Cannes Lions 2019
Where worlds merge to unite

Today, the world of PR, marketing and advertising are connected in more than one way, which are both complex and granular. As the countdown to Cannes Lions 2019 commences, amidst the grand celebration of talent and creativity, we witness how the emergence of distinct worlds, namely PR, marketing and advertising, increasingly collaborate to create the ultimate success for a business. Brands now understand, that intelligent coordination between advertising, PR and marketing can bring credibility, consistency and greater visibility to their corporate communications messages.

Irrespective of the multiple developments taking place through technology and other means, within these individual sectors there are some common grounds, all three mentioned divisions overlap on. Let’s have a closer look at some of these similarities:



Within each sector, there is a hidden art: to tell a compelling narrative – which has a beginning middle, end. We have witnessed this to be the pivotal point where often the worlds of PR, Advertising and marketing merge to create this magic. Moreover, a study from USC Annenberg Centre found that PR professionals have identified storytelling as the most crucial campaign tool in the near future. However, the avenues for reaching customers have multiplied tremendously in recent years, making it vastly more difficult for PR to understand where to tell that story. This is where marketers excel; through data analyzation, marketing is able to identify and predict where the company’s message will be heard the most. Working closely together ensures a sound narrative for its audiences.

Overall, a brand’s story is not just something businesses should refer to every time they launch a marketing campaign. It should be the foundation on which a future growth strategy is built. Often, to create that engaging story, the marketing teams work closely with the advertising/PR department to ensure the story obtains longevity and restores purpose for the brand. After all, a good story, told in the most effective manner is guaranteed to remain impactful.


Creativity at its peak

This year Cannes Lions 2019 is celebrating ‘diversity’ and ‘creativity’ of ideas like never before. An example of this unity will be on display at Cannes Lions 2019, through a segment hosted by industry leaders on “Courageous Conversations” in pursuit to break all barriers associated with our respective industry and celebrate creativity. They also aim to come together on various topics to discuss the art of diversity and creativity which lies within this industry and how to further encourage this movement to grow.

In any campaign, agencies understand that creativity must be at the forefront. From designers to copy writer, if the story or campaign is to stand strong and captivate its audience, each profession must bring their creativity to the table. The Cannes Lions world has never valued creativity than ever before. Although each sector brings its individualism in the form of different ideas, they are united in the name of creativity…


They complement each other

We are witnessing more integrated campaigns than ever before. For example, PR now supports lead generation and paid campaigns in the following way; they use data from an industry or consumer survey to secure media coverage, and later repurpose the data for content marketing. This shows how at different stages of a campaign, each offering provided from a particular sector is almost co-dependant on the other, if a campaign is to make an impact in today’s day and age.

Every sector is attempting to accomplish one key aim: and that is spread a message or awareness. It is just each point the significance of the various sectors (be it marketing or advertising or PR) come to life. For example, begins by defining the narrative from the marketing team, given its spin by advertising’s charm and left with PR to complete the last mile. Just think of milk and cookies – they just go together and similarly so do these sectors.


We must respect the distinctions as well

Does this mean all firms/agencies are the same? No two agencies are ever the same. They are differentiated through their offerings and in turn, create value and distinction: this may mean devising a particular methodology to addressing client problems, an approach to developing and incentivising staff, a process for integrating campaigns etc. Such distinctions underpin an agency’s proposition, not merely to clients, but to staff and other stakeholders. It is important to respect these distinctions and understand that one division cannot replace the other. Team work makes dream work.

Overall agencies’ creativity now needs to have the greatest commercial impact possible, which demands a far more wide-ranging skillset, as well as a nimbleness to adapt to a multitude of media channels. Ever since the creation of the PR Cannes Lions almost a decade ago, there’s been a growing trend that PR and advertising are connected in multiple ways. They are not one (and will not be) but continue to work in harmony with each other for the greater good: client satisfaction.

This kind of collaboration ultimately helps them create unforgettable campaigns, what they could not have accomplished separately and in turn improves the bottom line the entire fraternity. Hence, this year we’d like to believe Cannes Lions 2019 will continue its tradition, unfold the next big trend and celebrate the finest our industry has to offer.

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