The word from Cannes: Ad tech isn’t sexy, but it lets creatives do their best work

By Avi Goldwerger, VP, Marketing, Integral Ad Science


As we reflect on our time at Cannes, the connections we made, the lessons we learned, and the inspirations we had, let’s also consider the following: creativity increasingly emerges in advertising in unexpected ways.

As a marketer, I consider myself lucky. B2B marketing at an ad tech company may not sound as sexy as targeting millennials or using celebrity endorsements. Nor does it lend itself to opportunities to inspire young women or push racial equality. But the solutions we build in my niche market – ad fraud detection, viewability measurement, and conversion analysis, to name a few – enable many creatives, including several of this year’s Lions winners, to get their messages out on the best online media possible and influence consumer behavior. The promise of really effective advertising – influence – is not only dependent on crafting the best message, but also on reaching the right audience in the right environment. If one of the three is violated, they all suffer. I’m fortunate to market innovation that is entirely focused on protecting the promise.

Just like a billboard for New York food delivery doesn’t belong in a wheat field in Kansas, there are many digital environments where many brands don’t belong. Imagine this: Your message appears alongside disturbing content, or gets lost in a sea of online clutter, or shows up in an entirely wrong geographic area, or even lacks the opportunity to be seen by human beings. These are all real and ongoing challenges that require creative minds to ensure that the potential of your work is not undercut by the challenges of advertising on online media. Think about it – how do you take billions of data points every day and make them useful and actionable? It takes a special kind of creativity, the kind that’s necessary to achieve the ultimate goal – influence.

While ad tech companies will not be carrying any new hardware home from Cannes, our growing presence at each year’s International Festival of Creativity is evidence of our growing impact on creativity. I may not be directly inspiring young women or pushing racial equality, but we make sure you can inspire as many people as possible, from New York to London to Cannes.

To quote Will Durant, every science begins as philosophy and ends as art. The art of ad tech will continue to drive opportunities for your work to shine. Félicitations to this year’s winners.

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