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Could Immersive Tech Steal the Show at Cannes 2019?


INFLUENCER: makemepulse's Sarah Cutler on how immersive experiences and innovative tech will slot seamlessly into the creative landscape

Could Immersive Tech Steal the Show at Cannes 2019?

‘Alexa, turn off the Sonos will you’ says my mother-in-law mid WhatsApp video call. By the end of our chat she has also added a variety of items to her shopping list and added our next family get together to the diary. She is 72 in a matter of weeks and by no means an ‘early adopter’.

I could blast you with statistics about technology usage, engagement, data and why this means we are (finally) taking immersive and technology categories seriously, but I’ll save that for the ad-tech company sessions! The reality is that immersive and innovate technology is in our homes and our lives - and not just for millennials and Gen Z. As a result, brands and their agencies have to think about how to communicate in these spaces if they want to remain relevant.

The work that I hope will win at Cannes will be less about cool technology, but instead about technology seamlessly helping us deliver on a big idea. It could be purpose led, it could be pure entertainment! 

In the last year there have been some brilliant creative projects that use technology in a smart way, for example Storysign from FCB Inferno. There is also a shift to thinking about how more traditional campaigns can be elevated by technology, so suddenly you find a social campaign being considered for the immersive and technology campaigns like we experienced with the AI project ‘AiMen’ that we collaborated with BETC Paris on a couple of years ago. It is exciting to see how brands like Ubisoft are having success within social by using technology to underpin their communications. 

‘In Real Life’ is important for brands and it is increasingly coming with a separate budget to the more traditional advertising activations. Brands like adidas and Nike are combining real-world and experiences with leading edge tech for exclusive merchandise launches, entertainment companies are launching shows through theatrical immersive installations. The public can so often participate with these experiences with their existing smart phones rather than needing a custom device, opening them back out to the masses! I think we will see a lot of these projects up for consideration this year.

More and more technology has seamlessly found its way into our lives and homes so the resulting campaigns and activations to showcase this will fit seamlessly into the Cannes line up. However I believe that what it takes to win will still be about creativity, craft and purpose. 

Why? Because if you ask my mother-in-law what her favourite ad of recent years is, it's the ‘One where the man carries a dog in a baby carrier’. She liked it because it was funny, made her think of her recently deceased dog and reminded her she needed to order something off Amazon. The campaigns that she will remember on the phone or voice assistant will still need to be a combination of funny, useful and relevant, not just technology for the sake of it!

Sarah Cutler is director of partnerships at makemepulse

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makemepulse, Fri, 14 Jun 2019 12:37:54 GMT