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My Code’s leadership team headed to France in June for the 70th annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. We connected with top minds in the marketing and advertising industry, taking meetings and taking the stage at speaking sessions to help brands better understand the importance of reaching diverse audiences with honesty and authenticity.

My Code’s General Manager of Branded Content and Creative, Victoria Jordan, noted substantial Cannes conversations about the role of Creators and Creator networks as a scalable product. She shared that Creators are subject matter experts, with niche content and niche audiences. According to Jordan, “working with Creators means embracing this audience fragmentation.” Her top tips for brands looking to collaborate with Creators?


    1. Start with your own brand audience. Does the Creator’s audience match up with where your brand audience currently stands? Does it align with where your brand wants to go?
    2. Provide a style guide for influencers, and be specific (e.g. even down to the nail color, if key to your brand!). But do not be rigid when it comes to scripting, in order to keep the content organically engaging. 
    3. Analyze influencer content and see what works best for them. Start by matching their KPIs to your brand’s KPIs so you are on the same page.
    4. Leverage Creators to help create brand personification on social.
    5. Partner with an expert that can vet, hire and manage Creator relationships for you for optimal results.

My Code’s General Manager, Research and Insights Aaron Braxton noted that amidst data conversations at Cannes, first party data and capabilities are advancing rapidly. “Data clean rooms are becoming table stakes both as client service and combinatory to owned-and-operated derived sources,” shared Braxton.


    1. Use predictive AI to assess whether or not brand messaging is going to be in the right place at the right time.
    2. Using generative AI for creative is the next wave to help brands face the challenge of keeping up with reaching consumers in the many places they are spending their time.
    3. Use AI as a tool for target frequency, connecting the dots between reach and target frequency.

The team noted that people remain key to successful development and use of AI. The individuals developing AI do not identify with all cultures, so it’s important to assess whether everyone is represented through this new technology without biases or stereotypes.

Benders joined a panel at Infillion’s Inclusion Café on Maximizing Impact through Purpose-Driven Advertising Investment. They discussed that while brands and agencies have pledged to spend more and more dollars with purpose-driven or minority-owned media organizations, smaller but impactful publishers and organizations often fall by the wayside within huge programmatic platforms. “There is something transcendent in purpose-driven work…” Benders shared during the conversation.  “You can make someone a lifelong customer by being smart with your intentions and choices.”  

My Code’s Executive Vice President of Commercial Strategy Alexandra Kennedy noted substantial discussion at Cannes around the importance of marketing to diverse audiences.  “Diversity and inclusion are no longer just buzzwords in the business world, they are business imperatives,” shared Kennedy. She continued that investing in multicultural marketing is “not merely a matter of doing what’s right, it’s vital for long-term business success. Investing in inclusivity now will undoubtedly yield exceptional results.” Kennedy spoke on a panel about “Reaching the Future Consumer: Creators, Community, & Culture” at MediaLink Beach, discussing how the future consumer is more than a demographic, they are a force that is changing the game for brands. They are collaborative, sharing ideas and experiences with others, and culture-driven, seeking out products and experiences that reflect their values and interests. Kennedy and her co-panelists explored how brands can reach the future consumer by creating authentic, engaging, and culturally relevant experiences.  

Kennedy also joined TheAList at Infillion’s Inclusion Café for a Juneteenth breakfast discussion about “Cultivating the Future of Blackness in Media,” including ways to navigate the opportunities and challenges facing Black media amidst the ever-changing digital, technology, and entertainment landscape. Moderator Tiffany Black opened the conversation noting, “There is not a singular or monolithic Black experience. We need to acknowledge and embrace the diversity within the Black community.”  Kennedy ended the week with a conversation on “Embracing AI’s Influence in Culture”with Black at Cannes.

Overall, we found that while the conversation around marketing to multicultural audiences focused on the why and how, there was still hesitation around whether investment in diverse audiences would have value and return on ad spend. It’s critical to remember that brands don’t create culture, but they do need to understand culture and be part of it. Culture is not a tentpole event, it is every day. According to My Code Chief Operating Officer, Jennifer White, “We are way beyond test budgets at this point. Brands need to focus on and meaningfully invest in diverse audiences now. If they start 5 years from now, it will be too late.”