Cannes Summit 2017 “Everywhere Screen” – A Recap
Improve Digital Cannes Summit Day One
During the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in June, Improve Digital has invited 50 pan-European leaders in the publishing, media and content industries to join us for the fifth edition of the annual Improve Digital Cannes Summit. This year’s theme: Everywhere Screen – Defining the Screen Age Together.
Gathering in the impressive Chateau de Begude, 16 expert speakers from the likes of MediaMath, M6, The Next Web and MediaCom joined several Improve Digital executives in sharing their knowledge and views on trends in the industry, with a focus on video and transparency. Opening the Cannes Summit was newly appointed Improve Digital CEO Sebastiaan Moesman. In his remarks, he emphasized the importance of transparency, and the fact that the value of it is based on trust and truth, very much alike in building relations with humans. He concludes that with the situation at the momentsue, where trust isn’t necessarily justified, it’s essential to go back to the building human relationships with each other.
Isabelle Ringnes, founder and CEO of TENK
Showing attendees what’s possible beyond human imagination and what might be humanly possible was Isabelle Ringnes, founder and CEO of TENK. In her presentation: How exponential technologies are creating a future beyond our imagination, she underlined that more technology advances have taken place in the last 200 years than in all previous years of human history. A piece future tech that is rapidly becoming ‘this day and age tech’ is AR and AI: “it will be as common in our lives as three meals a day”. Exploring the possibilities with this innovation, Ringnes mirrored the concern that has been expressed in the publishing and media industry. Robots that are better at humans at buying media cause the industry to rethink what it’s doing. Due to AR and AI, 1.1 billion jobs will be redundant in the next 20 years and if we’re not careful AI could be human’s the last invention. While these prospects didn’t instill a lot of hope for the successful future, her conclusion reinvigorated what we all work for in our industries with Alan Kay’s quote: “The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented.”
Yillmaz Schoen, CEO of TradeCast
Following this call to take control of the future, Yillmaz Schoen, CEO of TradeCast took the stage. In this presentation, Video, it’s all about control, adapt or die, he showed that disrupting the publishing, television and online industries as we know them can be something that anyone in these industries can get a grip on. We should come to terms with the fact that content and viewability in closed systems across the industries force all the players to experience it like Hotel California: you can check in but you can never leave. So, what next? It’s all about control, Schoen told the attendees. This means both control of your content distribution as well as ensuring that you receive the best metrics out there for you. Adapt your content so that it adds an extra interactive layer and personalise it, turning viewers into participants. Giving them exclusive experiences is another step to move towards the next screen age.
Build your app for interaction
Taking the knowledge shared to a practical level, attendees moved outside on the venue’s green to join Thomas Engel, Creative Director at The Capitals and John Almeida, Product Manager Mobile at Improve Digital for their workshop ‘Build your app for interaction’. After educating participants about the possibilities in mobile, and its impact, they were invited to design their own mobile programmatic strategies according to the user profiles that were given. It was not surprising that for both editions of the workshops, both groups had very different tactics and strategies that were shared. A great opportunity to see what moves different kinds of content providers, and how user experience can be integrated with the ultimate result that the participants wanted to achieve.
How to create out of the box revenue
The other group joined Yotam Cohen, co-founder and COO of Wibbitz and Dana Ghazzi, Video Product Manager at Improve Digital for a workshop exploring How to create out of the box revenue. In their workshop, Cohen and Ghazzi showed content providers a whole new way of creating video content when they don’t have any themselves. By using the automated video creation platform Wibbitz, a partner of Improve Digital, content providers can repurpose text inventory as video inventory and share it on their platforms. Finding new ways to monetize video content, participants enjoyed a live demonstration of what would be possible.
Rich Media Panel
Programmatic rich media is kicking ass: discussing the challenges and opportunities
A panel on rich media concluded the first day of the Improve Digital Cannes Summit. The panel ‘Programmatic rich media is kicking ass: discussing the challenges and opportunities’ featured Rogier Lammers, Director Business Development Nordics at Improve Digital as its moderator and panellists Jamie Wilson, EVP EMEA at Perform, Alexander Spiesberger, VP Sales at JustPremium, Andrew Buckman, EMEA Managing Director at Sublime Skinz and Yann le Roux, MD France at IAS. Panellists shared their opinions on the metrics: “As we see TV and new digital video teams converging, we see metrics for video converging” (Yann le Roux) and “CTR is the most known metric, but not the most relevant one. Moving away from CTR is progress” (Alexander Spiesberger); budgets: “The big brand bucks are in TV: there is a certain laziness to translate TV to digital. Users’ patience is not long enough to digest long TV video ads in a digital space. They can’t just be duplicated, they need to be reimagined for digital” (Jamie Wilson); mobile: “It’s hard to capture user’s attention on mobile. It’s a challenge to make people stick long enough to show them enough” (Yann le Roux); and UX and formats: “There is a responsibility for publishers to engage with user in a manner that isn’t too intrusive for the user. How do we go premium? It’s all down to the right format” (Jamie Wilson) and “We need formats that encourage interaction” (Andrew Buckman).
