Industry News & Events

Cannes Lions 2024: Audience Reach on the French Riviera

Doug Borghese
Jun 25, 2024
Cannes Lions

Cannes Lions 2024: An introduction

Cannes Lions is the largest and among the most stylish events in the creative advertising and marketing industry, and Cannes Lions 2024 was no different, except perhaps in scope. Every year, besides being speckled with celebrities, top international brands like Reddit, Meta, Coca-Cola, and more arrive at the French Riviera to show off their creative prowess and stream from cabana to cabana, unveiling product news and listening in on the topics du jour. Some even compete to walk away with the prestigious Grand Prix award, arguably the most coveted creative advertising award in the world.

AppLovin was there with Wurl this year, and we made sure to stand out and make our rounds. Here are some event snapshots and key takeaways from our on-the-ground team at Cannes Lions 2024.

It seems brands across the globe are trying to learn how best to engage with Gen Z audiences. After all, they are “aging in” to being able to act on advertising. However, this demo won’t just hand their hard-earned cash app credit over to any company; Gen Z characteristics embody honesty, authenticity, transparency, and diversity, and they demand the same from the businesses they patronize. There were discussions everywhere covering Gen Z and more than a few pieces of swag geared toward them.

Unsurprisingly, AI was also floating on the ocean breeze all across Cannes Lions. For ad tech in particular, brands are shifting the conversation around AI from “what do I need to know about it” to “how can I make practical use of it” as their competitors seek to do the same. Everything from conceptualizing, creating, and launching ads to programmatic ad buying is being significantly affected by AI, and there are no signs that its exponential growth, both in development and use, is slowing down.

For data and advice on how you can use AI to uplevel your ad creatives, check out our 2024 Creative Trends Report.

The conversation around AI also carries heavy implications for how data will be aggregated and leveraged as we cross into the post-cookie era while still needing to reach audiences effectively. Cookie deprecation is forcing a shift in marketing performance measurement, and that shift includes the use of AI to model consumer behavior, sourcing insights from brands’ data clean rooms for personalized marketing.

Finally, gaming isn’t going anywhere, specifically mobile gaming. As such, there has never been a better time for non-gaming brands to reach more users through adding their relevancy to the mobile game advertising experience for global players.

AppLovin and Wurl share a space and message

gen z characteristics

AppLovin and Wurl made a joint appearance at Cannes Lions 2024, and the way we visually and literally showed up was themed all around connection: Connecting to audiences through precisely targeted mobile advertising campaigns, cross-device audience reach between mobile and CTV, and finding new ways for audiences to discover your brand.

performance marketing

We were very excited to see you all at our cabana as well! We met with some of you to discuss expanding audience reach, making your brands more discoverable, and growing your business…

While enjoying premium bites and cocktails…

On a beach…

In France. 

It doesn’t get much better than that.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: A huge shout-out is deserved for the AppLovin Design team; the cabana looked amazing, and people were vocal about that. You’re all incredible.)

gen z marketing

T-Mobile hosted a panel with Campaign US moderating that included Nestle, Tiktok, and AppLovin’s own VP of Global Business Development, Daniel Tchernahovsky, and it was centered around — as you may have guessed — resonating with Gen Z.  Specifically, they spoke about: 

  • The importance of community-building and transparency in business
  • Mentorship, even in the marketing pipeline: They can access all the info all the time, but they like guided experiences
  • The desire to learn while being entertained
  • The cultural trends happening around nostalgia and retro-tech
  • The appeal of lo-fi, homegrown-looking-and-feeling content vs. hi-fi, polished content

and much more that ultimately netted out to challenging assumptions, having a progressive outlook on industry changes, and being authentically and socially minded to appeal to this up-and-coming generation of consumers.


AppLovin also hosted a roundtable in its cabana with Campaign US moderating that featured contributors from Activision, Reddit, and Yahoo, along with Meagan Martino and, again, Daniel Tchernahovsky from AppLovin. The discussion centered on the transformative impact of personalization and AI on the mobile gaming and app advertising landscape. 

Key points included:

  • The role of generative AI in enabling personalized in-app experiences and how it is being utilized by various brands
  • The creative potential of generative AI and its capacity to revolutionize the mobile gaming and app advertising experience
  • The mobile gaming industry’s advanced status and its potential to lead the way in generative AI applications across different sectors

The roundtable underscored the innovative strides being made in the industry and highlighted the exciting future of AI-driven personalization in mobile gaming and beyond.

Read: “Marketing’s Mobile Gaming Opportunity” at Campaign US for more roundtable insights!

mobile advertising

At our Women in Advertising roundtable (well, square table), some of the most prominent women in the industry sat down and spoke about the strides they’ve made, challenges they’ve faced, and changes yet to come. In a space previously dominated by males and in the still male-majority world of tech in general, we acknowledged their significant contributions to helping evolve the business and process of advertising.

(ONE MORE EDITOR’S NOTE: We are lucky enough to work with some of the most talented people in the world, and the majority of them are women. Their creativity, passion, determination, intelligence, and kindness know no bounds.)

Cannes Lions is creativity central

cannes lions 2024

So many brands showed up and stood out on the French Riviera this year, and sharing a space with them was as inspiring as meeting all of you. This event truly encapsulates the best and brightest in advertising, but more than that, it shows how much strategy and thoughtfulness exist behind the creative processes that lead to excellence in advertising.

We can’t wait for Cannes Lions 2025. Until then, bon voyage, and thanks for taking the time to connect with us and each other this year.

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