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Getting Down to Earth in Cannes: Intelligent Tires & Bottom-Up Creativity

By Amanda St L Jobbins

Cannes Lions is one of my favorite events for marketing and advertising professionals. The French Riviera in June provided the perfect setting for the annual International Festival of Creativity on communication, commerce, data, and design.

With senior executives from companies like Johnson & Johnson, Lego, PepsiCo, and Pirelli, we had lively debates on two topics that I feel will make a significant impact on the creative services sector.

Technology was our first big topic – specifically, artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, and big data. I’ve seen the work of data scientists and creative marketers coming together to deliver really interesting innovations.

  • Lego is experimenting with voice-activated devices to help blind children build with Lego.
  • Pirelli is using sensors on their tires to understand their customers’ driving styles. We’ve heard about runners with customized footwear, but it looks like drivers will soon be able to get personalized tires!
  • As voice-controlled devices in the home are becoming more mainstream, we also discussed the issue of security and consumer trust, which is now a key consideration for many tech developers.

Campaign magazine hosted the session. You can read more about the panel discussions here.

The second discussion turned to talent recruitment and how to retain a fresh generation of workers. The advantage of diversity is particularly important to creativity. It was great to hear that our panelists shared my belief in hiring from unexpected backgrounds.

Bottom-up creativity can also give companies the competitive edge, and there were a number of comments about not allowing organizational hierarchies to get in the way of ideas from junior staffers being heard. We also agreed that younger workers look for a sense of purpose beyond their paychecks, and companies need to keep this in mind.

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