Skip to content

5 minute read | June 27, 2023

VIOOH’s Cannes 2023 Wrap-Up

Written By: Emilia Udale

It’s that time of the year again when advertisers, creatives and marketers jet off to Cannes for a week of panel discussions, business meetings, and of course the odd party or two. Below, some of our VIOOHers share their key takeaways and insights from their time in Cannes. 

AI is here to stay and will supercharge the media industry Jem

AI was very much the buzzword of Cannes this year. So many panel conversations on this subject, including who offered a lot of interesting insights. In an interview with Keke Palmer at 'Amazon Port', made the point that AI is here to stay and will "supercharge industries" including media and advertising. He used the example of the music sector where you no longer need the ability to play instruments or sing to create content for consumers to buy and enjoy. The advice was very much to "embrace the change and skill up to stay relevant".

Sustainability was also a very hot topic. Many speakers referred to its importance, not just from the environmental perspective, but also for the ability to connect with the consumers of tomorrow who are more than ever, conscious of brands' social responsibilities for future generations and the planet.

Lastly, with the exponential growth and influence of technology in the advertising sector, creativity and storytelling are more important than ever. Brands must remember that a good advertising strategy is to create content that engages with target audiences, and technology is the means to carry the messaging. It all starts with good ad copy created by smart people.  

Jem Djemal  - Director of Global Business Development

Buying programmatically is a natural choice for eco-conscious brands

FranSustainability remains a hot topic - somewhat ironic for an international event in the south of France which most people fly to, but moving on... In digital channels, DSPs are seeking to improve their carbon footprint by cleaning up the supply chain. This means working with SSPs with fewer hops to the publisher. Programmatic DOOH is already ahead here due to the relatively small number of players in the space - most media owners work with one or two SSPs, three at a stretch, compared to online publishers that work with many more. The key takeaway for programmatic DOOH is that the industry needs to demonstrably prove the efficiency gains from buying programmatically. The lower carbon footprint of a one-to-many channel and the media owners’ own environmental initiatives make this channel a sustainability leader and a natural choice for eco-conscious brands.

On the topic of supply path optimisation, some DSPs have responded with initiatives to enable direct buying from certain publishers. The message is clear to SSPs - building strong, innovative features for their primary clients (the publishers) will ensure they remain the preferred route for spend.

Finally, retail media and the use of first-party retail data to reach audiences and measure sales, continues to grow from strength to strength. This is going to be a game-changer for programmatic DOOH, a channel that drives great results but can be tricky to measure, by making it possible to see immediate sales uplift results on all relevant campaigns, especially for brands looking to drive in-store sales. As programmatic platforms work with more partners across the space, the breadth of this data will allow comprehensive measurement across nearly all verticals, providing rich data and insights that will enable the delivery of the most efficient and effective campaigns. This is what programmatic, as a route of transaction, is all about.

Frances McCann  - Head of DSP Partnerships

Desire to see the DOOH industry continue to grow 


AI dominated a lot of the panel discussions at Cannes this year, although having said that, what was ever-present in everything I attended was the underlying sense of ‘partnering with the best, to deliver the best [for customers].’

I met many existing media owners, commercial and DSP partners as well as new potential contacts over the week. I also caught up with industry bodies, current ad-tech and DOOH contacts, and met lots of new faces. A common theme from these conversations was the excitement around programmatic DOOH and its value was plain to see, but it’s the next level of conversation that is really dominating the dialogue.

From business innovation to tech development, from commercial quid pro-quo discussions, to landing in emerging markets with rapidly growing businesses - I was amazed by just how many people at Cannes were serious about the DOOH industry’s growth. It seems everyone has the desire to continue this growth, and more than any regional dialogue, were global, strategic discussions that will further enhance the value that programmatic DOOH has to offer all customers and alongside, or occasionally versus, other more mature channels. Even other channel heavyweights wanted to speak to us.

The deeper ‘what next’ and ‘how do we do this together’ questions are really gaining momentum and this feels like the next step of the OOH relationship that everyone has been waiting for.

Gavin Wilson  - Global Chief Customer and Revenue Officer


Privacy and sustainability are important factors for GenZ & GenAlpha 


I took part in a panel hosted by MediaMath which focused on GenZ and GenAlpha audiences. The discussion highlighted the main factors that come into play amongst these audiences are the importance of privacy and sustainability. These generations are going to make up a huge amount of the population in the coming years, so being able to capture their attention in the right way is key for brands. Programmatic DOOH is a great channel to capture attention due to the benefit of being in an environment where attention is easier to grab and using data points to advertise with relevance and efficiency. When it comes to privacy, programmatic DOOH is doing well, due to being in the public sphere and not using cookies. 

Authenticity in advertising and understanding the carbon output of your advertising were also key points covered, and it’s vital for the media industry as a whole to understand where all media channels sit in regards to the levels of carbon output, so we can work to offset collaboratively. 

Finally, one of the great things about Cannes is you cross paths with people who work in channels you wouldn’t do so on a day-to-day basis and you can get fantastic insights into the wider market. Therefore, it’s useful for myself and the wider commercial team to hear what other channels are doing so we can factor this into our conversations to help our partners drive an omni-channel sell in the best way.

Layla Soufi - Regional Partnerships Director, DSPs, EMEA






Other posts you might be interested in

View All Posts

Sign up to receive our newsletter

Stay in the loop and find out what's happening in the world of digital OOH.