It’s back to reality for the BDB team after a busy week at Cannes Lions 2023. It was great to meet so many like-minded people from across our industry and see Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity back in full swing. 

From insightful panels, creating lasting connections, and the inaugural happy hour and boules tournament – Billion Dollar Boy made its mark at Cannes Lions 2023. 

Purpose marketing with creators

A highlight was our panel event we partnered with UK Advertising Export Group (UKAEG) to host. Clients Unilever and creator Sasha Pallari joined us at LLB Beach to discuss purpose marketing through the lens of creator marketing. 

Purpose marketing has become a key approach for brands looking to establish deeper connections with audiences. By addressing people’s value systems, it can produce meaningful results and foster brand loyalty.

But purpose marketing can be vulnerable to criticism if perceived as a shallow marketing tactic. Therefore, a brand must make a serious commitment to show it understands and supports the things its audience cares about. Brands must navigate these topics with care, ensuring they are well-informed and actively engaging with stakeholders, experts, and affected communities.

Naturally, this makes aligning purpose-driven messaging with product-centric objectives a challenge. The last thing any brand wants is to be accused of being insincere, or appropriating a cause for solely their own benefit and run the risk of ‘purpose washing’. 

Credibility and authenticity are therefore essential ingredients for a successful purpose-driven strategy. And creators can bring this by the bucketload. Our panel with Unilever’s Erin Goldson and Sasha Pallari, explored the potential benefits – and pitfalls – of engaging in a purpose-driven marketing initiative with creators.

So how can creators bridge the gap and help brands achieve this?

Creators that genuinely align with a brand know the brand’s audience as well as – if not better – than you do. They’ve spent considerable time growing communities of like-minded individuals, who, like the creator themselves, represent a sample target audience.

Tapping creators means a gateway to this potential customer base, but most importantly, audiences have to believe the partnership and messaging to be genuine. When a creator genuinely aligns with a brand’s purpose, their endorsement and advocacy can lend credibility.

As our panel explained, creators can help shape a believable, sincere and engaging message if included in the strategic planning process. Their storytelling ability can humanise the brand’s message through emotional, relatable content, which can result in a compelling campaign and strong connections.  

This is all the more necessary when brands look to gain buy-in from communities for charitable causes.

Brands MUST back up the message they’re delivering. For social proof to exist, actions speak louder than words. In practice, this could look like making financial investments, such as charitable donations; creating community-centric initiatives; or representing marginalised people. Naturally, this may create issues for margins, or even threaten to divide existing audiences (see: Bud Light controversy).

We advise brands on the power of creator integration and how they can elevate their messaging in the most authentic way. Without them, brands walk an even finer tightrope between marketing for the right reasons and the wrong.

Inaugural boules tournament at Cannes 2023

We wanted to celebrate local traditions and bring a bit of friendly competition to the Croisette this year. With exclusive event sponsors, ‘UK Advertising @ Cannes’, we brought a global audience together for rosé, networking and the chance to be crowned winner of our inaugural boules tournament. 

Congratulations to ThisThat, the winners of the 2023 Cannes boules tournament.

Check out the photo gallery online here. 

Follow Billion Dollar Boy’s journey on LinkedIn to stay up to date on upcoming events and announcements. 

We look forward to seeing you next year.

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