2023 Tech du jour: AI wasn’t on the menu, but it was everywhere else

Technology took center stage at Cannes this year, sparking numerous conversations on the latest advancements in AI applications. Interestingly, the most fruitful discussions regarding these technological developments occurred away from the spotlight—during casual lunches, delightful dinners, and engaging social gatherings. Throughout Cannes, we witnessed a plethora of tech-enabled experiences spanning various platforms, showcasing the evolution of creative commerce and its remarkable capacity to generate tangible business results.


Winning creative drives business outcomes: Creative commerce continues to succeed when in close proximity to business models and goals. For example, Renault’s “plug-inn” campaign applies an AirBnB business model to electric car charging ports—a winning combination of sustainability and a reimagining of tech-enabled brand experiences. Combining social issues with reimagined tech allows brands to stay relevant, align brand purpose to causes larger than their own, and deliver on conversion goals.

The tech-enabled maturation of creative commerce: The spotlight at Cannes was once again on the latest advancements in tech platforms. While AI dominated the conversations throughout the week, the grand prix winners pushed the boundaries of text, calling, and push notification technology, transforming these simpler tech experiences into something truly imaginative. This speaks to the way the industry as a whole has evolved, irrespective of the promises of developments like web3 and artificial intelligence.

Effective, responsible AI applications: It is clear that agencies and brands alike enjoy speculating with how artificial intelligence will move the industry forward. While it’s possible that AI will bring about the efficiencies long desired by procurement departments, there remains a substantial amount of work to be done in order to ensure the safety of its usage, protect user and client data, uphold data privacy, and address other concerns.

The impact of technology on commerce is undeniable and was once again evident at Cannes. Despite the buzz around AI applications, fruitful discussions on how to leverage this latest tech took place off the beaten path. Business value has been consistently derived from tech experiences, but we’re still figuring out what that means for AI. The maturation of creative commerce and identifying meaningful moments for consumers, regardless of platform, consistently delivers over time.