Our founder, Gareth Moss, was asked by The Drum to report on his favourite talk during the recent Cannes Festival of Creativity.
With over 300 marketing industry speakers making presentations on creativity, technology and ideas, the Cannes Lions festival was certainly the place to be last week. Gareth Moss, founder of The Blueprint, had the tough choice of identifying his favourite speaker of the week, and went for Ben Jones of AKQA who shared his philosophy on the subject of innovation
Ben opened with an emotionally charged video focusing the audience's minds to find something you believe in and then go "all the way" to make it happen - even if it means losing your friends, your marriage and even your mind. What a start! He had the audience on the edges of their seats.
Throughout the presentation, Ben talked in a direct, humorous and cut-through-the-bullshit style. He spoke about "Add-vertising" - where adding value to people's lives should take priority over endless one-way advertising. The aim is not to create consumers but to inspire champions. The future of engaging with people by creating something remarkable, he told us. Something emotional. Something human that people can connect with. And the shift from the internet to what Ben called the "huma-net".
He also talked about "Moodies" - apps where you can understand how people feel. This excited him so much he spoke of getting a "pilo-erection" (that's goosebumps to you and me).
Ben spoke passionately of how indistinguishable technology should be from magic and referenced brands like Cirque du Soleil and Über as providers of great experiences (though the latter was a controversial choice last week among Cannes delegates as taxi strikes played out throughout France and left people scrambling to get to the airport by train and bus). He went on to explore a future where we have our own personal algorithm and people no longer have to do chores like shopping, banking and social media updates - they just get their personal algorithm to do it for them.
Ben inspired the audience to think like children - be curious, be naïve, be a deliberate beginner. Become "ThinkerMakers". Don't be an adult, be an optimist - gauge for success in building remarkable things. You know you've built something remarkable, said Ben, when you've phoned your mum to tell her.
Ben's checklist to go all the way:
Change your inputs
Take the friction out
Re-assess the vision
Serve the champions
Look through the eyes of a child
Go all the way
In addition to Ben's checklist, here are The Blueprint's essentials to making a festival go all the way...
Uber, the taxi hailing service, put on a special Cannes edition of the Ubercopter for festival goers, flying along the coast.
Gareth Moss is managing director of The Blueprint, the business design and headhunting consultancy.