Hollywood Moguls Play Key Role at Cannes Ad Festival Amid Convergence

Jeff Bewkes - Brookings Institute CEO Panel - 2011
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Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes, News Corp. deputy COO James Murdoch and DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg appeared at the 58th festival last week, which highlighted the coming-together of advertising, entertainment and technology.

NEW YORK - The growing convergence of advertising, entertainment and technology was one of the key themes at the 58th Cannes Lions festival last week, which once again drew ad folks to France’s Cote d'Azur, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Entertainment moguls this year also joined the crowd on the Croisette promenade as Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and James Murdoch, News Corp.'s deputy COO who also oversees the conglomerate’s European and Asian operations, appeared at the festival. Representatives of tech giants, such as Facebook and Google, also made the trip to the South of France.

Reflecting industry shifts, the annual gathering was even rebranded a "festival of creativity," the Journal said.

"Advertisers have got to make cleverer ads, you have to learn from the creative industry,"  Bewkes said in his appearance.

"They need us and we need them," said Michael Roth, CEO of ad holding giant Interpublic Group about the interaction of entertainment and ad giants.

"What is happening here is we are redefining the way all of us work together," said Carolyn Everson, vp, global marketing solutions at Facebook. "We love the notion of partnering with entertainment and content providers and have them think about
how to make content social from the start.”

The Journal also said that ad agency Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, like many other agencies, produces more of its own content these days and often goes beyond 30-second TV spots. As a result, it is hiring more filmmakers to make documentaries and features to engage consumers with a brand message.