Day One at Cannes Lions 2021 | iProspect Global
#Industry News

“Telling our stories, as opposed to having others come to tell our stories on our behalf, says a lot.”

This article has been authored by Joel Rao, MD, iProspect Kenya


The most inspiring thing I've seen today is purpose-led business outcomes. The work that has been awarded has been driven by that. Personally, I have found inspiration in the aspects of diversity and inclusion that have come out through the work that P&G has done around widening the screen in order to widen the views on diversity and inclusion. As a father of three daughters, and being mixed-race living in Africa, I believe telling our stories, as opposed to having others come to tell our stories on our behalf, says a lot. I believe storytelling and story-doing by brands are at the very foundation of widening the screen, the opportunity brought around what the space really needs. And that is to ensure that we offer economic benefits to those communities that have been marginalized in this sense.


I attended a session hosted by Nielsen around the streaming ecosystem, and the fact that SVODs and AVODs now make up almost 50% of overall content viewership in the US. I think this is going to spread across the world and is very much female skewed. What is interesting for me is that as far as content creation is concerned, the aspect of touching on social challenges, and going back to that element of diversity and inclusion, plays a very big role in in what the streaming platforms will be rolling out in the next couple of months. Streaming channels are being used as propaganda machines to address issues that are facing the world today - an extremely interesting takeaway.

I was impressed with the work P&G and Cartwright have brought to life around storytelling for diversity and inclusion and how, actually, they have worked very closely with this ‘unstereotype alliance’ to be able to give life to storytelling within the context of communities that have been affected by inclusion and diversity challenges.


I have seen two things that will have the biggest implications for our industry over the next 12 months. Firstly, the aspect of purpose-led storytelling in for profit environments. But specifically, from a diversity and inclusion angle, I think it is going to continually play a role over the next 12 months as we look towards driving certain awareness of challenges that are facing communities today - playing that vital role of not just selling for the purpose of selling but selling with a purpose - to be able to not just bring awareness, but also some form of remedy within the communities where they exist. Secondly, the power of blockchain and the introduction of NFTs in that industry, not only to amplify the different art forms that come with it, but also to bring to life new forms of digital art forms that could be put out there. I think that will be really exciting to watch over the next 12 months.