2023 has been a whirlwind travel year so far, putting Shockoe in the room with great brands, and exciting opportunities. From conversations with the NFL and Big Brothers Big Sisters to the Miami Dolphins and the PGA Tour our team has been taking the stage and sharing our passion for digital innovation.

The latest trip took me and our President and CTO Edwin Huertas to The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. We were fortunate to receive a State Trade Expansion Program Grant from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to support our international travel to one of the biggest events in the world.

With a strong focus on advertising, film, and digital creativity we explored the future of retail and customer experience with the biggest global brands. We brought our tech lens to the week, taking part in conversations on mobile apps, generative AI, and immersive experiences. As expected, Cannes led to exciting opportunities, incredible conversations, and new creative ways of imagining the future of digital innovations.

Takeaway 1: Mobile Apps of Today and Tomorrow

One of the throughlines of the week was the vital role mobile apps play in advertising and marketing. We saw brands showcasing creative apps that connect with users on a more personal level, like Spotify which provides a custom music experience for individual users. And while every brand there had a mobile presence already, there was recognition from many that investing in elevating the mobile experience is becoming vital to stand out. Many companies have been updating apps that need a refresh to better meet the needs of consumers in 2023 and to better match the tech innovations driving excitement.

Takeaway 2: The AI Elephant in the Room

Generative AI was the topic of nearly every conversation I had and took the event by storm with experiences like Nike’s Serena Williams AI-powered matchup. During the event brands also discussed the opportunities to personalize content through AI, and the importance of adapting marketing and advertising to generative AI platforms. From Shockoe’s perspective, we also shared the potential for generative AI to revamp existing mobile apps, offering a faster and easier way to keep them up-to-date and wowing users.

Takeaway 3: The Rising Popularity of Augmented Reality

While at Cannes, Snapchat and Disney created an immersive exhibition to celebrate 100 years of Disney storytelling. Using Snap’s AR technology, the two companies created an immersive experience that transported us all into the Disney worlds we know and love. The popularity of the exhibit highlights the growing opportunities for AR in marketing, offering a new way to reach consumers and build a memorable brand experience. Immersive experiences like this transport us to new worlds, it was my first time interacting with Groot and Grogu at least! Overall, exhibits like this from some of the biggest brands like Disney highlight the rising popularity of AR as a marketing tool and as a new way to build an excited fanbase.

It’s safe to say our team had an amazing time at Cannes and we can’t wait to be back for the 2024 event as we continue to grow our reach internationally. It was an exciting opportunity to see how leading brands are exploring new ways to engage users. By both investing in digital solutions that a brand already has, like mobile apps, and integrating new innovations from AR and AI the best brands are poised to better engage their users and build a strong base. When you’re ready to stand out against the biggest names see how Shockoe can make it happen.