The day concluded with a sun-filled beach side dinner and a smashing after party. With their feet in the sand Summit attendees were joined by other advertising, programmatic, media and video professionals in sipping G&T’s, mojitos and enjoying special shaved ice-cream, discussing the inspiration experienced on the first day of the Improve Digital Cannes Summit.
Improve Digital Cannes Summit Day Two
Sue Unerman, Chief Transformation Officer at MediaCom
Hanging on to the ‘Hangover Kits’, supplied to the Summit’s attendees after the beach side party, the second day of the Summit kicked off with an opening by Sue Unerman, Chief Transformation Officer at MediaCom. Her presentation, ‘If it ain’t broke, it soon will be’ called the attendees to action: we need to change the rules of media and advertising businesses to save them. Programmatic and robots are now better at our jobs, but this is not something negative. It opens up a myriad of possibilities. “The robots are taking over and the industry will all be very simple” she expressed in a mix of hope and criticism: “How did we allow this industry to get so murky?”. Using the Cynefin Rules Framework, Unerman identified that the industry needs to identify what rules it needs, and how we move towards them.
Jochen Witte Director Audience & Platform at Admeira
This point of view from the media agency and advertisers was followed up by a case presentation of Admeira’s Director Audience & Platform, Jochen Witte. In his case study, ‘Think global, act local – battling the world’s giants Google and Facebook’he explained more about Admeira’s position in the Swiss and European publishing markets and how they formed their unique composition to gain their strong position in the market. “The holy grail is to see the whole consumer journey from online to tv and back”.
Beyond smoke and mirrors: how to face the transparency issues head on
Jochen Witte also joined for the panel which was up next: ‘Beyond smoke and mirrors: how to face the transparency issues head on’. Moderator Bert Jan ten Kate, founder and CEO at Massarius, was joined by Guillaume Charles, Deputy Director General of M6 and Robert Franke, Head of Agency & Programmatic Sales at Marktplaats in a lively discussion between audience and panelists on transparency. Not only the impact and challenges regarding transparency were discussed, but, maybe even more important, what transparency is and means for different players in the adtech ecosystem. “We are sitting on a gold mine, now we just need to get in” stated Jochen Witte. Bert Jan ten Kate added the critical question: “When selecting vendors, what is more important, revenue or transparency?” One of the answer to this question: “look at their roles and their business models to determine your own boundaries.”
Greg Williams, co-founder and SVP Business Development of MediaMath
MediaMath’s co-founder and SVP Business Development Greg Williams followed the vibrant debate with his session ‘The next generation supply chain – a call to action’. His claim: “the adtech industry needs to make it easy for buyers and marketers to make the right choices. We owe it to them.” The promises that we’ve made to buyers and marketers as an industry have set us up for a no-lose proposition, but, he states: everything isn’t rose and champagne on yachts in the south of France. As an industry, programmatic has no other choice but to grow up. In doing so, we must confront several realities in the ecosystem, such as fraud, fees, waste and ad-blockers, and solve for a sustainable future. That means we need to strive to market to real people, using a fully aligned supply chain with accountability to driving the marketer outcomes at fair prices for the content provider.
Jan-Willem Borsboom, VP Enterprise Solutions at Improve Digital
In his presentation following Greg Williams, Jan-Willem Borsboom, VP Enterprise Solutions at Improve Digital shared what is beyond the horizon for Improve Digital in his presentation: ‘Header bidding is dead, long live the header’. In explaining the Header Bidding product that has recently released, Borsboom underlined the fact that header bidding is a stepping-stone to the next level of programmatic advertising. Improve Digital is developing products that take content providers one step closer to a fully holistic solution. Essential is to work hard to correctly and carefully addressing the transparency issues content providers are facing and together, build on the future of the adtech ecosystem. Placing the developments inside Improve Digital’s technology 360 Polaris, he compared programmatic strategy and choosing the right partner to a car: look beyond the, sometimes flashy, exterior to the engine. This you can use for many more purposes than just one single strategy. It evolves with you. 360 Polaris is the engine that powers content providers’ strategies and is customisable to anyone’s preferences.
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, co-founder and CEO at The Next Web
Closing the second and final day of the Summit is The Next Web co-founder and CEO Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten. His claim: ‘The Future of Publishing is Personal’. Drawing from his experience in running TNW conference in Amsterdam as well as TNW publishing platform, he vowed to share eight misconceptions of the future media with the Summit attendees. He advocates that it’s very important for advertisers and content providers alike to realise that in today’s tech focused society, they are not competing for the consumer’s attention. They are competing to be part of the consumer’s attention. And this is not easy when nowadays anyone with an internet connection can be a publisher. It needs to be easier for publishers to write and publish, just as easy for anyone else who writes on the web.
From all presentations of all speakers across the two days of the Improve Digital Cannes Summit, one thing is clear concludes Improve Digital CEO Sebastiaan Moesman: “Collaboration is applicable more than ever across the whole of the adtech ecosystem. For this collaboration to flourish and to be realised, we need to reinstate trust in each other. The inspiration and conversation that the sessions stimulated was further discussed during the Summit’s networking activities. During a round of golf, a golf clinic or the wine tasting, attendees could wind down, discuss learnings and insights with each other and connect.
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