SnapChats hidden brilliance at Cannes.

Facebook beach. Twitter beach. YouTube beach. Daily Mail yacht. Spotify and Twitter party. All things you couldn’t really ignore whilst on the ground at Cannes Lions through to the Thursday whilst I was there.

All with big noisy presence and freebies, fighting for attention and trying to attract the right people for a good time. Putting on talks, getting the senior people on the stage to spread the word on new product launches partnerships or features.

Meanwhile, SnapChat merely takes the biggest advertising spot going on the front of the Palais. No mention of anyone from SnapChat on the speakers list and no parties… That I know of.

Now parties and free swag might have been going on behind the scenes with people who control far bigger marketing budgets than myself. It was mentioned a couple of times in conversation that ‘it’s strange they aren’t doing more’.

However, what they were more importantly achieving with very little effort is practicing what they preach – simple high impact advertising and branding in front of a key audience.

Their platform sales pitch is simple. Three products (Snap ads, lenses, geo-filters) at varying degrees of interactivity but essentially all of them can put a brand in front of a highly engaged audience, and charge a premium for it. That’s what taking the largest advertising space at Cannes is also doing. Showing what they believe works.

It’s not about association or cool. It’s about attention and relevance at scale. When you’re the most talked about, you don’t need more talking you need to remind people to use, enjoy and understand.

Secondly, they also don’t have to hire any spaces, yachts or beach huts to connect with the audience on the ground. SnapChat geo-filters were acting as a real-time schedule for what speakers were on stage at the time in the main theatres (easier to use than the Cannes App). They also had lots of Cannes Lions filters which helped communicate what the festival and SnapChat is about – sharing creativity, expression and innovation. The live story also transported you into each event and party for a glimpse of what you may have missed. They embedded themselves within the whole of the Cannes environment both ends of the beach and every party in between.

So on the surface, SnapChats ‘lack of presence’ at Cannes may have been surprising – just sticking with the mighty billboard but it’s perhaps more effectively unconventional, as that sign is the reminder that they are there a potential part of every users experience in a simple, relevant and useful way. No Rosè required.

Oh yeah, and follow me on SnapChat: themarkcarroll 👻

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