CANNT 2019 - Beyond Borders - The 10th Birthday Review

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Back in June 2019, we held our Beyond Borders event at HKX. The event was generously supported by Havas UK and Target Media in their imposing Kings Cross office, with impressive views of the evolving and inspiring Coal Drops Yard development.

The event continued CANNT's belief that, we as creatives and creators need to come together, to celebrate our differences and diversity, and for us to cross borders be that physical, social or mental. Moreover, as we see technology develop, we must further question our own understanding of reality and what we mean by experience.

The session introduced CANNT 2019 and how its commitment to creativity, made Augmented Reality (AR) an exciting choice for the next decade. This referenced from Mary Meeker's Internet Trends Report, which sees XR (eXtended Reality) become the dominant new computing platform from 2020, building on the last 15 years of smartphone dominance. XR encompasses augmented, mixed and virtual reality.

This was following by an inspiring session from David Morris on Snap's plans for AR, and how the new features in their Lens 2.0 specification help unlock more creative expression and new opportunities for creators. David shared a number of inspiring examples of where AR is being used creatively to draw attention to social and environmental issues, and to act as a force for good.

Alistair Campbell, ECD of We Are Social, took us behind the scenes look at LEGO’s AR Fashion Store created in collaboration with Snapchat - the physical popup space featured a giant snap code in an otherwise empty, white room. This award-winning experience challenged normal thinking and transplanted the viewer into an inspiring retail environment to sell out the 2019 LEGOWear collection. https://wearesocial.com/uk/case-studies/lego-ar-store

Lauren Dyer and Nuria Quero from the Mill, gave a thrilling review of the XR work the Mill has created, showing the breadth of their offer. The examples showed how existing experiential marketing events and environments can be augmented with technology, to create next-level creative opportunities. Check out their XR method and their envy-inducing reel.

In a sneak peek of his presentation at Cannes Lions, Alex Newland of Visual Voice spoke about how they’re combining AI into their immersive platform to create new marketing and experience opportunities for brands. He spoke about how in their work for Lexus, they used AI to generate the film script, from watching award winning car and luxury adverts from the Cannes Lions database. Alex sees the new creative team being a mixture of creative human talent and data-backed AIs.

Proceeding the panel discussion, Holly Hall and Simon Gill gave an introduction to BIMA Beat, a quarterly showcase of the latest digitally infused creative work from across the UK. It’s free and simple to enter, with the aim of sharing the best of UK Digital Creativity.

The final forty-five minutes was a lively discussion about the possibilities of AR/XR, the important mix of creativity and technology. And how Augmented Reality in particular can be used as a potent communications platform for Good, bring important issues to live, right in front of us. The panel included:

  • Alex Newland, Director/Founder at Visual Voice
  • David Norris, Creative Strategy at Snap UK
  • Eleni Sarla, Chief Executive Officer at Target Group
  • Gracie Page, Head of Emerging Tech at VML/Y&R
  • Lauren Dyer, Brand Partnerships at The Mill
  • Mirren Malcolm-Neale, Lead Audio Developer at GCRS
  • Tom Hill, Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson

The evening ended with an engaged audience asking many questions of the panel. The general feeling was that while we must ensure we put the human at the heart of our work, AR can definitely help tell stories in new ways, break ground on social impact and drive business benefit.

A big thank you to all the attendees and a CANNT ‘Big Up’ to all the participants from BIMA, GCRS, Havas, Snapchat, Target Media, The Mill, Visual Voice, VML/Y&T, We Are Social, Wunderman Thompson. Finally, a further thank you to Target Media for sponsoring the event and providing the venue.