The industry is ‘hypnotised’ by tech platforms, says PHD global CEO

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 20 June 2018
Mike Cooper

The industry has become “hypnotised” by marketing tech and data platforms, leading to a reduced focus on creativity, PHD global CEO Mike Cooper said at Cannes Lions.

Cooper added that the focus has shifted away from creativity towards platforms like Facebook and Google, which he believes play a role, but aren’t the entire solution.

“There’s a major focus on programmatic and data across the industry, and brands and agencies are at risk of over targeting consumers,” he said.

“In some ways, that’s really taken the focus off the fundamental levers of growth, which are innovation and creativity."

Referencing a 2016 study from Warc, which found that creatively awarded work is 500% more effective than non-awarded work, Cooper said it's clear that creativity has never been more important to brand growth.

“Creativity is having a mid-life crisis. More and more brands are looking to their agencies to refocus creativity in the face of tech and automation,” he said.

In previous years, ad tech players have taken over Cannes Lions with a heavy presence on the beach and harbour, which has led to backlash from agencies who once dominated the festival.

At this year's event, it seems the ad tech players have scaled back their presence and the festival's programming slate has focused heavily on creativity.

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