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Cannes LIONS Live 2021: Virtual Experience

Nielsen at Cannes LIONS Live 2021

While Cannes LIONS normally convenes in the South of France, this year’s Cannes LIONS Live Virtual Experience gave marketers from across the globe the chance to present themselves as avatars and virtually walked across stages and lounges to hear from industry experts, exchange business cards and connect. As a sponsor, Nielsen hosted daily engaging sessions in the Nielsen Digital Lounge, with industry leaders exploring the future of the media industry, as well as Nielsen’s role in empowering that future. 

When it comes to the future of media, the industry is looking eagerly to streaming, which saw an overwhelming increase in viewership during the past year. In the session “Streaming Demystified,” Brian Fuhrer, SVP, Product Strategy & Thought Leadership, honed in on who was streaming, what they were streaming and where they were streaming it. “All of these things combine and make up the assignment for Nielsen, to continue to improve our technology and expand it, because marketers don’t only want to understand what is being watched, they want to know the pathway that it takes to reach the consumer,” explained Brian. Nielsen is continuing to accomplish this “assignment” with our new monthly total TV and streaming snapshot, The Gauge, and through our evolving Streaming Video Ratings

In such a fragmented market, marketers are looking to understand how they can adjust their strategies and tactics to thrive in an industry that is constantly accelerating. During the session “Ensuring Success in the ROI-Driven World,” Lana Busignani, EVP, International Lead, Outcomes, discussed findings from the Nielsen Annual Marketing Report: Era of Adaptation. Lana shared that measurement is a universal challenge for marketers and explained why this is imperative for brands to address in order to continue to reach audiences whose preferences are ever changing to ensure success in an ROI-driven world. 

In the true spirit of acceleration and change due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Matt Boyd, VP of Sports and Esports, discussed the significant growth opportunity experienced by the video game industry and the world of esports. Matt was joined by executives at Mastercard and Riot Games who discussed what significant opportunities now exist for the esports landscape and how brands can get involved, while Sara Fisher, media reporter at Axios, moderated the panel. 

Diversity, equity and inclusion is the fabric of powerful content, and it is critical to discuss how we all can power an inclusive entertainment future. Nielsen’s Stacie de Armas, SVP, Diverse Consumer Insights & Initiatives, and Maryl Widdows, VP, Product, Inclusion Analytics, met with executives from the Geena Davis Institute, Campanario Entertainment and NALIP for candid discussions on where we are today, where we wish to go and the necessary steps to get there.

During these conversations, we took a closer look at the challenges the Latinx community face when trying to get their content out there, as well as the importance of Being Seen on Screen. It quickly becomes apparent that while some progress has been made, there is still a need to keep striving for a more inclusive ecosystem, and creators cannot do this alone. Brands will be a critical partner in creating a more inclusive media environment, as Maryl highlighted: “One of the most interesting trends we are seeing is advertisers joining the conversation. They play a huge role in funding content, and they are starting to play a really big role in pushing for content that better represents their consumers.”

To continue the conversations that took place at this year’s Cannes LIONS, be sure to check out our on-demand recordings of the sessions from Nielsen’s Cannes LIONS Live 2021 virtual experience: