CANNES – People in advertising and media disagree about many things, but a more consumer-centric approach to both video content and advertising is a big exception. This was more than evident during a panel discussion at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity as part of the FreeWheel Forum on the Future of Television.

MediaLink Managing Partner Matt Spiegel prefaced the conversation by calling into question the age-old format of 40 minutes of TV content leavened with 20 minutes of commercials. Encountering no disagreement, Spiegel elicited the following condensed thoughts from the varied panelists.

Amanda Richman, CEO, Wavemaker US: “This battle for attention is really sparking different ways of working. And we’re excited about now it’s becoming less of a focus just on the precision and data and targeting and keeping that within the realms of digital media only. And maybe back to the creative agencies and a different level of collaboration to recognize that we need to actually help develop the stories and messages that are bespoke to these new ad formats and platforms and broader distribution.”

John Osborn, CMO, OMD USA: “I think media more and more is just as innovative and in some ways just as creative as the creative storytellers in a creative agency. No one’s ever gone wrong by considering the consumer first and foremost. You’re seeing I think some real evolution in terms of innovation in different formats if you think of what Fox is doing with JAZ pods or NBC with Prime Pods and you’re seeing a variety of different formats coming to life. But I think a lot of the conversation is around formats. I think more and more we have to change and tilt the conversation more to experiences.”

Allyson Witherspoon, GM, Global Brand Engagement, Nissan: “Relevancy becomes what the experience is because we know so much more about who our consumers are and what their interests are that we need to be serving up content and experiences to them that’s relevant. In the case of automotive, we know when they’re going to be in market, we even know what type of vehicle that they’re in market for. So we should not be advertising a van to them if they’re interested in a sedan and we know that type of information. And then it’s to the point of how you can combine media and creative to actually deliver that message, which I think is still not something that we’re able to do at scale but it’s definitely something that we’re trying to build towards.”

Pooja Midha, President, true[X]: I’m heartened and I love the discussion that’s happening these days around bringing the consumer back to the center. While I’ve not been with the company terribly long, true[X] has been around for years and really from the beginning said we need to think about the consumer. We need to respect the consumer. We have got to think about messaging and context, advertising and an experience that is worthy of that consumer’s attention. If we’re not delivering that, then we really have no right to be there and to be expecting something back. It’s nice to be in Cannes because everyone we work with is represented. The creative side of the business, the media side of the business, the agency side, client marketers even the technology companies and measurement companies we partner with to deliver.”

This video is from a series of videos and sessions produced in partnership with FreeWheel at Cannes 2018 as part of the FreeWheel Forum on the Future of Television. You can find more videos from this series here.