DDB's ECD Examines the Mobile Lions Category Ahead of Cannes Lions 2018
Alexander Kalchev commends Cannes for cutting down its schedule, pities the Gutter Bar owners and is intrigued by the advent of AR.
Are you aware of the altered structure of Cannes Lions this year and, if so, do you think it will help redefine and restructure the event?
There’s been a lot of debate lately around the restructuring of Cannes from categories into tracks. I think the desire from Cannes to address the issue around the too-many-categories phenomenon is commendable, but it’s probably too early to tell if the new structure is better adapted for the work we will see this year. One thing is for sure, cutting down a few days from the schedule was a great idea. Unless you’re the Gutter Bar owners.
How would you define the Mobile Lions category in 2018?
The redefinition of the categories is a good reflection of the world that we move in. A few years ago, categories such as AR and Activation by Location would have been alienspeak in Cannes, while today they seem obvious and almost mundane.
Mobile has eaten the world and is now basically everything, which is what makes this such an exciting category. I’d keep my eyes out for ideas that go beyond a shiny case study and have a more meaningful, long-term usage.
Above: Last year's Cannes Lions Mobile Grand Prix winner, Seem; The Family Way
What developments have you seen emerge in this category in the last year?
There’s a touch of that early tech magic feeling in AR (or at least the promise of it). I haven’t seen it applied perfectly yet, but there’s been some fascinating uses by newspapers such as the New York Times.
What has most impressed you in mobile advertising over the last 12 months and what do you think the jury will be looking for in this year’s entries?
I believe the jury will look for entries that will stand the test of time.
What are the most important things for brands and agencies to consider when thinking about mobile advertising?
Don’t do any more apps. Do followers of influencers really care about your plug? Should your content strategy really last six seconds? Hype is good, but it rarely lasts. Oh, and about that organic reach thing…
How do you think the category might evolve in the future?
Whatsapp is doing 65bn messages per day. What happened to ICQ? Will there even be mobile advertising next year or will they follow the fate of Cyber and Integrated?
Will you be attending Cannes Lions this year and if so, what are you most looking forward to?
There’s always something that surprises me in Cannes. I’m looking forward to this year’s unsung heroes that we’ll talk about long after the blockbusters are gone.