The hot topics dominating Cannes Lions 2016

The yearly arrival of Cannes Lions is hard to miss. La Croisette transforms into a Silicon Valley outpost with super-sized ad tech yachts lining the French Riviera – perfectly demonstrated by Terence Kawaja’s Cannes 2016 yacht LUMAscape – and rosà consumption skyrockets.

This week, when they weren’t battling with Wi-Fi issues or pausing to Snapchat, the world’s leading advertising and tech experts were discussing the trends tipped to transform the industry in the next 12 months.

So which topics stood out? Here are four key takeaways:

‘Bad’ advertising is dead

Ad blocking was everywhere — discussed by everyone from Piers Morgan to Iggy Pop. But this year we moved from simply talking about the problem to looking at solutions, and it seems the industry is determined to stop the technology arms race of blocking software and anti-blockers by eradicating bad ads.

Discussions cited one of the chief causes of consumer dissatisfaction as the growing volume of irrelevant and intrusive ads, and emphasised the importance of delivering quality. It was almost universally acknowledged that targeted ads can evoke positive responses, but only if the industry raises its game.

Attendees agreed that marketing must be focused on adding value to the user’s digital experience, with suggestions to improve relevance including the use of mobile location data to build a complete picture of individuals and ensure marketing messages can be adapted to them in real-time.