Cannes Interview Corner: Danone's Linda Bethea

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Linda Bethea, head of marketing at Danone, is looking forward to the Cannes Lions Creativity Awards.

Linda Bethea, head of marketing at Danone, is looking forward to the Cannes Lions Creativity Awards. She will be speaking at the Brand Innovators Marketing Leadership Summit at Cannes next week.

Can you talk about any brand activations or marketing that you are promoting at Cannes?

We are so excited that Danone, an innovative food and beverage company, has submitted for a Cannes Entertainment Lion for Branded Content for Sport in Digital. Our submission highlights the content strategy we developed in partnership with Whistle to amplify our Oikos Super Bowl campaign. As a company committed to bringing health through food to as many people as possible, this Oikos campaign highlighted strength and nutrition in a surprising way sports fans’ social feeds, starting on football’s biggest night. We were really looking to build on the brand equity we have established with our Oikos Stronger Makes Everything Better campaign, and create strength based messaging  and engagement in a way that broke through the digital clutter, and resonated in an authentic way with a digital and social audience.   

What key themes do you think will resonate this year?

Data and technology will continue to be a hot topic as marketers continue to navigate a cookieless future and what it means for targeting and maximizing the effectiveness of our ad spend. In today’s environment, every dollar matters! I also think diversity and inclusion will play a role in conversations about how to improve inclusivity across the industry through initiatives such as Free the Bid and pledging to spend a certain amount of dollars with diverse media partners. As marketers, we also need to think about the stories we are telling across our brands and whether or not they’re resonating with an increasingly diverse audience. Last, but certainly not least, understanding how brands and companies are transparently making a positive impact for people and the planet will remain a theme but likely with a renewed emphasis on action and measurable impact and  – as a B Corp this is really part of our core values at Danone and we see it as an imperative for younger Gen Z audiences when it comes to the brands they connect with and follow.

How are you thinking about creativity as we head into Cannes?

I believe creativity fuels great business performance. And for me, that goes beyond a traditional definition of creativity – we need to apply a creative problem-solving approach to our strategic planning, to our innovation, to our media strategy, etc. – all in service of creative work that works, that drives exceptional business results. 

What are you most excited about for Cannes? 

I am most excited to reconnect with my industry colleagues in person again, to share laughs and learnings in a beautiful setting!

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