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An Ode to the Brands Who Raised Their Voice in Cannes

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INFLUENCER: MassiveMusic's Paul Reynolds finds the Lions finally roaring at the 2018 festival

An Ode to the Brands Who Raised Their Voice in Cannes

I’ve been attending Cannes Lions for 16 sweet years now, without missing a single one of these celebrations of creative excellence. Aside from the changes that everyone is talking about (the big brands taking over the beach, less fringe, less festival, my body being made up of 60% rosé and 40% hangover), I saw a major shift in the professional attitude of my beloved industry peers. 

Music was heavily featured in Cannes Lions 2018 and not just for entertainment. Music, sound, sonic branding and brand voice were all hot topics on the agenda for brands and their advertising agencies. There were a lot of talks at the Palais des Festivals on these subjects and The Drum even dedicated their whole Cannes Lions July ‘Listen Here’ issue to the subject.

The conclusion from all this activity is that if you, as a brand, have yet to find your own voice, then you are already way behind the pack. Consumer touch-points have changed so quickly over the last year that if you can't already be heard AND understood as YOU, over mediums like Google Home, Amazon Echo, let alone good old TV (watch out for programmatic) then you'll just get lost in the rest of the noise. 

If you flew to/from Nice with Jet2, you will have been subjected to Jess Glynne's ‘Hold My Hand’ a zillion times as it is their current ‘brand song’ (please stop repeating it again and again and again and again Jet2 - your cabin crew will be parachuting within a few days). Or was it Littlewoods advertising on the flight? Or was it M&S? They have all used the same song, you see.

Cannes has helped reach out to the creative masses and tell us that slapping a bit of music on a communication is now not a good enough solution. The fame game of using well known music on a one-off campaign can drive short-term gains (or drive you insane). But, unless the use of music in communication is an utterly sublime piece of craft like no other, it won’t create any long-term benefit. It could actually be doing your brand a disservice. 

Cannes has told us that brands need a considered and strategic approach to the use of music. The time to find your own voice, to stand out from the crowd, to create your own sonic brand, is now.


Paul Reynolds is managing director & partner at MassiveMusic

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Genres: Music & Sound Design

MassiveMusic London, Thu, 28 Jun 2018 08:48:04 GMT