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Cannes Lions has company: Competitor VidCon, NFT.NYC Events vie for marketers’ attention

Traders returned to the French Riviera in person on Monday for the week-long Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity after a two-year break forced by the Covid-19 pandemic. But two other meetings of growing importance that this year coincide with the most publicized annual conference in the advertising industry have divided the attention of some.

NFT.NYC opened on Monday, the same day the Cannes Lions kicked off, for its fourth year of non-fungible token talks. Alongside attendees, who organizers call the NFT Community, the four-day agenda lists speakers holding positions at marketers including fashion brand Coach, jeans maker Wrangler and betting company Sports DraftKings. Inc.

And VidCon, an annual convention in Anaheim, Calif., focused on digital creators, meets in person Wednesday through Saturday, with executives from brands including food and beverage company Nestlé HER,

Tinder dating app, Chipotle Mexican Grill fast food chain Inc.,

Crypto Exchange Crypto.com and media company Hello Sunshine were scheduled to take the stage there.

The confluence showcases changing trends in marketing, including the growing focus on video creators, social media influencers, NFTs, and other elements of Web3 technology, a nascent iteration of the Internet that is built on using decentralized blockchains.

Some marketers — and the ad platforms that woo them — will be at all three events, while others pick their priorities.

Parent Facebook social media company Meta Platforms Inc.

attends Cannes Lions, VidCon and NFT.NYC to promote its products to marketers at each event, said Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president of global commercial group at Meta.

“People want to understand where consumers are going, where technology is going, where the best places to be can reach them, and therefore how they can grow,” Mendelsohn said of the three events.

Whalar Ltd., a marketing agency specializing in working with creators, decided to send 15 executives to Cannes, 13 to VidCon and three to NFT.NYC.

VidCon and NFT.NYC represent the direction the marketing industry is taking, said Jamie Gutfreund, Global Director of Marketing at Whalar.

“It’s a bit of an interesting time, where the traditional creative approach hasn’t really accommodated the creator economy, whereas the other two events are obviously about the creator economy,” Ms Gutfreund said.

The NFT.NYC conference kicked off Monday in New York.


Photo:

John Marshall Mantel/Zuma Press

Malik Ducard, content director of social media platform Pinterest Inc.,

this week is making its way to both Cannes and VidCon.

“Many of us, like me, welcome the opportunity to join the two as we focus on core constituents, brands and creators,” Ducard said.

Media.Monks, a marketing services agency owned by S4Capital, sends employees and executives to Cannes as in the past, but the company has also deployed more team members to NFT.NYC than before.

Employees ask to come to NFT.NYC because they care about the evolution of NFTs and the community around them, said Henry Cowling, chief innovation officer at Media.Monks.

Meanwhile, Tripadvisor Inc.

is returning to Cannes this year, the travel agency said, but does not plan to be at VidCon or NFT.NYC.

“Cannes is important and unique in that it brings together global perspectives from all different industries and experiences, which is also at the heart of Tripadvisor, as a brand,” said Christina Maguire, Managing Director and Vice President. company for global media. .

Cannes Lions remains the advertising industry’s premier event, bringing together attendees from around the world for discussions, networking, meetings, coveted awards, celebrity appearances and concerts over five days.

It is expected to reach around 12,000 attendees this year, in line with 2019 figures, a spokeswoman for the event said earlier this month.

NFT.NYC reached 12,000 expected attendees this year, up from 262 for its inaugural event in 2019, co-founder Jodee Rich said. This year’s event is spread over 10 stages, up from four last year.

VidCon declined to disclose the number of registered attendees this year, but said more than 150 speakers are scheduled, with around 100 sponsors and exhibitors also attending.

Allied Financial Inc.

sends employees to VidCon because the conference brings fans together with creators and platforms, which helps to better understand consumer reaction, said Andrea Brimmer, director of marketing and public relations at the digital financial services company. Ally Financial does not go to Cannes Lions or NFT.NYC.

Many conferences have become so big that it’s becoming difficult to understand general trends and what’s important to customers, Brimmer said.

Ms. Brimmer herself does not attend VidCon, preferring to study her team’s executive summaries, she said. “I personally found it more productive to hang back and do the work,” she said.

contributed to this article.

Write to Ann-Marie Alcantara at ann-marie.alcantara@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications
Nicola Mendelsohn is Vice President of the Global Business Group of Meta Platforms Inc. An earlier version of this article misspelled her name in a reference. (Corrected June 21.)

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