Last year I wrote a post titled The Dinosaurs of Cannes about the scene at the Cannes Lions Festival, the ad industry’s star-studded annual awards show. I said, “As you walked down La Croisette the rest of the week, you could see lots of dinosaurs basking in their glory while asking what all the furry and feathered things running around at their feet and flying around above them were.” This year the new mammals and birds of the industry have begun to strut their stuff.
What these new species have in common is that they’re based on open systems. These systems are digital at their core, and leverage network effects and the ability of the “digital democracy” to find the best talent and ideas wherever they exist. Unlike closed marketing systems, characterized by agencies that wall off their in-house talent (creating a scarce and expensive resource), open marketing systems seek talent from anywhere in the world to solve problems, and then curate the best answers.