Will Blockchain Solution Providers Tame the Cannes Lion?

By Thought Leaders Archives
Cover image for  article: Will Blockchain Solution Providers Tame the Cannes Lion?

The road to Cannes is paved with many changes this year. You can certainly expect to see and hear a fair amount from companies developing next-generation media, marketing and advertising solutions, underpinned with blockchain and cryptography. Solutions are scaling; we are past the point of test and learn.

Another change you will see is many of these companies and consultancies calling the Cannes Harbor home, replacing some of the usual suspects, such as NYAIX, IBM, MadHive, Lucidity, Kochava, Mediaocean, GABBCON and Accenture. Brands should take particular notice because these solution providers are solving significant issues in programmatic, media, marketing and advertising, as well as other use cases related to finance, supply chain and more.

Agency leaders Jonathan Steuer, Chief Research Officer of Omnicom Media Group, and Gowthaman Ragothaman of Mindshare, both cypherpunks in their own right, agreed on a critical point: Both stated that brands and agencies for this year's Lions should not be looking for solutions to test, but instead be looking for partners to scale with. "The year of testing has passed," said Ragothaman. "A fair number of tests successfully executed. We know the promise of blockchain is real and the impact is meaningful. Brands need to lean in and help us scale."

There is no question that many solutions are bringing tremendous value to the markets. MadHive and Omnicom broke the news at DMEXCO this year while Mindshare recently released press about a project with Pepsi and Zilliqa and Lucidity shared the results of campaigns with Toyota. These campaigns reflect a minimal number of overall work in-market. There is upwards of $1 billion in media spend running with solutions powered by blockchain and cryptography with MadHive and IBM leading the scale story.

Of the solutions I have been able to review, I'm most impressed by the progress of both Amino Payments and MadHive. According to a source, Amino is helping brands and agencies reduce time and overhead in reconciliation and is doing so at an impressive scale. MadHive focuses on helping clients who are buying premium video. I was not able to reach Amino, so I cannot report on their presence in Cannes; however, MadHive will be hosting meetings and demoing a new self and managed service programmatic platform for brands and agencies that are tired of the current supply chain challenges and looking for more disruptive changes. They claim to be preserving media budgets for partners with high, double-digit savings that are returned in real-time to the media campaign, increasing value and business outcomes as a result.

I'm also very encouraged by the progress of NYIAX and am eagerly waiting to see how IBM, Mediaocean and Lucidity will partner. (There is also apparently more news to come on this topic from the collective at, or leading into, Cannes. NYIAX's Richard Bush, for one, promised some pre-Cannes news.) I'm hopeful that -- based on what I've heard from both NYIAX and ad agencies -- their new product will create significant value, but more to come on this as it becomes available.

Kochava Chief Executive Officer, Charles Manning, mentioned he'd have a Cannes presence on a shared yacht, but will not have any vital news until Q3.

Bottom line, every publisher, marketer and agency should be aware of the impact of these companies and their benefits/costs to the marketplace. To ensure the broadest success and avoid the possible replication of another Adtech Lumascape compiled of blockchain solution providers, I encourage you to educate yourself. You can also join the independent non-profit body with credibility on this topic, AdLedger, a group co-founded by Tegna, MadHive and IBM.  The board and membership of AdLedger include advertising agency holding companies and leading publishers and brands like Hershey.

If you are a brand, agency or publisher and want to learn more about the impact of blockchain on programmatic, please attend my session on Thursday, June 20th at 2:30 in Palais II Makers Lab.

Hope to see you in Cannes!

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