Brilliant people create exceptional experiences. Julie Reed, managing director at Elevate, speaks to the Wonder team about the importance of having the right brand ambassadors representing your company at Cannes.
Cannes Lions is one of the most prestigious stages in the world, presenting a major opportunity for brands to connect with, inspire and demonstrate their capabilities to customers – new and old – that flock to the French Riviera each June.
The four-day celebration of creativity is fuelled by some of the largest agencies, brands, and companies globally, presenting an invaluable networking opportunity for attendees. In these moments, first impressions are essential and the same goes for the people that customers (and potential customers) meet when they step into any brand world – the Brand Ambassadors.
Cannes is a unique event and one of the biggest opportunities for the marketing community. In the hustle and bustle of the festival, having the right team of Brand Ambassadors who concisely communicate a product or service, positively represent a brand and in turn, maximise its presence is essential.
Brand Ambassadors are more than mere messengers; their presence is an emotional connection for the audience, they humanise the brands they represent, and they form an essential foundation of events. At their pinnacle, they are an extension of the client’s team.
At Elevate, we understand this better than anyone. The very best brand evangelists are authentically enthusiastic about the products. They possess the emotional aptitude to express themselves honestly and with enthusiasm. But with thousands of potential Brand Ambassadors to choose from, and fierce competition for the best, our biggest challenge is to ensure we have the brightest, most relevant talent for every event.
Here are our top four considerations for brands when looking at experience staffing.
1. Understanding of the Cannes audience
The Cannes Lions audience is intelligent. They know the products, have existing insights and are seeking new information. They also expect to be delighted and impressed. Ensuring Brand Ambassadors understand each audience, their needs, wants and desires, will have a brand standing head and shoulders above its competitors.
2. A marketing-first mindset
The very best Brand Ambassadors understand the importance of marketing and its wider role within business. At Cannes, they may be speaking with or giving a demo to the CMO of Google or the Marketing Director at Netflix without even knowing it, so ensuring every ambassador has a solid understanding of marketing basics, the importance of the festival and the audience is essential.
3. Product and service understanding
Some brands have complicated service offerings, and at Cannes there are ones that require a certain level of understanding. For example, working with Meta at Cannes this year required tech-confident creatives who could deliver complex information with confidence and clarity. This level of detail can only be realised with pre-event training from product experts and rehearsals.
4. Communication skills
The role of a Brand Ambassador can vary greatly, but the goal is often to create a positive image for the brand, build trust with the audience and clearly communicate information, so they must be able to connect with audiences confidently and authentically. Not only does this require the right words, but they must also think about body language and tone of voice. Brand Ambassadors reeling off scripts, repeating basic messages or misunderstanding someone's reason for talking to your brand could send a key client to the competitor next door.
As planning for Cannes 2023 commences, think about what truly sits at the core of the event: the people. It's people, human connection and conversation that make the festival what it is today, and brand ambassadors are an essential part of that.