2018 Key Takeaways From FreeWheel Cannes Beach Featuring Advertising’s Industry Leaders

Marie Giesbert VP, Marketing

Cannes Lions once again provided Team FreeWheel a unique opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our clients, partners and industry peers – from the largest TV broadcasters and publishers, to leading agencies and advertisers. Nearly 1,500 top executives from over 60 countries joined us at our beach space where they could network with peers, catch up on emails, and learn from industry leaders. Our global team and high-profile speakers such as Joe Marchese, President, Advertising Revenue at Fox Networks Group and Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder of Horizon Media discussed how we empower all the segments of the New TV Ecosystem. Here is a recap of those sessions.

The FreeWheel Forum took place on Tuesday, June 19th: a morning dedicated to the future of TV, with A-list speakers from across the industry. This session was hosted by Dave Clark, FreeWheel, who said, “Cannes is really important for our company. It is THE annual event for marketers and advertisers around the world where we come together and we reset where the industry is. We brought together on the FreeWheel Beach, leading figures from the television and advertising ecosystem: Nissan, OMD, L’Oréal, Fox, Viacom, NBCU, TrueX, and Wavemaker.”

Dave Clark, set the stage by looking at the bigger picture and discussing Comcast and FreeWheel’s future, and how the industry must continue to evolve to fulfill its promise.

“The average TV viewers spends 167 minutes a day globally with television. TV is a major source of attention even for millennials. It drives awareness, action, consideration and intent.” Dave Clark

This was followed by an inspiring panel, “The Future of Storytelling, Winning In The Attention Economy,” where industry leaders shared their views on what brands and content owners must do to maintain continued effective storytelling while ensuring all parties get the results they need. Matt Spiegel from MediaLink, moderated the lively discussion with: Pooja Midha, TrueX; John Osborn, OMD; Amanda Richman, Wavemaker; and Allyson Witherspoon, Nissan.

“Choose your partners wisely, they’re offering different standards and formats. But focus on learnings, understanding of measurement and context.” Amanda Richman

From left to right: Pooja Midha, Amanda Richman, Allyson Witherspoon, Dave Clark, and John Osborn.

Brands need a platform in order to share their storytelling to the right audience, at the right time, at the right place – and to overcome fragmentation challenges. During the session “Redefining the Role of Platforms, Making the Story Heard,” Matt Spiegel moderated once again a powerful chat with: Denise Colella, NBCUniversal; Bryson Gordon, Viacom; and Nadine Karp McHugh, L’Oréal.

“TV companies come together to cooperate as a unified platform, as said Dave Clark, the industry needs to unify.” Bryson Gordon

From left to right: Denise Colella, Nadine Karp McHugh, Bryson Gordon and Matt Spiegel.

Dave Clark closed the morning sessions with Joe Marchese, Fox Networks Group, and highlighted the challenges of, “Surviving and Thriving in the Velocity of Change,” including taking a consumer’s first approach, avoiding over-targeting, and becoming the video platform where consumers most cherish the content.

“Ad breaks: it’s actually a lot of work in creativity, we have to make advertisings worth the users’ time – change the game for storytelling and consumer experiences.” Joe Marchese

From left to right: Dave Clark and Joe Marchese.

The show continued on Wednesday morning, June 20th with “The New Living Room” content session hosted by Thomas Bremond, FreeWheel.

Thomas Bremond opened the stage with a beachside chat with Jakob Nielsen, Finecast, to discuss the ever-expanding borders of the New Living Room and what it means for the industry.

TV isn’t going to die. When a product is getting better and better, it’s exciting to say it’s going to die. It doesn’t need to be saved but needs to be changed as there are more and more data & new consumer behaviors. But I think it’s an opportunity. Jakob Nielsen

Consumers used to watch video content on one screen and room only – now, they have adopted a multiscreen approach to which TV needs to adapt. Nicolas Mignot, FreeWheel shed light on how publishers and distributors are embracing new TV models In a “Content, Ads, Audience” panel with Jean David Blanc, Molotov; Miranda Conroy, NENT Group; Virginie Dremeaux, Canal+ Régie; and Jim Lombard, Roku.

From left to right: Miranda Conroy, Jim Lombard, Virginie Dremeaux, Jean David Blanc and Nicolas Mignot.

However, broadcasters and publishers are not the only ones having to adapt and evolve their strategy according to the industry shift. Agencies and advertisers must adapt quickly, too. Dave Clark, FreeWheel, and Bill Koenigsberg, Horizon Media, offered their pieces of advice to help us understand, “How Will Advertisers and Agencies Work Together in the New World?In a session dedicated to the challenges that agencies face in trying to do more and more with less and less.

“Invest in the right technologies in order to be able to compete, but also reinvent yourself. Become faster, smarter and smaller. We’re not too big to fall.” Bill Koenigsberg

From left to right : Dave Clark and Bill Koenigsberg.


The industry will lean towards more transparency, premium needs to be easier to buy and technology platforms more unified. That’s why FreeWheel Council members also took our stage in a breakthrough roundtable moderated by James Rothwell, FreeWheel. They decided toLook at the Global Living Room,” and explain how publishers and advertisers take full advantage of the largest screen in the house now that there are hundreds of ways for content to be delivered. This panel included: Jonathan Lewis, Channel4; Jamie West, Sky Media; Chris Le May, EBX; and Dan Aversano, Turner.

From left to right: Jonathan Lewis, James Rothwell, Dan Aversano, Jamie West, Chris Le May.

The industry is challenging for leading broadcasters, publishers, advertisers and agencies. They must keep innovating, adapting, reorganizing and reinventing themselves but these changes will contribute to building the future of TV.

>> Relive the Cannes experience by watching this final wrap up episode of FreeWheel’s 2018 Cannes adventure:
>> Or browse our gallery:

A special thank you to the inspiring leaders who joined the #YOUCANNES2018 experience:

  • Pooja Midha, President, TrueX
  • John Osborn, CEO, OMD
  • Amanda Richman, US CEO, Wavemaker
  • Allyson Witherspoon, GM of Global Brand Engagement, Nissan.
  • Dave Clark, GM/EVP, FreeWheel
  • Denise Colella, SVP, Advanced Advertising Products and Strategy, NBCUniversal
  • Bryson Gordon, EVP Advanced Advertising, Viacom
  • Nadine Karp McHugh, SVP Omni Media And Creative Solutions, L’Oréal
  • Joe Marchese, President, Advertising Revenue, Fox Networks Group
  • Jakob Nielsen, CEO, Finecast
  • Thomas Bremond , General Manager, International
  • Nicolas Mignot , SVP Key Accounts International
  • Jim Lombard, Director of International Ad Sales , Roku
  • Virginie Dremeaux, Digital Marketing Director, Canal+ Régie
  • Miranda Conroy, Nordic Head of AVOD Monetization & Business Development, NENT Group
  • Jean David Blanc, Founder & CEO, Molotov
  • Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO, Founder, Horizon Media
  • James Rothwell, VP, Global Agency, Brand & Industry Relations, FreeWheel
  • Jonathan Lewis, Head of Digital and Partnership Innovation, Channel4
  • Jamie West, Deputy Managing Director, Sky Media
  • Chris Le May, CEO, EBX
  • Dan Aversano, SVP Ad Innovation And Programmatic Solutions, Turner

See you next year because #YOUCANNES2019.