A word to the wise, when Contagious come in to give us the lowdown on Cannes we listen up. They had an ear to the ground at last month’s awards and presented 5 key trends from the festival, including industry insights and their future predictions.

The first theme was the ‘agency squeeze’ as the beaches and yachts were dominated by tech big dogs like Google and Facebook. It’s tempting to think of Cannes as a ‘tech show,’ reflected by the dwindling submissions and certain groups refusing to go out right – so where were the agencies you ask? Well, they were confined to the Palais picking up their awards and getting real-time shout outs on our massive ‘Creativity is GREAT’ billboard that championed the best of British creativity.

The second theme was the gender divide. Diversity is the word on the industry’s lips right now with a special focus on the gender imbalance at senior roles in agencies. Kenzo’s ‘My Mutant Brain’ and The Wall Street statue Fearless Girl were amongst the winners who bravely challenged the image of the women in advertising.

New integration was the third theme, which was perfectly exemplified by the MailChimp campaign. MailChimp ultimately launched nine campaigns at once using a play on their name such as MaleCrimp and MailShrimp to create bespoke content for audiences that were picked up by the relevant press. For example, Vogue covered the latest trend in men’s hairstyling – the MaleCrimp – while music publications like Noisey praised VeilHymn’s song ‘Hymn’. All of these audiences were redirected back to the MailChimp site creating a tailored user experience.  Check out the Boost Your Voice campaign and Humanium metal for two more great examples of integration.

In previous years there has been a massive push for virtual reality, but 2017 was the year of AI with the technology taking a back seat and facilitating campaigns that would otherwise be impossible without it. Great case studies include Burger King’s trolling of Google Home or Pope Francis Bot throwing bible verses back at sinful tweeters to promote HBO’s ‘The Young Pope’.

Just like last year, we’re finishing with collaboration as the need for meaningful collaborations only increases in importance. Take Graham for example, the only human that could withstand the impact of a car crash. Artist Patricia Piccinini teamed up with trauma surgeons, a crash investigation expert and the Australian Transport Accident Commission to create the interactive sculpture. So, when we’re looking to collaborate maybe we should start looking a little further…