Publicis Counters AI Haters by Celebrating Marcel in Cannes


In 2017, amid the excitement of the Cannes Lions Worldwide Pageant of Creativity, holding firm Publicis Groupe dropped a bombshell. The community introduced that it was foregoing all advertising efforts and awards together with Cannes for the subsequent 12 months to refocus its sources on creating a man-made intelligence platform known as Marcel.

Although Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun heralded Marcel as a ground-breaking device that might rework how its expertise labored, the information was largely met with skepticism, ridicule and even some anger

However six years later, as promoting and advertising executives convene for an additional Cannes Lions, know-how has superior and attitudes in the direction of AI have shifted. Publicis is seizing the second to launch a Marcel anniversary marketing campaign, whose message may greatest be summed up as: We instructed you so. 

Alongside the Croisette in Cannes during the competition, Publicis is operating tongue-in-cheek adverts that promote Marcel whereas demonstrating how far AI has progressed in only a handful of years. The pictures, made with generative AI platform Midjourney, playfully recreate preliminary reactions to Publicis’ controversial announcement.

One poster options the immediate, “Advert govt in Cannes reacting to the launch of Marcel,” with a picture of a laughing man in a swimsuit. One other reveals a younger “Publicis artistic” whose eyes widen in dismay on the information.

Because the adverts playfully present, preliminary reactions to Publicis Groupe’s funding in AI ranged from dismay to ridicule.Publicis Groupe

Coming full circle

The road on the backside of the adverts reads: “Is it okay to speak about AI in Cannes now?”

That may be a rhetorical query, as a result of the reply is an apparent sure. For the reason that latest rise of ChatGPT, AI is now excessive on the trade’s agenda, with this 12 months’s competition programming packed stuffed with mainstage and fringe occasions exploring the know-how’s impression on enterprise and creativity. 

Artistic campaigns made with generative AI instruments like ChatGPT or Midjourney may also be within the highlight, although it stays to be seen whether or not awards juries deem any worthy of the large prizes. 

For Publicis, the prospect to speak about AI in Cannes once more is a “full circle” second, mentioned chief technique officer Carla Serrano. 

“It’s an acceptance that AI has hit our trade with unbelievable fervor,” she instructed Adweek. “A part of the explanation we’re celebrating Marcel’s sixth birthday is to indicate how [AI] has moved on fairly rapidly in a brief period of time.”


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