Dubai Lynx 2019: "younger brother" Cannes Lions on the Persian Gulf
The Dubai Lynx Creativity Festival, traditionally held in March, brings together the leaders of the advertising, marketing and ecommerce markets from the Persian Gulf and North Africa on one site.
My digital agency 24ttl, which last year had a full-fledged representative office in Dubai, sent work to the festival - an AR application for Hyundai. Therefore, I decided to visit Dubai Lynx to see the developments relevant to the region and evaluate the possibilities of networking.
The main events of the festival were held on March 11 and 12, 2019, but in fact, Dubai Lynx started on the evening of March 10, when most of the participants gathered for a pre-party with light alcohol and snacks, and ended on March 13 with a gala dinner at which the winners were awarded.
The first significant difference from Cannes Lions is the more relaxed atmosphere of opening and closing. If in Cannes these are fantastic parties with fireworks and other special effects, then Dubai Lynx events are much quieter and more focused on networking.
The festival is located on the territory of Madinat Jumeirah, the resort area of Dubai with its own network of hotels, restaurants, conference venues. It is located relatively close to the airport, 25 minutes by taxi, which will cost about $ 40.
The final dinner with a strict dress code is paid separately - $ 3660, and unlike the Cannes festival, where the winners' works are shown and you can see firsthand what the “Leo” was for, the award at Dubai Lynx takes place more formally, not in a show format.
Since we participated in Cannes Lions 2018 last summer, I had the opportunity to compare the two festivals. In short: Dubai Lynx is not in vain called the "younger brother" of Cannes: visitors are noticeably fewer, and global brands and global agencies are represented by specialists from local offices.
Therefore, a small Russian digital agency should go to Dubai Lynx only if there are plans to cooperate with clients and partners from the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (Middle East & amp; North Africa, MENA). The technology market in this region is far from saturated (I already wrote about it on vc.ru), if you have something that you can interest the local audience, you definitely should take part in the festival.
It will be an excellent platform for exploring the market of this region and its main players, and will also allow you to see the level and features of the creativity that is in demand in MENA countries, whose mentality is quite significantly different from Russian or Western.
The speeches are in the format of talks, among the speakers there are many representatives of the largest companies - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, P & amp; G, Coca-Cola. Compared to Cannes, the program is much shorter, and the reports themselves are noticeably more modest - without an impressive footage, with an emphasis on the speaker’s charisma.
In their speeches, the speakers covered the situation in the local and global markets, spoke about trends in advertising and marketing, including in the social context. For example, director of strategic development of Twitter Alex Josephson raised the topic of slang, which is widespread among a young audience - the so-called generation Z.
Sometimes in any dictionary you will not find that “let's get some bread tonight” should be understood as “let's cut the dough in the evening”, “get curved” - “get rejected”, and “Dough” is used to denote money.
The second part of the festival takes place on the street. In Dubai, this time of year is cool by local standards - 22–25 degrees, thoughts about the beach are not so intrusive, so you can focus on the reports that take place in the food court area. Smaller companies speak here, the atmosphere is more relaxed, you can ask the lecturer a question, sitting on a soft puff.
In the evening, the informal part of the festival began on the streets of Madinat Jumeirah. Unlike the Cannes Lions or Web Summit, which takes place in Portugal, there were no special parties or events, and - I must say - this greatly facilitated networking.
In the project area of the festival, it was especially felt that Dubai Lynx is more focused on the local unsaturated market. In particular, the Qibla Finder project, the application indicating the right direction for prayers, received the main prize in the Mobile nomination.
In Muslim countries, in many places you can find signs and signs that show the faithful which way they need to turn to perform the prayer. Application developers have rethought this need for a digital key. There is every reason to believe that the target audience will like this product.
We also arrived at Dubai Lynx not empty-handed. Unfortunately, our work for Hyundai was not awarded this time (on the short lists there were no small and independent companies at all, only network agencies).
But we were entrusted with the honor of making a presentation product for the main partner of the festival, the media giant Motivate Media Group, celebrating its fortieth anniversary in 2019. By the anniversary of the company, we developed the AR effect for Facebook and Snapchat, with which you can get to the Motivate virtual hall of fame, where their best works are collected.
Among the speeches of Dubai Lynx 2019, the report of Wunderman Сommerce CEO Neil Stewart on global marketing trends: on the shift of general attention to marketplaces and the rapid expansion of voice technologies stood out especially.
Marketplaces are taking over the world: now in the US, 51% of online purchases are accounted for by Amazon, in Asia Alibaba is 65%. This means that even a large manufacturer can lose market share if it does not take into account the growing role of marketplaces.
The picture is complemented by the dynamic development of Zero UI technologies, a “zero” digital interface, where the emphasis is on the possibility of buying using voice. In the US today, more than 20% of purchases are made through Amazon Echo.
In Russia, this trend is still poorly represented - first of all, due to imperfection of technology. The only skill of the voice assistant of Alice from Yandex is to place an order in the Beru marketplace, but here you can’t do without clicking a button to confirm the goods. The result often leaves much to be desired, as, for example, in this case:
At festivals where the main focus is on the latest technology, this is rarely talked about, so the next event that I plan to attend (and even speak there) will be an international conference on retail innovation.
It will be held in Moscow on March 29, 2019 with the participation of the largest brands - Hyundai, LG, Electrolux, AliExpress, Ozon, Yandex.Market, Goods, Perekrestok and others. I will definitely tell about this in the next article.