Walk along the Crosiette and it’s the likes of Youtube, Spotify, and Facebook that occupy the beachfront cabanas. In front of the Palais’ main entrance there’s a bright yellow ferris wheel sponsored by Snapchat. It’s impossible to avoid the enhanced profile and sponsorship of tech companies at Cannes and it doesn’t look like they are going away anytime soon.
While Cannes was first created to celebrate original craft and creativity in the traditional sense of the term, this year more than before Cannes is a showcase of new technology used in advertising and the brands that are leading these innovations. The change is surely lamented by the creative purists but as advertising itself reflects and develops alongside the technological shifts in society, it is inevitable the world’s largest advertising festival will follow suite.
活动期间，注册代表团体也聆听了很多有关科技的演讲，让广告从业人士了解如何将新技术融入各自的领域。VR故事叙述就是一个最热点的话题。先锋VR公司Vaunt VR的CFO George Kliavkoff将VR带来的科技影响比拟成移动科技对电视节目的颠覆性影响，人们不再坐在电视机前，而是随时随地都可以通过移动设备观看视频。VR的引入和普及将再一次撼动消费者观看电视节目的方式。
Inside the Palais, for the registered delegates the week has been filled with an abundance of talks showcasing and informing marketers how to adapt new technologies in their respect fields. VR storytelling was one of the hottest topics. The CFO George Kliavkoff from pioneering VR company Vaunt VR, likened the technological impact of VR to how mobile technology disrupted TV consumption, from sitting in front of a TV set to the absolutely mobile and versatile places and ways consumers now watch video. The introduction and popularization of VR will once again shake the way consumers watch and interact with screens Kliavkoff proposed.
人工智能（AI）也是广泛讨论的话题。Emotech公司联合创始人Chelsea Chen给人们展示了公司的机器人产品 – Ollie，给人们留下了深刻的印象，这是一个圆形的AI设备，跟Alexa、Siri和谷歌有一拼。Chelsea是北京人，但是她相信英国才是发展AI技术的最佳沃土，英国北部有多所技术实力超强的大学，另外，英国创意产业极度发达。公司的投资来自中国，Chelsea也得到了中国政府的大力支持，助力提高中国的AI发展。Chelsea可谓是一个真正的世界公民，演讲之后，她用流利的英语接受了SHP+的采访，她表示她不会回中国长期生活，回中国只是专注商业发展，助力中国AI技术的发展。
Artificial Intelligence (AI) was another popular subject. Chelsea Chen co-founder of Emotech gave the audience an impressive demonstration of her company’s robot, Ollie, a circular shaped AI device that is competing with Alexa, Siri, and Google for relevance in the field of AI. Chen is a Beijing native but believes the UK is the best place to develop AI technology because of the strong technology oriented universities in northern UK, along with the benefits of the highly developed creative industry in UK. The company’s investments are from China and Chen has strong support from the Chinese government to increase AI development in China. Chen herself is a truly global citizen, however, and told SHP+ in fluent english after her presentation that she doesn’t see herself returning to China to live longterm but only in a business format where she can assist and promote the develop of AI technology in China.
As a young Chinese women working for a tech company presenting at Cannes, Chen’s story is in a way very emblematic of the changing face of the festival. Technological innovations have radically shifted the way advertisements are created, distributed, and viewed hence the natural increase in tech companies’ presence and sponsorship at the festival. Similarly, the heavy focus on technological innovations in advertising coming from China Day presenters is a reminder to brands and creatives around the world that China will be a big player in the advertising industry’s marriage with technology.
Chelsea Chan in an interview with NBC (far right)
很多创意人士都已参加过十多次创意节了，这次他们看到 Pandora、Shazam和Snapchat的标识出现在港口的游艇上可能还有些不习惯。但是，科技本身无疑也是一种创新形式，值得我们为之喝彩。小组讨论由Sapient Razorfish主持，对话嘉宾是一位AI研究人员，同时也是一名编辑和互动媒体艺术家，这次对话让创意人士看到了关注和了解技术发展的重要性。人们总认为技术是一种不可避免的力量，将会替代人类，但是这次的对话也让我们看到，技术也需要创造力，这样才能保证它成为一种积极的力量。但是，此次创意节上很多关于技术的演讲都认为，未来还是需要创意人士掌控科技的力量，这样才能做出吸引人的作品，也值得此次前来戛纳创意节的数千名广告人为之付出时间和精力。
For the creatives who have been coming to the festival for decades, the freshly laid banners of Pandora, Shazam, and Snapchat hanging on decadent yachts in the harbor is perhaps a horrifying spectacle. To the contrary, technology is surely its own form of creativity to be celebrated. An inspiring panel hosted by Sapient Razorfish with an AI researcher, writer, and interactive media artist was a reminder of the importance for creatives to pay attention and understand technological developments. Technology is often thought of this inevitable force that will take over humanity but this panel reminds us that technology needs creativity to keep it in check and ensure it is used as a positive force. However many tech centered talks and companies fill the festival in the future, it is still the creative people behind the technology that makes the work worthy of the world’s attention and the time of the thousands of advertisers who flood to southern France once a year in early summer.