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Cannes Lions 2022: Welcome to the Post-Pandemic World of Creativity — Propel Creative Chief Raymund Sison shares his takeaways

CANNES, FRANCE — Imagine a virtual influencer that could speak 100 languages and be at all events at the same time. Imagine an alternative world where you could be whoever you want to be — like a monkey surfer today and a talking banana tomorrow. Imagine enjoying a drag show in the metaverse, or immortalizing your first kiss in the blockchain. Imagine a billion ways to tell stories, and another million ways to iterate. I know we’ve heard it all before, but it’s all becoming more and more thrilling. With all the breakthroughs in technology, armed with what we’ve all learned from two years of lockdown, it’s a glorious time for the creative industry. There’s a big blank whiteboard right in front of us, and we can create, play, invent, do whatever we want with it.

Tech enhancing stories and scaling creativity in ways we’ve never seen

Tech isn’t just a platform or a medium. It’s not just for scale. It’s here to enhance creativity and make our stories more meaningful.

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Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are exploding at a speed that’s hard to chase, and opening a lot of doors for creativity, content, and commerce. According to Gary Vayner, founder of VaynerX and esteemed NFT creator, if you want to understand Web3, you have to forget about the internet. They are not the same. And the sooner we do it, the sooner we understand Web3. Imagine the infinite possibilities of telling new stories and creating fresh content through NFTs.

And then enter metaverse. An interesting alternative world/s that can house all our ideas and stories. There are countless explorations happening on this right now, and you can bet even more in the future. R/GA’s Tiffany Rolfe and Tom Morton unlock new identities for people and brands, and how we can work alongside communities. Imagine reliving experiences but with no physical limitations, no logistical problems, and absolutely anything is possible. The metaverse is not only creating new ways to tell and experience stories, but also pushing the boundaries of how people present and express themselves.

Virtual influencers are on the rise and it’s driving a whole new level of brand engagement and connection. Imagine an influencer who can be in ten places at once and imagine all the stories you can tell with it. It’s crazy fun.

Communities building stories together, and new ways to collaborate and co-create

In a talk by Gary Varner and Paris Hilton, they say: If Web2 was about building audience, Web3 is about building communities.

When we create, it’s good to remember: Utility gives our product value. Humanity makes it meaningful. Community gives it connection.

Marc Mathieu, co-founder of Web3 Studio at Salesforce, in his talk “Building Better Internet With Web3” says we need to shift from talking about community to recognizing communities. Communities are being formed every day, and this power of connection will make our stories more authentic, more impactful.

Apart from communities, seeing people as individual storytellers also jumpstarts content creation like never before imagined. We have hundreds of millions of creators in the world. That’s hundreds of millions of ways to create, to collaborate, to personalize, to connect.

Creativity as a tool to make the world better

The pandemic has shown the enormous power of creativity to solve the world’s most important problems. And in the festival, there’s no shortage of talks about inclusivity, sustainability, and purpose. Ultimately, how together we can all create something with great, beautiful impact on humanity.

One of the most moving stories I heard at Cannes is the talk “Creativity Under Bombs.” A conversation with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and four Ukrainian creatives, on how they used creativity as their primary weapon following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Fighting frequent air raids, tanks, and bombs with the power of creativity.

I imagine the industry continuously creating not only work that makes the world better, but also products that truly improve lives, and innovations that save lives.

Our humanity is our greatest strength, that’s what we realized in the pandemic. And now that we’re slowly coming out of it, we know the possibilities of creativity are greater than ever. Creativity can shape society, transform people, make the world better, in ways nothing else can. It’s our industry’s superpower — and we should use it for the best of humanity.

There’s nothing like an abundance of fresh new creative energy in the Croisette. And it’s coming from the shared spirit of renewed inspiration, unlimited fountains of ideas, the joy of IRL catchups and conversations with creatives and marketers from around the world, and most importantly, the excitement about the endless ways we can drive creativity even further.

Welcome to the exciting post-pandemic world of creativity! As Ryan Reynolds, Cannes Lions’ most attended, most anticipated speaker, puts it: Let’s have fun with creativity.

Raymund Sison is Propel Manila Partner and Creative Chief. Propel was named one of the Philippines’ Hottest Agencies in 2021, 2021 Tech Innovator of the Year by IMMAP, Southeast Asia Best Culture, and recognized at the Agency of the Year Awards by Campaign Asia and the 4As Philippines. Sison has worked with some of the world’s most iconic brands like Jollibee, Pepsi, Starbucks, Samsung, Heineken, UNIQLO, and Procter & Gamble.

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