Cannes Lions 2023: 'The value of creativity is priceless, but it's often fuelled by engagement and business growth'

In the third session of CMOs in the Spotlight, on Day 3 of Cannes Lions, the CMOs of L'Oréal Groupe and, and Kraft Heinz's CGO talked about the importance of risk-taking and DE&I initiatives, the impact of emerging technologies and the value of creativity

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Cannes Lions 2023: 'The value of creativity is priceless, but it's often fuelled by engagement and business growth'

Day 3 of the Cannes Lions 2023 saw the Chief Marketing Officers of L’Oréal Groupe and, along with the Chief Growth Officer of Kraft Heinz (North America), delve deep into the nitty gritty of risk-taking and DE&I, bureaucracy killing creativity and more with TV presenter Johanna Botta.

Kickstarting the third session on CMOs in the Spotlight, Diana Frost, CGO, Kraft Heinz (North America), stated that the biggest thing for her when it comes to risk-taking is a reframe because risk and failure are not fostered very well which is why one needs to reframe risk-taking to learning.

“From a marketing standpoint, marketing equals innovation and to foster that, it comes from engagement and talent first and then comes unleashing creativity and giving room for and having processes and systems in place to enable that,” she added.

She also pointed out that one of the things that form a part of Kraft Heinz’s transformation is that creativity has to go through the entire marketing function and that she views marketing as the Chief Integrated Officer or the Chief Collaborator which breaks down silos to enable innovation across the entire value chain, as opposed to just within a creativity function. 

Throwing light on how is she encouraging the culture of creativity in her team whilst making people feel comfortable in coming up with risky ideas, Asmita Dubey, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer and Member of the Executive Committee, L’Oréal Groupe, stated that she would take the lens of technology, consumer and brands to do the same

“Technology is moving at lightning pace- whether it's AR, VR, AI, spatial computing and so on. Similarly, consumers are constantly evolving to become more individualistic and have new eco-expectations such as the convergence of health, science and technology which is leading to hyper-precision and also the rise of all the digital platforms that are fueling the creator economy and communities. On the other hand, brands are responding with unbounded creativity to all of that,” she said.

She then went on to state that L’Oréal’s business model is based on a few pillars which include R&I, product innovation and how to nurture the company’s portfolio of 36 brands over the times coupled with digital and beauty tech championship, manufacturing capabilities and culture.

“Because technology is changing, we invest and believe that investment in brands always pay off,” she opined.

Sharing his views on how he convinces the rest of the organisation of the importance of DE&I initiatives, Arjan Dijk, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice-President,, stated that he believes a lot in truth-telling, something where a lot of brands go wrong, and that he himself really struggles with a lot of positionings for going far too far away from the client. 

“At, what we really look at is what's the truth about our brand, that is- we're a booking platform and we get it out of the way because underneath that we have a foundational purpose on DE&I. Because we’re in the travel industry, sustainability is extremely important and the moment you really talk about it like that, it's actually never difficult to get support for initiatives,” he said.

He further stated that he also encourages people to look at mission statements in terms of what is the brand or its product all about, which essentially means as to how can, as a brand, make it easier for everyone to experience the world. 

“DE&I is the capital of the work that we want to handle for people in the US, India, Netherlands. For example, we have initiatives like Travel Apart which is really around LGBTQ+ inclusion, because certain things are just the right things to do.” 

Elaborating on her belief on bureaucracy killing creativity, Frost stated that when one has to get 27,000 people to approve something that he/she does, that's what kills creativity. 

Moving on Dubey also touched upon how emerging technologies have changed the way that a legacy brand such as L’Oréal reaches out to consumers, especially GenZs, when she said that because the broader vision of the brand is to make the future of beauty more inclusive and generous which is not only good for the society but also the planet, the brand has various initiatives that are actually powered by science, technology, and creativity as they can cater to the infinite diversity of beauty needs and aspirations of every single human being.

Upon being questioned as to how is dealing with the explosion of Generative AI, Dijk stated that the brand is exactly at the same space as winning business models and applications were earlier and that’s because AI has an enormous enthusiasm for possibilities and applications in the business of marketing, the brand is testing them and trying out things whilst keeping it small.

Commenting on the metrics that she uses to measure the value of creativity at L’Oréal, Dubey stated that because the central purpose of the company is to create the beauty that moves the world, it is consumer love which comes at the forefront of measurement which makes the number to valuing creativity truly priceless.

In the case of Kraft Heinz, Frost emphasised that since the brand is people-first, she looks at metrics such as employee and associate engagement with the brand and its culture and how innovative is the entire value chain as well as business performance, because these three things not only fuel creativity but also make its value priceless.

engagement Marketing Generative AI Cannes Lions Kraft Heinz CMOs legacy brand DE&I initiatives value of creativity risk-taking L'Oréal Groupe emerging technology