29th June 2015

Are We Content Promiscuous?

Last week, the creative industry united for seven days at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Joining forces under the Riviera sunshine, inventors, marketers, advertisers and such shared inspiration and innovation in a celebration of the creative mind.  And, while I wasn’t there to enjoy the buzz, the hashtag #CannesLions provided a live feed of updates.

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From full frontal content and digital storytelling, to soulful advertising and visual narrative, the programme of talks was intriguing and the titles even better. A few of my favourites included: “How to survive a zombie attack (and harness cultural trends to grow brands)”; “Nailing jelly to a tree and other wild goose chases”; and “Retaining young creative talent with purpose, technology and dragons”. Jelly and dragons? I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.

Among the creative hyperboles, there was one title that stuck out to me – and not just because of its lack of mythical creatures. Ben Cooper, controller at Radio 1 and 1Xtra, Jez Nelson, CEO at Somethin’ Else, Tom Standage, deputy editor at The Economist, and Lauren Laverne, DJ, broadcaster, writer and entrepreneur, joined forces to deliver a talk named: “Loyalty is dead: creating content for today’s platform surfers”.

Modern audiences are like kids in a sweet shop, seamlessly switching from channel to channel and digesting content as they go. We wake up with Facebook, drive to work with broadcast, drink our coffee with the tabloids and eat our meal deals with Twitter. In a world where people can catch up with the general election in just 140 characters, is it possible to be loyal to one particular platform? Of course not!

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But, our insatiable thirst for cross-channel content is throwing up a challenge for brands and even forcing fundamental change in the way they communicate. Choosing to ignore our new-found content promiscuity may lead brands to overlook a large proportion of their audience. By enforcing platform-neutral marketing strategies instead, brands can ensure that the end user is at the heart of their content. Integrated communications will ultimately give brands a better chance of holding our attention amid our ever-changing preference for media platforms.

By Hannah Todd, B2B Account Executive