From the seminars to celebrities to La Croisette, almost every conversation at Cannes has rotated around themes of brands being authentic and the importance of storytelling.
As Sean Combs said, the kids “don't like BS.” I like this new-found zeal. From a PR perspective, it plays to our strengths.
But if Diddy “hates watching TV commercials, like everyone else,” then authentic storytelling can't become just a new way to package up the same old broadcast-style communications.
Truly engaging with people through authenticity and storytelling isn't a campaign or a stunt. It's a dialogue that ebbs and flows between brand and consumer, developing and changing over time. The smart brands get this and are involving their consumers in shaping and telling the story, not just telling it to them.
In Diddy's words, “it's not a one-way street.”
– Richard Kanareck is MD of FleishmanHillard London.
Follow live coverage of Cannes Lions at the Cannes Live blog.