the why on top of that.

Last but not least, our own Geert Noels (Econopolis) closed the congress. Always good to see someone looking at something you know from a totally different angle, this time Geert who is an economist shared his look on marketing with us. You can find his “Marketing lessons from the Econoshock” right here. Just started a conversation with Geert on Twitter about his presentation, let’s see where that leads us ;)

Anyway, that was that. I enjoyed the congress, it was good meeting up with people as usual but I did miss eye-opening, truly inspirational talks… presentations that would have people go home and change the way they do marketing. Maybe next year?

Awesome!

If I have one problem with SxSW it would be the noise this event generates. From weeks to months in advance people start chatting it up on where to go, what to do, how to survive, … and by the team SxSW is on there is so much live coverage it is hard to find the good stuff.

That is until you stumble on coverage like this. Forget about live blogging, live twittering… here is Mike Rohde live sketchnoting the festival. In a time where speed and quantity seem to drive the online conversation, in a time where it seems to matter more to say a lot and to say it before anyone else… this is just the break you need. Thanks Mike!

SXSWi 2009: Sketchnotes: Anderson/Kawasaki Spread

Check out the full set right here: SxSW Interactive 2009 – sketchnotes

Future vision

Microsoft’s Business Division president Stephen Elop unveiled the latest production from Microsoft Office Labs called “2019″ at the Wharton Business Technology Conference last week. Here’s a video of what our researchers think the future of business might look like:

futurevision

Full story and 5-minute long version of this video ‘i started something’.

About building your network

Networks like LinkedIn seem to benefit quite a bit from the recession. People unfortunately are losing jobs and need to look for new opportunities, for which the network asset is very important. The problem is that many start building the network when they need it and that’s a common mistake. You should build it when you don’t really need it, so it’s there when you actually do. Here’s what I do, maybe there’s something in there for you as well.

LinkedInNetwork
Image courtesy of GustavoG, actually presenting the FlickrVerse

#1 Build a network based on people you know

I believe that your network on LinkedIn (and others like Xing) is only really valuable when you build it with people you know, people you have actually met, spoken with, engaged with, … any kind of interaction that was big enough for people to remember you. This connection can be face to face, online, over the telephone… but when you send these people an invite to join your network, your name should at least ring a bell. The reason this is important is that you want to count on your network when it matters. If your connections don’t know who you are or how you connected, why would they ever pass on a message to others? Why would they ever introduce you to one of their contacts? Your connections are the key to the second and third degree network, so make sure those connections are real.

#2 Strike the iron while it’s hot

You’ve met some interesting new people at a conference? You just ended a call with someone that you will probably do business with? You’ve been having a few discussions with someone online lately? First thing on the to do list – look them up on LinkedIn and send out an invitation (referencing how you connected if you think it’s appropriate). Now this is not a suggestion to quickly ‘run into people’, get their business card so you can say you ‘connected’ and invite them onto your network. Not at all, but if a real connection was made, you should solidify it ‘digitally’ and not wait to long before doing so either. After people accept I always download the vCard to my local address book, as it adds the person’s birthday to my calendar – always good to know.

#3 People change, how about your address book?

People change titles, jobs, employers, … and it’s important you know about this. Luckily networks like LinkedIn are amongst the first places for people to communicate changes like these, especially when they are related to the professional life. It’s not like you will go check out the LinkedIn homepage on a daily pages to track these changes, but LinkedIn add-ons like the Outlook Toolbar basically offer this kind of functionality for you. Every once in a while I will open up my LinkedIn Dashboard in Outlook and in there I can see all people that have made changes to their profile and I get the choice to update the contact info automatically in my local address book.

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#4 Network overlays – use it

Although my own rules for connecting with people on LinkedIn are not 100% the same as those on Facebook, and the reason for connecting on Blip or Flickr are different from other networks – there will always be an overlay. And sometimes you can benefit from that overlay, I’ll give you one example. Using programs such as Fonebook will compare your local Outlook address book with your connections on Facebook which will allow you to add additional data from Facebook (like the person’s photo for instance) to your existing Outlook contacts. I’m sure there are other examples of using the network overlays as well.

