CANNES — Over the last year, a noticeable apology for ad-tech has grown louder in the advertising community, as ad execs – once sold on hyper-targeting super-powers – cast their eyes back toward the basic tenets of creative ad craft.

To Doug Rozen, that means “making stories matter”. It’s one of the mantras of OMD, the global ad agency where Rozen is chief digital and innovation officer.

And he hopes this week’s return to Cannes Lions, the ad industry get-together that has always aimed to represent creativity in the trade, means a return to recognizing the art of messaging, as well as math.

“It can’t just be the machines alone,” Rozen tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “We, as people, need to really have an understanding for how to apply this new intelligence to marketing communications.”

Whilst Rozen sees technologies like artificial intelligence play a part in the modern marketing mix, he is also advocating what he calls “artful intelligence”.

“I’m really hopeful here at Cannes that we’re going to pivot in to the opportunity of creativity, how we can break through the programmatic world,” he adds “Whilst automation is key to us continuing to drive greater efficiency, we also have an opportunity to be more creative, rise above the banner ad.

“Anyone can make a story. But how do you make it matter to the business to actually drive impact? Storytelling needs to do something.”

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