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LIONS DAILY NEWS

TUESDAY / JUNE 21 / 2016

FOCUS ON INNOVATION

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‘FROM MAD MEN TO MATHS MEN’

After insightful debates and inspiring displays of what next-gen technologies can do for brands’ relationships with consumers, Lions Innovation is back in 2016 for its second outing. JULIANA KORANTENG reports

W

HAT launched last

year as a two-day sideshow to the main event is being repeated right in the middle of this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. On June 21-22, Lions Innovation will explore how everything that might have sounded like a tech gimmick in 2015 is now a reality that marketers, their agencies and their media partners can no longer ignore. Phrases like big data and data visualisation are already out-dated. We are now dealing with concepts like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles (driverless cars), the internet of things (IoT), robotics and even algorithms, a word many ad executives thought they had left behind in school maths lessons. Lions Innovation acknowledges technology is overturning how marketers must communicate with today’s digitally savvy consumers. Advertisers continue to pay for brand messages to be distributed by traditional TV’s 30-second spots, newspapers, glossy magazines, radio and outdoor billboards. But they also have to invest in the future at the same time. Lions Innovation acknowledges the resulting revolution and sets the platform for top industry executives and visionaries to exchange ideas and share experiences with delegates, including the young people vying to be tomorrow’s decisionmakers. It also raises questions that senior executives and entrepreneurs do not have time to ask in their demanding day-to-day jobs. This leads to interesting industry

Lions-18-Innovation pt1+D+z.indd 19

match-ups, such as the participation in Lions Innovation of Australia-based Uncanny Valley, the music and sound company led by executive producer and music supervisor Charlton Hill, and Justin Shave, head composer and music producer. Arguably, Uncanny Valley could be part of this year’s inaugural Lions Entertainment. But as Hill points out about their presentation, Can Music Technology Detect Your State Of Mind?, the art of marketing in the 21st century is also a science. “Through many and varied sources of data collection, technology is getting closer and closer to truly being able to detect a human’s emotional state,” Hill says. “It may be biometric data collected from your personal devices or situational data based on geography, the company you keep, what music you historically enjoy or even brainwave activity. Agencies and brands are constantly trying to hone their profiling of individuals who they may wish to engage with, so this data is crucial and how it can be used in music and sound is very exciting.” These days the advertising business relies on more than creativity and media. “In a world where content is more dynamic, our job is more like an advertising agency,” says Jim Kite, strategic development director at media-buying giant Starcom Mediavest Group. “We’re also working with more and more technology companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon. We’ve gone from Mad Men to Maths Men. But we can trust those tech companies to generate innovation. Clients expect innovation from their agencies. They want

to know what we’re doing to add value to their needs.” This scenario has seen several agencies invest in tech start-ups and start-ups that are developing products they believe brand-owners would want. An example of the latter is London-based Exclusiph, which enables creatives that depend on photography for marketing to deliver to a myriad media channels with one upload. With its sister company Musikki, a music-services start-up, Exclusiph recently raised $1m from venture-capital group Portugal Ventures. It has also won the endorsement of independent record labels such as 4AD, whose roster includes Canadian singersongwriter Grimes, indie rockers Cocteau Twins and 1960s legend Scott Walker. “Exclusiph doesn’t sell images — it offers an end-to-end service that connects labels and artists with news media and musictech companies, to distribute and update their images,” says Joao Afonso, Exclusiph’s CEO/co-founder, who adds that the tech is equally applicable to other creative sectors, including advertising, film and fashion. “This not only provides a more productive and efficient way to manage imagery, but it also saves money. Currently, labels are using several different services to fulfil the needs that Exclusiph delivers with a single dashboard. It takes a few weeks for an artist image to be updated on Spotify, for example. With Exclusiph, it takes a couple of seconds.” The future is always evolving and Lions Innovation aims to help the advertising and creative industries keep up.

Charlton Hill: “THROUGH DATA

COLLECTION, TECHNOLOGY IS GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO TRULY BEING ABLE TO DETECT A HUMAN’S EMOTIONAL STATE”

20/06/2016 10:20 PM

Lions Daily News 2016 Issue 4 Tuesday June 21  
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