#5 Avoid spam

The biggest source of ‘spam’ these days seem to be your friends. Stronger connections will help avoiding much of it but still, sometimes it’s just powered by laziness. When you want to invite friends to a certain group on whatever network you most likely have 2 options – pick those friends that might be interested (takes time) or ‘select all’ (the faster solution). A lot of people tend to do the latter, knowing for a fact that you will ignore if needed but that is not the best option. Choose wisely amongst your network, there’s a limit to ignoring things as well.

That’s how I do it anyway, feel free to discuss.

TechFest ‘09

Microsoft Research is currently having it’s annual gathering in Redmond, showing the world some of the latest projects they’ve been working on – TechFest 2009.

“TechFest is an annual event that brings researchers from Microsoft Research’s labs around the world to Redmond to share their latest work with Microsoft product teams. Attendees experience some of the freshest, most innovative technologies emerging from Microsoft’s research efforts. The event provides a forum in which product teams and researchers can discuss the novel work occurring in the labs, thereby encouraging effective technology transfer into Microsoft products.”

Basically a lot of geekery, but worth watching. One of the projects that was shown yesterday which I found rather cool is panoramic video stitching software – Qik meets Photosynth as TechCrunch calls it (although it’s probably more Qik meets ICE* but anyway). Check out their video:

*ICE is short for Image Composite Editor, an advanced panoramic image stitcher which is also coming from Microsoft Research and worth a look on its own (free download).

Hugh at LeWeb 08

As I mentioned about a week ago in the ‘Blue Monster in Paris’ post, Hugh MacLeod was a regular guest at the Microsoft BizSpark and Live Mesh booth at LeWeb in Paris this year. We had agreed with Hugh to try out something different than usual and everybody who stopped by while Hugh was there could get a personal Hughcard and maybe even something more… like say a signed Blue Monster wine bottle for instance.

"Amsterdam Blogs" by Hugh MacLeod @ Le Web 08  hermione

It was great to see a lot of people stopped by and had cartoons drawn on business cards, wine bottles, body parts, computers, etc. All good fun and a lot of times real conversation starters, just like we hoped it to be.

Those of you that were interested in the event will all probably have read what The Guardian had to say about it, well if you did then make sure you read Thomas Crampton’s answer to that as well. Every year when I look back at LeWeb it is with the eyes of both an attendee as a sponsor. Every year there are some things that could have been better (yes it was cold, yes I liked last year’s venue more, yes we were definitely spoilt re food last year, …) and there are always plenty of reasons why I will be back next year.

It’s still one of the best conferences for networking, there’s all kinds of great content to be discovered and you just know it’ll start a conversation just like the years before. When I checked with the program manager for BizSpark or the startups that were able to show off what they got as part of that program, feedback was very good. When I checked with the Live Mesh guys, feedback was good. And quite a few people went home with a personal cartoon… yeah it was good for me. Thanks again for joining us Hugh!

Live Mesh in Paris

Okay so you already know that the Blue Monster is coming to Paris, now I’m also happy to announce that Live Mesh is coming to LeWeb in Paris as well next week. And with a twist:

“We’re pleased to announce that to celebrate LeWeb’08 and Microsoft’s official partnership with the event, we are providing attendees exclusive access to 30GB of free Live Mesh online storage.  To claim your 30GB storage on Live Mesh please stop by the Live Mesh booth in the Microsoft zone and register with either myself (James Senior), Angus Logan or Jeff Hansen.

Attendees will also be getting exclusive access to Live Mesh for Windows Mobile and Mac, again stop by the booth for more info.”

meshparis

Yet another reason to come and see us at the Microsoft booth thanks to the guys from Live Mesh!

Blue Monster in Paris

Next week we’re heading to Paris again for what is probably one of the most exiting tech/web events in Europe: LeWeb. This year Microsoft is the main sponsor and so make sure you come and check us out. And while you’re at it, bring your business cards as Hugh Macleod will be a regular guest and he might just end up drawing a cartoon on the back of it ;)

blue-monster-spritzed-thumb

We’re also going to bring some Blue Monster Sauvignon Blanc with us but more on that later. For those that would like to get a chance to get one of those right now already, I’m actually going to give away 6 bottles right here, right now. (that is 1 bottle per winner to be clear). All you have to do is let me know in the comments why you should win it. By the start of LeWeb next week I will pick the winners (with the help of Hugh) out of the hopefully numerous comments ;) Make it original. Oh and just so you know, these bottles aren’t for sale.

Come and say hi if you’re going to be at LeWeb. Go here if you’re interested in finding out more about the Blue Monster.