#CannesLions day two: Snapchat, Marilyn Manson, data and more

The second day of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity brought with it numerous content highlights including thoughts on branding from none other than Marilyn Manson, as well as insight into the possibilities artificial intelligence and creativity combined might provide. Here are some of the best bits.

1. Embracing playfulness
Vulnerability and embarrassment were the emotions to seek when exploring creativity yesterday at Cannes Lions, while today turned instead to the role of “play”. Art director and designer Jessica Walsh talked about the idea of playing as a method of feeling challenged, focused, creative and alive. She referred to play as the optimal state of mind to be in to be innovating with our work. But she also said you have to do so within boundaries, that complete freedom is actually restricting. “Creativity really thrives by constraints,” she added.

2. Stop trying to be my BFF
Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel was the big draw of the day, bringing with him numerous tidbits of information about his ephemeral messaging app. It was his view on brands as friends that particularly struck a chord however. Where social media in the past has taught marketers to “act human” or “be a person”, Spiegel insisted doing so is actually kind of weird. The big difference is that brands stay the same over time, he said; keeping to the same message just changing how they express it, while humans change everyday. In a marked shift for how to approach content strategy across the board, he insisted it’s “important to be friendly, but not a buddy” on platforms like Snapchat.

3. Brand lessons from Marilyn Manson
Curiousity got the better of us for rock musician Marilyn Manson’s Cannes Lions debut. He took to the stage with Tor Myhren, worldwide chief executive at Grey Group, with insights about branding in the context of his life achievements. This is a man who chose his stage name, his look, wrote his autobiography and even booked his first venue before he had written a song – branding is at the heart of everything he’s done. But he reminded the audience about the fact today’s consumers can see through something inauthentic: “[They] have to believe in you, you can’t try to sell something that’s fake. They just don’t want it.” He also encouraged brands to go out and seek new fans in a bid to keep evolving: “You can’t get lazy or rest on your laurels about your fanbase. Brands are always thinking about let’s appeal to our [existing] fanbase; I always say let’s make new fans.”

4. Data and creativity
Data is inevitably proving itself as a big message from Cannes Lions already this week, in spite of the fact it’s just day two. Dentsu’s Koichi Yamamoto compared the growth being seen in this space as equivalent to the exponential increases that follow from putting a single grain of rice on a Chessboard and doubling it with every square. By the time you get to the 64th square, you’re at 400bn tons of rice, he said. That’s a pile higher than Mount Everest. He highlighted this alongside the fact it’s been 33 years since the PC launched, meaning we’re only beginning on the second half of the data chessboard, and further exponential growth is just ahead of us. But he placed data in the realm of creativity, urging the advertising crowd to use it as a source for big ideas. The next era with this, he argued, is artificial intelligence. The power of the AI mind paired with the creativity of a human’s will offer endless possibilities, he explained.

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