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Special Report: Cannes

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Special Report: Cannes

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Every June the best and  brightest of the ad industry head to Cannes for the celebrated annual Cannes Lions advertising festival. But just because all of us couldn’t enjoy the sun and  sand s at the French Riviera doesn’t mean we couldn’t follow along with the action. Thanks to social media those interested in the festival could track the happenings in (almost) real time.

If there was one thing consistent among Lion winners it was convergence. This year brand s found ways to combine the physical world with existing technologies to invent new products and  experiences altogether. For example, Best Buy found a way to use Twitter to create the Twelpforce, a customer service team that could (and  would) answer any question via Twitter. Nike’s chalkbot aggregated inspirational tweets and  painted them onto the course of the tour de France, sending a picture back to the creator of the message. And Volkswagen promoted its new blue-motion technology by making everyday things like taking the stairs and  throwing away trash a fun interactive experience.

Clearly, the luminaries of the ad industry are finding ways translating immersive digital experiences into the real world. And if they can’t find a way to do it, they’ll invent a way. But equally interesting at the festival were the ways in which attendees and  participants used technology and  social media during the festival. This year, judges of the festival were allowed to tweet during the judging process for the first time ever. To make the best use of the service, judges agreed on a common hashtag (#cyberjury) to make it easier to follow the conversation. Whether Twitter influenced the integrity of the judging process or not, the idea of using social media to communicate what goes on behind closed doors definitely helped provide insight on the Judges’ thoughts.

But perhaps the most compelling non-brand ed example of convergence was found in David on Demand . David Perez, a creative recruiter at Leo Burnett, received a trip to Cannes on the premise that he do everything that people on twitter told him to do and  film it. Among many things David got a haircut, conquered his fear of heights, drove a boat, and  got a tattoo (of the fail whale, appropriately). He also garnered a lot of press, and  became the most discussed topic of the festival at one point.

As exciting as it is to see adoption of emerging technologies and  the smart application of existing ones, we’ll have to wait another year to see what’s on the radar. Or if someone outdoes David at   attempting to pole dance.

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