Microsoft’s week at Cannes Lions

Microsoft’s presence at the 64th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity saw the company participate in a number of discussions and panels, covering a wide range of topics.

Throughout the week, Microsoft lifted the lid on future technology innovations, uncovering how the company is helping brands to realise the full potential of digital transformation – namely, how they can use technology to improve their business in countless ways, from increasing efficiency, to reducing cost and improving customer satisfaction.

The week kicked off with a discussion about the evolution of technology touching on the relationship between Formula One racing and marketing with Steve Sirich, General Manager, Marketing, Bing Ads US, where the consensus was that irrespective of your passion, be it F1 or marketing, technology empowers success. Or as Nico Rosberg put it, “Technology turns performance into almost perfection”.

Steve elaborated further in his blog post, looking at the way people are seeking increasingly intuitive means of engaging with technology and how AI can help marketers in their digital transformation; with bots, cognitive services and the power that search intelligence supplies, informing and connecting the entities in this new world of screen-less interactions.

Microsoft’s CVP, Brand, Advertising and Research Kathleen Hall also gathered with The Drum and five industry leaders from brands, agencies and analytics companies, to discuss the importance of authenticity in championing a cause – touching particularly on how products and services alone are no longer sufficient in attracting and keeping customers.

In a Bing Ads blog post, Kathleen discusses how brands should empower the people involved in it, and how they should aspire to a greater purpose beyond the product itself: “In many cases, a product or service alone is no longer sufficient in attracting and keeping your customers. People want brands to define and contribute towards a higher mission – one that sees the company innovate or use its force for good in a committed, authentic way.”

In addition, Axel Steinman, Microsoft’s VP International Sales, Bing Ads, discussed how CMOs could help unlock the power of search. In his blog post, Axel states that: “Search intelligence is critical to CMOs. It’s the world’s biggest, most candid focus group. It indicates emotion, intent, reception, and interpretation. But it doesn’t just provide insight that can be pulled through and turned into intelligence layered across the wider marketing mix, it’s the means to identifying and creating new relationships between brands and their audiences.”

During Cannes Lion, Axel talked to customers about the pressures of the unpredictable nature of today’s customers, who enter and leave in different stages of the buying process, and how companies can help equip themselves with tools to prepare for the future.

Microsoft Wins five Lions
For several years in a row, Microsoft has been one of a handful of brands recognized for its creative work, partnering with various agencies. This year stood out for the breadth and depth of winning work, spanning creativity in research and analysis, creative that is challenging gender bias and shifting perceptions, and innovative brand experiences.

Microsoft Course IQ – 2 Bronze Lions
Data Integration
Creative Data Collection & Research
View the work

Make What’s Next  – Bronze Glass Lion
Glass Lion: The Lion for Change
Honoring campaigns addressing gender inequality’
View the work

Zombie Christmas: The Real World Trailer – Silver & Bronze Lions
Outdoor: Animated Digital Billboards
Entertainment: Live Brand Experience
View the work

Head to @BingAds and Radio Bing podcasts from Cannes to recap on the week and discover more.

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