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.

This year, NYAIX, IBM, MadHive, Lucidity, Kochava, Mediaocean, GABBCON, Accenture and others will setting up shop in Cannes Harbor. 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, Global Blockchain Solutions Lead for GroupM—both cypherpunks in their own right—agreed on a critical point: brands and agencies this 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.”


Image credit – https://imagethink.smugmug.com/ExternalPublicEvents/2017/Cannes-Lions-Health-06182017/

Did Someone Say Solutions?

There is no question that many solutions are bringing tremendous value to the markets. MadHive and Omnicom broke news at DMEXCO this year, while Mindshare recently released press about a project with Pepsi and Zilliqa. On top of that, Lucidity shared 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 are 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 who 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 eagerly await 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 promised some pre-Cannes news. I’m hopeful that based on what I’ve heard from both NYIAX and ad agencies that they are working with that their new product will create significant value, but more to come on this as it becomes available.

Kochava CEO Charles Manning mentioned he’d have a Cannes presence on a shared yacht, but will not have any vital news until the third quarter.

Educate Thyself

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 ad tech 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 the advertising agency holding companies, 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!