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AI, influencers and audiences: Everything we learned at Cannes Lions

– Written by Jess Chapman

e-Comets at Amazon Port

If you didn’t make it to Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and the amazing Amazon Port area of the event - we were there, and we can get you up to speed with the most important learnings for Amazon sellers.

Taking place 17-21 June on the beach, at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, this incredible event was bigger and better than ever, showing how it’s becoming a major event for Amazon brands and partners.

We took a team of ‘e-Comets’ including our Head of Advertising Marius Popov, Head of Performance Marketing Tiffany Lemprière and AMC Lead Sam Millendo.

The show allowed brands and partners to see the Olympic Torch, watch rock band The National play live, and of course network and learn from some of the best minds in the eCommerce industry.

Here’s everything we learned.

The big topic: AI

Generative AI was the big topic at this year’s show, with various partners launching their own AI solutions, and panellists and podcasters discussing the impact of AI on Amazon sellers and customers.

e-Comet Marius Popov says: “Throughout the event, it became evident that AI will play a crucial role in shaping the landscape of advertising and consumer engagement. Add to this the focus on leveraging brands’ engagement into communities with the help of influencers, and the show delivered an exciting vision for the future of advertising.”

Big brands gain big efficiencies

Amazon announced a new creative AI tool that will be able to scan a product page - including description, bullet points and reviews - and produce images of the product in contextual settings.

It will also be able to take fixed images and even videos and deconstruct their different parts, including titles, logos and CTAs, and recreate them in different formats.

In a keynote panel presentation from Pacvue’s Melissa Burdick and Amazon Ads’ Jeffrey Cohen and Jay Richman, a case study from the Duracell Company showed Amazon’s AI image generator in action. The tool reduced a usually three-five-month process to one week.

Another case study showed that AI had identified, from customer reviews, that a blender can be used not just for making smoothies, but for making face masks for beauty purposes.

Key takeaways?: Speed to market, saving time for smaller brands, and speed to audience, delivering super-fast product insights.

AI tackles the no-cookies problem

Another innovative use of AI for Amazon Ads: it released Ad Relevance, which uses AI to analyse browsing, buying and streaming signals, as well as real-time data about content being viewed, to predict where a customer is in their shopping journey - and serve up relevant ads.

As third-party cookies are gradually phased out, resulting in some signal loss of who shoppers are and where they’ve been, Ad Relevance aims to fill the gaps for sellers and marketers - giving a better picture of the shopper’s path to conversion and ensuring the ads they see are relevant to where they are on that path.

Our e-Comet Tiffany Lemprière says: “This was my highlight from Cannes Lions: Amazon’s unveiling of their new cookieless targeting solution, Ad Relevance, which utilises first-party data and AI to enhance consumer targeting. This innovation signifies a major step forward in advertising technology.”

Retail media presence is growing

Amazon Port

Retail media is finding its space in the world of events and conferences, as evidenced by Amazon Port being packed with brands and events in this sphere.

At e-Comas we’re serious about retail media, and we took a big squad of e-Comets to meet with Amazon and partners and learn about the latest retail media developments.

The show offered a unique opportunity for brands to meet different teams from Amazon. The Amazon Port space was perfect for chilling out and networking with the Amazon Ads team, who have more time than usual at the show to share insights and support brands on their retail media journey.

The show also offered unbeatable presentations from other brands, like the ELF Beauty presentation about their Superbowl ad campaign on Amazon, themed around moving at the ‘speed of culture’.

This 360 campaign produced huge success for the cosmetics brand, tapping into the fact that women watch the Superbowl too - something that other advertisers tend to ignore. They aligned their creative across all their marketing, and maximised stock levels for ultimate conversion and customer satisfaction.

Big on creators and influencers

Amazon continues to push its creator and influencer side, and attracted huge names to the show - like John Legend and Chrissy Teigen to promote live shopping.

The show included the Influencer Beach by Brand Innovators, with speakers including influencers Alix Earle and Mr Ballen.

Emily Trenouth, Head of Influencer Relations at Amazon, gave a talk about how AI will and won’t change the creator economy.

The rise of shoppable TV

Amazon Live launched shoppable TV in a partnership with GroupM, which will see original, shoppable video on Amazon Live’s new ad-supported FAST channel on Prime Video and Freevee.

Dairy brand Danone is the first collaborator, launching shoppable ads this autumn for its new plant-based coffee creamer.

Amazon Live creators are also partnering with brands on the FAST channel - such as influencer Paige DeSorbo integrating Unilever’s Nexxus hair products into her new show.

We expect to see steady growth in the livestreaming and shoppable TV ad markets.

e-Comet Sam Millendo says: “With the rise of streaming TV, Amazon is highlighting Sponsored TV ads, proposing new channels for brands to capture a wider audience. “This is advantageous for Amazon agencies like ours, as we can offer our clients new ways to promote their brands on and off Amazon.

“However, it also signals the potential entry of big traditional agencies into the space, which would increase competition. Therefore, we’re going to be proactive and demonstrate our proficiency with the new offerings to stay ahead.”

Socialising and networking

e-Comets at The National

It’s always a joy to see our customers, partners and friends, especially on the French Riviera.

The networking opportunities at Cannes Lions are second to none - where else do you get to attend an invite-only gig by The National, hosted by Amazon Ads?

We also hosted our own party: the second edition of our ‘Dinner with Friends in Cannes’, where we had so much fun drinking fine wine and enjoying the company of so many of our friends in eCommerce.

e-Comas Founder and CEO Jérôme de Guigné says: “What an absolutely fantastic show. We had the time of our lives at Cannes Lions, networking with our friends in eCommerce and learning vast amounts from the most innovative brands in the business. Thank you so much to Amazon Ads for an unforgettable event, which is only going to grow, and we can’t wait to see where they take us next.

“We hope to see lots more of our partners and retail media brands at next year’s Cannes Lions!”