Getting Personal in Cannes

After several days of sessions, forums, workshops and speakers, and a quick review of the winning PR Lions, I see an interesting trend emerging. What is it you wonder? Well, it’s personal.

In fact, it goes beyond personal to what I am calling “hyper-personal.” Here’s what I am seeing.

“Commercial” Award Winners Got Personal

Many of the winning PR Lions campaigns were for NGOs, causes or “purpose-driven” campaigns. The commonalities that propelled these brands to win was hyper-personalization. Examples include 7-Eleven/Australia’s (client) “Bring In YOUR Own Cup” campaign; J&J/Canada’s (client) “Apology” campaign for its OB brand, which featured a completely personalized, on-demand music video; and Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke with ____,” complete with personalized soda cans.

Cannes Content Takes a Personal Turn

In addition to the winning cases, session content has showcased a number of cases, examples and speakers that prominently featured hyper-personalization.

Nike’s presentation on the Fuel Band campaign (which went on to win a Grand Prix in the Cyber Lions) and its Nike Training initiative are built on the premise of hyper-personalization, enabling every user to track and compare daily effort.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo shared how Twitter’s strategy of “Twitter brings YOU closer to (pick your topic)” is a way to put users in “the front row seat to communications with anyone in the world.” Twitter was founded with hyper-personalization at its core and is now seeing users engage at a rate of 400 million tweets a day.

Based on what I’m seeing here at Cannes, making our work hyper-personal will be a key to marketing consumer brands moving forward, starting now.

Kelley is a Partner and Director of Ketchum’s Global Brand Marketing Practice. She is the author of of the business book, Too Busy to Shop: Marketing to Multi-Minding Women (Praeger/Mar 2009) and the architect of the widely-publicized Women 25to54 offering.