CANNES – Sailing against companies like Facebook and Google, Oath—the combined AOL-Yahoo entity—finds itself navigating deeply competitive waters. So it’s apt that the person chosen to pilot the new vessel, John DeVine, not only ran Yahoo’s global operations but also is a former U.S. Navy officer.

Oath is a portfolio of more than 50 media and tech entities that Verizon accumulated with its acquisition of AOL and, most recently, Yahoo. It’s hoping that its “ton of quality brands” from Yahoo’s news and sports franchises to Huffington Post, TechCrunch and others will represent a trusted port for marketers in a sea of not always reputable options.

“We’re really excited about the reaction we’re getting to the Oath name and the Oath brand and the Oath value proposition,” says DeVine as the company made its debut at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Oath is hoping that the perception of trust will be a big differentiator.

“When you put the trusted brands, the trusted data and the trusted distribution together, we think there’s really an opportunity that the marketplace is looking for to build brands with trust,” says DeVine, who served in the Navy before founding and leading McKinsey & Co’s B2B/B2C Customer Experience Practice. He joined Yahoo four years ago.

Mobile, video and content marketing are keystones of the company’s strategy. “We think brands will be built on the mobile device,” he says. “Oath is investing in building out quality video ad supply but also really innovative ad positions that let marketers and let brand builders get their brand out in video.”

At Cannes, DeVine is inspired by the work he’s seen in virtual and augmented reality, 360 video and holographic advertising, among other things. “It’s just great to see the innovation that’s happening.”

He also perceives a desire on the part of marketers to change the way they engage with consumers on their phones. Not just a “one-way, interruptive ad protocol but something that’s really much more interactive and two-way.

“So I think the creativity that’s happening there around the mobile device and the way to bring brands through the phone is really energizing.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s Coverage of Cannes Lions 2017. For more from the series, please visit this page.

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