Cannes Lions Festival: Entering Virtual Worlds & Better Partnerships 

By Henley Worthen · July 01, 2022

Cannes Lions Festival: Entering Virtual Worlds & Better Partnerships 

After several years of meeting through screens, creative folks flocked to the south of France last week to enjoy the Cannes Lions festival in full swing. The Tubular team had the pleasure of partnering with Whalar to host several Masterclasses and share the latest and greatest in social video.

Tubular Masterclasses covered:

  • How brands can leverage virtual reality experiences on social video 
  • How advertisers can mitigate risks while innovating in the NFT space
  • How marketers can gain market share through niche communities 

Here’s a quick bite of some of the most significant insights we shared at Cannes last week!

The time to engage virtual realities is now

Media leaders are all looking to the gaming world to lead the wider community into immersive realities. Why? Because they’ve been there for years.

Social video is acting as a bridge to guide audiences into 3D worlds. Immersive games like Roblox have 30M daily active users, while they have a whopping 220M unique views per day on social video.

But why should this VR content matter to brands outside of gaming? There are plenty of early adopters outside of the gaming space who are leveraging VR to grow and connect with audiences. Take Benefit Cosmetics, this makeup brand has partnered with female gaming creators and created branded content to connect with the largely misrepresented female gaming audience. 

Consider this example of how another brand could find VR opportunities through deeper insights:

Our insight experts identified a unique opportunity for footwear brand Doc Martens by looking at unique creators, finding out who and what their audience also watches, and what those audiences shop for. 

Leah Ashe is a female Roblox creator with a significant reach. For a brand that wants to appeal to niche communities and find smaller influencers, looking at data from Audience Also Watches can uncover up-and-coming creators who haven’t been discovered. Leah Ashe’s audience is 993x more likely to watch creator ItsLimey than other audiences. ItsLimey’s content is focused on a fashion game within Roblox. When checking out Consumer Insights, we see that her audience is 27x more likely to shop for combat punk boots than other audiences. This presents a unique opportunity for a brand like Doc Martins to speak to this VR & gaming audience that most fashion and footwear brands don’t already reach.

Unlock NFTs opportunities on social video

Many brands and advertisers are scratching their heads wondering how to break into the unsaturated NFT space. We know that the audience’s interests are growing and that it opens up new avenues for revenue and engagement. But there are still many question marks. Luckily, social video is here to inform educated decisions and guide advertisers through innovation while mitigating financial risks.

Consider Budweiser beer. This brand launched an NFT collection of 22 Emerging Music partnerships. Looking at their audiences’ and consumers’ interests, we can see that they are engaged music lovers. There are no limits to the types of NFTs to be leveraged. Meditation videos, art, avatars, and memes are growing in popularity. Understanding your audience’s interests beyond your own content can help you predict successful NFT concepts and drive innovation— without the fiscal risks.

Micro-creators & mega-creators 

Niche communities offer advertisers a way to nourish deeper relationships with audiences and gain market share against their competitors. Plus, micro-influencers are much more budget-friendly and often more effective at driving conversions than massive creators.

TikTok is the catalyst for niche communities. Whether it’s #SkaterTok, #TwilightTok, or #FinanceTok, the audiences are loyal to their favorite content types and creators. One particularly interesting niche, #Witchtok has had 5.4B views in the last year.

While enterprise brands might go for larger communities, these niche communities are shopping for those bigger product categories. Working with influencers who are owning these spaces is the most effective way to reach these individuals. For example, #slugging was a huge K-Pop beauty trend that blew up on TikTok this year. The technique uses Vaseline to seal in nighttime skincare routines, and of course, Vaseline and other petroleum jelly products saw huge upturns in sales.

The influencers who played a key role in the virality of the trend garnered far more views and engagements than the branded content. Point blank — creators are the entryway to these loyal, high-converting niche audiences.

On the other hand, Mega-creator, MrBeast operates more similarly to a media publisher than a single creator. He draws inspiration from already emerging trends and makes them grander and bigger in alignment with his branding as you can see from challenges like the real-life SquidGame or Coke & Mentos challenge.

His larger-than-life content also inspires other creators who create spin-off materials like MrBeast-inspired lego figurines, reaction videos, and more. If an advertiser’s top funnel goal is to reach as many people as possible, working with a mega-creator like MrBeast can be a great option.

These mega-creators with all their powerful influence are often avid philanthropists and use their platforms to give back. MrBeast collaborates with charities and creators to fund ocean cleanup project #teamseas. Some large gaming creators have partnered with activists to launch charity streams and raise money via collaborations.

Mega-creators and micro-creators have very unique ways of impacting audiences and driving sales. Learning how to align your influencer portfolio with your business goals is the first step to successful influencer marketing.

Thanks for checking out the highlights from Tubular’s Cannes Lions Masterclasses!

If you’re interested in gaining personalized insights — click here to request a free demo with Tubular.

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