Hey all,

It’s been a big few weeks. 5 days in Cannes, a BIG leadership team announcement (welcome Christa and Jody – we’re honored to be working with you), and a kid off to sleep away camp (yes, I’m obsessively refreshing the Campanion app trying to catch a glimpse of my kid. Don’t judge me). I’m totally spent.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming – with the hesitation we’re all feeling in the PR and comms industry, it’s been nice to take some time to reflect on all the awesome things going on in our industry. PR took centerstage with a bigger presence in Cannes and some major award wins. Good news – creative and strategic thinking are in high demand as we all work to embed AI into the work we’re doing. In my first experience at Cannes (yes, I had the same impression you did – marketers partying on the French Riviera telling each other how great they are), I was blown away by the caliber of marketers you’ll find at every turn. While the perception is largely true, what is also true is that if you approach it like any other continuing education and business development activity, there is TONS of value to be had (sorry in advance if we met at the show…my follow-up is coming shortly 😀).

Shameless Plug – SourceCode Amplify has gotten some AMAZING new updates. If you’re looking for a nice way to quickly and easily leverage all your hard-earned….earned (see what I did there?), reach out to Kevin. We’re happy to give you a 5-minute demo and give ya a freebie.

This week, we’re banging on about the effectiveness of highly-targeted marketing, an overview of Apple Intelligence, and a fun take on Cannes from the Marketoonist.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Greg

Get personal: More ad networks are launching these days, providing unique opportunities to reach target audiences

TL;DR: United Airlines just launched its own media network, Kinective Media, to connect brands with consumers by using travel behavior data, like your seat location or the time of day you’re flying, to offer more personalized ads and content. Marriott, Expedia, and Macy’s are already among the brands and agencies using the platform to reach consumers on United’s mobile app and inflight entertainment screens. United isn’t the only one getting creative in launching its own network – Walmart and Spotify are two of the more recent front-runners – but it is the first to launch within the airline industry.

Takeaway: The future of marketing and communications is deeply personalized. Just think about your own consumption habits. You’re probably getting bombarded with ads and brand messaging – it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Targeted media networks, like United’s Kinective, allow brands to reach consumers more directly and break through all the noise. While they’re still new, they do have compelling metrics and promising new consumer data. At the end of the day, no campaign platform can guarantee success. So, it might be worthwhile to consider rerouting some of your traditional Meta or Google spend toward some of these more unique opportunities.

Consider:

  • Are your traditional media networks working for you? Or could you benefit from trying out a new ad network?
  • Using travel behavior data is United’s way of reaching consumers directly where they are. Where is your audience? How can you reach them through personalized campaigns based on their behaviors, habits, or interests?

Meet the new AI on the block: What marketers can learn from the rollout of Apple Intelligence

TL;DR: Apple’s introduction of Apple Intelligence, its new multimodal, cross-platform approach to AI, landed with a bang. The tech will soon be available on every Apple platform and device, including generative AI features and improved Siri, thanks to a partnership with OpenAI and ChatGPT. While time will tell if Apple Intelligence’s features provide a benefit to consumers, one thing is clear: if Apple adopts it across its entire ecosystem, it’s going to be a major move forward for AI in the public zeitgeist. 

Takeaway: Apple Intelligence will help many people make sense of AI and, hopefully, dispel public fear of the technology. That’s a huge move for tech marketers and brands. A household brand name like Apple bringing AI tech to users worldwide will ideally encourage more technical innovation and get people excited about AI. As communicators, it’s also important to note how Apple’s working on the rollout of Apple Intelligence. It’s leading with education and clarity, with explainers in many forms – from an interactive webpage with thorough and clear language to a 5-minute TL;DR style video on the highlights. Apple’s messaging is for the everyday user, not the tech expert. Instead of including buzzy, mysterious marketing jargon to excite users, Apple’s messaging makes AI approachable, understandable, and, thus, less scary.

Consider:

  • How can you take a note from Apple’s book and make your messaging as clear as possible to dispel concerns or confusion about your technology?
  • Can Apple Intelligence’s new tools help your team become more efficient in your work? Can these tools help your brand better position your product offering?

We also checked in with our resident AI expert Kevin Dulaney to get his thoughts on all of this. Here’s what he had to say:

Don’t limit creativity: Lessons from Cannes Lions 2024

TL;DR: Last week, advertising and marketing pros flocked to the south of France for the 70th annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The week-long industry event celebrates and awards the top work in advertising and creative direction, as well as fostering deep discussions about the future of creativity. Using his iconic illustrative style, Marketoonist (aka Tom Fishburne) summarized Cannes Lions as this: true creativity can’t be forced, it must be fostered – but many industry leaders don’t fully understand that.

Takeaway: We love laughing at Marketoonist’s work as much as the next person, but the message at the core of his work isn’t a joke. Celebrations like Cannes Lions can inspire creatives to unleash their full potential, showcasing the great impact your work can make when you let your unique, original ideas come to life. But in actuality, many of these ideas get squashed before they ever see the light of day. The winners at Cannes Lions are thriving because they take risks, embrace being different, and champion truly creative work.

Consider:

  • Think about the last time your team came up with a unique, creative idea. Did you embrace it with open arms? Or did you water it down with compromises?
  • Try to foster creative work instead of forcing it. How can you invite more unique, outside-the-box ideas? Perhaps you could: create more regular opportunities for team members to share creative ideas, encourage folks to share more imperfect ideas, or reassess your processes to dismantle creative roadblocks.