Facebook Execs On Cannes Panel: Advertisers Have Much Work To Do

By David Cohen 

Facebook Head of Global Creative Solutions Mark D’Arcy and Director of Engineering Andrew Bosworth both stressed that advertisers on Facebook and elsewhere on the Internet have a lot of work to do during a panel Tuesday at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, “Cannes Seminar: Creativity at Scale.”

The Guardian reported that D’Arcy urged advertisers to take a page from more creative fields, such as musicians, authors, and filmmakers, by protecting and analyzing consumer data gleaned from campaigns, saying:

One of the biggest disconnects in the industry is the world of media and insight of media and data from the creative process. If you really care about your idea desperately, and you desperately want to share it with the world, you better be deeply embedded with the distribution methods on any platform — on TV, or anything else where that story is going to be amplified and told in the world. Creative people have always cared about that.

Bosworth, meanwhile, sought to debunk the myth of the captive audience, saying:

The captive audience is on its way out. It is dying slowly and steadily, and we all know it. We know that when we are watching TV, we are all using a second screen. We know that print is declining in circulation in certain areas. And people are going to have a lot more choice with what they do with every minute of their time.

I thought maybe I wasn’t connected to the right sources, maybe I wasn’t paying attention or plugged in. It turns out that a lot of these (campaigns) hadn’t been seen by that many people. For Facebook, the same is true for almost any company in (Silicon) Valley, in New York, London, in Europe — if you are talking about a campaign that reaches 10,000 people, who cares?

Droga5 Founder and Chairman David Droga agreed with the two Facebook executives, adding:

For so long, we have been able to exploit a captive audience, and we got lazy. For the first 15 years of my career, I just thought about creativity. We’re an industry that likes to talk at people. We are competing against some guy putting a cat down his pants on YouTube, but the best stuff bubbles up.

Readers: Do you agree with the opinions expressed by D’Arcy, Bosworth, and Droga in Cannes?