Brand Marketers Talk AI & Sustainability Heading into Cannes

Brand Marketers Talk AI & Sustainability Heading into Cannes

Inflation and layoffs are not stopping brand marketers from heading to the south of France to kick off the biggest tentpole of the year to discuss some of the biggest issues the industry is facing.

AI will take center stage in conversations, as the industry looks for the right ways to embrace the benefits of the technology, while addressing the risks. 

Sonyang Kang, chief marketing officer at eos Products, who will be speaking at Brand Innovators Beach on Tuesday has gone from zero to sixty on fascination with AI and its potential applications for boosting organizational impact and marketing effectiveness over the last couple of months. “I’m still very much in learning mode and plan to absorb as much as possible on practical applications in the industry and at other brands,” she says.

Liz Caselli-Mechael, global head of content & digital at Nestlé, who will be speaking at Brand Innovators Beach on Monday, says that she is thinking of AI for communications a lot like Google Maps. “It can give you the most direct route to commute, but it won’t tell you which street is lovely to walk down, or which has drivers that are too aggressive,” she says. “I want to make sure we’re looking at our communications efforts holistically, where AI tools are just one information source to work towards giving our audience the best experience.” 

Sustainability is likely to be a major topic at Cannes as brands discuss not only commitments to their ESG plans, but how they are putting those plans into action. Last year, companies explored ways to cut their carbon footprint when creating the stages at the event.

Fernando Machado, CMO of NotCo, will uniquely be discussing how AI can help with sustainability. Formerly the CMO of Activision Blizzard and Burger King, Machado, who will be speaking at Brand Innovators Garden stage at Cannes on Tuesday, recently joined NotCo, a startup that uses AI to create plant-based food. He was attracted to the role because of the potential of using AI to develop more sustainable products. “AI is the way we develop the products but with the purpose is to develop the food industry to become more sustainable,” says Machado.

Sustainability is all about credibility, according to Caselli-Mechael, who says that sustainability is very central to communicating the Nestlé brand. “We’re believers in bringing audiences a bit ‘under the hood’ to substantiate our commitments and reporting with very tangible action,” she says. “This year, I’m challenging my own assumptions on what audiences “can understand” and seeking to test and learn. We’re finding concepts that had previously been seen as too technical can actually be very well received by consumers in some contexts.”  

eos Products is also focused on its sustainability platform, which continues to evolve, “from the purely environmental perspective that we have historically taken, to a broader definition that includes both the planet and its people,” says Kang.  “For example, our flagship sustainability platform – Shea BetterTM – grew beyond its focus on clean and renewable ingredient harvesting in Ghana to include income diversification opportunities for the predominantly-women harvesters this year.”

Hear more at Brand Innovators’ Marketing Leadership Summit at Cannes.