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Carpe the Digital Diem with IBMiX at Cannes!
It never ceases to amaze me how fast the world is changing. When I first began attending the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity as a creative director five years ago I would have told you then that I had seen the future, and it looked incredible. Five years on, as I prepare to head to the South of France as Global Chief Creative Officer of IBM Interactive Experience, all I can say is, how things have changed, with the additional honor of my selection as a juror for the Digital Craft Lions, a new award category. I can honestly say that I could not be more thrilled to attending Cannes as a creative who is shaping the future in the cognitive era.
It all kicks off in just under a week, when the world’s leading marketers, advertisers, publishers, tech companies, and creatives gather to celebrate creativity and business in a post-digital landscape. The festival is a global magnet for the best and brightest people and innovations. This year, they will be competing with a new generation of creatives, in a category that recognizes creativity at the intersection of art, code, data and business. The Digital Craft Lions recognizes the craft that goes into using technology as a canvas to create exceptional user experiences, rather than the creative idea itself.
Why does this matter? Because the complex problems of business and brands today requires creativity powered by new tools and technology. Messaging alone can no longer solve a brand’s challenges. Modern business demands a deep understanding of the customer and industry, combined with ingenious use of technology, such as algorithms and exabytes of secure data, all designed to drive new revenue and growth.
Digital Craft Lions is a public affirmation of the work we have produced at iX. It supports my belief that we define creativity in the cognitive era. As creative business leaders and inventors we transform big ideas into exceptional experiences that matter for our clients, and the world.
A great example is our collaboration with IBM Research Cognitive Lab earlier this year. We designed a digital war room to augment the expertise of the Toronto Raptors through IBM Sports Insights Central, a collaborative and interactive decision-making, and player evaluation tool. The room’s interactive curved wall technology, touch-screen tabletop and mobile extension gives the Raptors uses data visualization and advanced analytics to get a consolidated view of players and make championship decisions for their team.
The Raptors allowed us to redefine creativity and deliver a cognitive experience, designed with data not long after Ad Age’s agency report in 2015 that forecast a changing agency landscape. The report noted “how old-line agency companies face increasing competition in digital marketing from consulting and tech-services firms.” At IBM iX we are leading that charge and growing rapidly to meet demand with the acquisition of four stellar companies that bring a unique set of capabilities and talent in digital and creative.
As designers we know that with every innovation we create has cultural impact. Our work has the potential to accelerate progress on social issues, including one that is close to my heart, Gender Equality and digital fluency for girls and women. This year we’re teaming up once again with the Girl’s Lounge. Their “go to” destination for women at industry conferences encourages women to connect, collaborate and inspire each other and advance the business ecosystem toward global equality. Those who know me (and follow me through social) know that I’m passionate about ensuring that women have a seat at the table in the post-digital revolution.
When I launched my career as a designer and artist, only three percent of women made up the ranks of Creative Directors and we saw that imbalance carried through to the Cannes Juries. I’m happy to share that this year marks an important milestone. Cannes juries for 2016 comprises 40 percent women, up from 31 percent last year, and a record number for the Festival.
IBMiX at Cannes: with more diversity comes more creativity.
This year our IBM iX Cannes Lions events include a connected soccer game on the beach, in front of the Martinez hotel, that we are hosting with The Girls Lounge to show how technology drives female empowerment. We’re sponsoring the Mobile Awards Ceremony, recognizing device-driven creativity through a hand-held device or wearable that enables key aspects of the execution, and Gorham Palmer, Executive Creative Director and Creative Practice Lead on Watson Health for IBM iX is delivering an interactive talk and his perspective on cognitive experience in healthcare: “I’m Sorry Doctor, I Can’t Do That.”
In a game on or game over environment, in which business stakes are to disrupt, or be disrupted, post-digital innovation is shaping the future of every industry. I am exhilarated to be a participant in this new age of global enlightenment, fueled by technology, storytelling, design, and imagination. The festival is our showcase and opportunity to shine before a global audience. Join us through social channels as we introduce a new era of cognitive creativity at Cannes.
Learn more about what iX has planned at Cannes Lions 2016 and stay tuned for exciting updates as we model creativity in the cognitive era at the Palais!