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‘It’s probably going to be a little bit tempered’: What marketers expect from Cannes after two-year hiatus

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‘It’s probably going to be a little bit tempered’: What marketers expect from Cannes after two-year hiatus

After a two-year hiatus, the schmoozing and dealmaking usually found at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is back in-person. But it may look a little different this year. 

While there’s excitement, advertising agency execs and chief marketing officers expect the celebration to be more somber than in previous years, in light of the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, the impending economic recession and the war in Ukraine. 

“2022 will likely have two vibes happening,” Leslie Sims, U.S. chief creative officer at Deloitte Digital, said via email, “celebration since it is the first time back in-person in two years, and yet also a more reserved tone given the complicated issues the world is facing.”

Cannes has always been about relationship building.

Josh Golden, CMO, Quad

The festival is one of the industry’s most anticipated events, with wheeling and dealing often flanked by an endless supply of rosé, celebrity-studded entertainment and extravagant experiences (like Snapchat’s ferris wheel in 2017 and concerts at Spotify’s Beach). Two years ago, organizers put a pin in Cannes Lions as the pandemic shuttered in-person activity, opting for virtual events in 2020 and 2021. Since then, social unrest, war, economic crisis and the ever-present pandemic have cast a shadow over the happenstance meetups marketers are accustomed to and the serendipitous nature of the festival. 

“Cannes has always been about relationship building,” said Josh Golden, CMO at global marketing experience company Quad. But the pandemic and turbulence of the last two years have “created this weird space that has existed between marketers.” Relationships that sparked during in-person events that usually took place five or six times per year were boiled down to text message-based relationships or interactions over Zoom, he added. 

According to Jenny Rooney, managing director and co-founder at Black Glass CMO House consultancy, her team wrestled with the idea of attending Cannes this year, given the state of the world. Out of the 12-member team, two from Black Glass will travel to Cannes, heeding Covid-19 safety guidelines like mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing. 

“Overall, the tenor is going to be happy and grateful,” Rooney said. “But it’s probably going to be a little bit tempered with a real acknowledgement of the fact that it’s challenging times right now.”

Meanwhile, if someone does fall ill, ad tech company Infillion says it has a plan in place for medical care — including a medical concierge setup for quarantine, treatment and a travel plan to return to the states. It’s worth noting that the CDC on Friday lifted its requirement for travelers to test negative for Covid-19 before entering the US, making it easier for travelers to return to the country. That said, the move does increase the possibility of Cannes attendees spreading Covid-19.

I recognize I’m willing to take some risks, to go have the opportunity to meet with people in person.

Josh Golden

There’s a similar sentiment at Quad, who is sending a minimal “S.W.A.T. Team” of staff to this year’s event, according to Golden — especially as attendance is expected to be less than in years prior as travel budgets continue to climb toward pre-pandemic levels. 

To some, this year will be a test of the return of Cannes. “For us to jump in with two feet and have a large activation would be a little bit presumptuous perhaps,” Golden said, “not totally knowing who is going to be there [or] how big it’s going to be.”

If nothing else, the last two years have proven that remote work can be effective. And even in light of the current risks and societal turbulence, marketers say they still see value in an in-person reunion that can’t be recreated over video conference calls. 

“After two years have passed and us being at home and frankly, our whole work lives have been changed. I recognize I’m willing to take some risks, to go have the opportunity to meet with people in person,” Golden said.

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives
Nothing Ear (stick) held by a model on white background



(Image credit: Nothing )

True to form, Nothing has just announced the full reveal date for its upcoming audio product, Ear (stick). 

So, an announcement about an announcement. You’ve got to hand it to Carl Pei’s marketing department, they never miss a trick.

What we’re saying is that although we still have ‘nothing’ conclusive about the features, pricing or release date for the Ear (stick) except an image of another model holding them (and we’ve seen plenty of those traipsing down the catwalk recently), we do have a date – the day when we’ll be granted official access to this information. 

That day is October 26. Nothing assures us that on this day we’ll be able to find out everything, including pricing and product specifications, during the online Ear (stick) Reveal, at 3PM BST (which is 10AM ET, or 1AM on Wednesday if you’re in Sydney, Australia) on nothing.tech (opens in new tab)

Any further information? A little. Nothing calls the Ear (stick), which is now the product’s official name, “the next generation of Nothing sound technology”, and its “most advanced audio product yet”. 

But that’s not all! Apparently, Ear (stick) are “half in-ear true wireless earbuds that balance supreme comfort with exceptional sound, made not to be felt when in use. They’re feather-light with an ergonomic design that’s moulded to your ears. Delivered in a unique charging case, inspired by classic cosmetic silhouettes, and compactly formed to simply glide into pockets.” 

Opinion: I need more than a lipstick-style case

Nothing Ear (stick) – official leaked renders pic.twitter.com/FrhKmRttmiOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that I want Nothing’s earbuds to succeed in world dominated by AirPods; who doesn’t love a plucky, eccentric underdog? 

But in order to become some of the best true wireless earbuds on the market, there is room for improvement over the Nothing Ear 1, the company’s inaugural earbuds. 

Aside from this official ‘news’ from Nothing, leaked images and videos of the Ear (stick) have been springing up all over the internet (thank you, developer Kuba Wojciechowski) and they depict earbuds that look largely unchanged, which is a shame. 

For me, the focus needs to shift from gimmicks such as a cylindrical case with a red section at the end which twists up like a lipstick. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of theater, but only if the sound coming from the earbuds themselves is top dog. 

As the natural companions for the Nothing Phone 1, it makes sense for the Ear (stick) to take a place similar to that of Apple’s AirPods 3, where the flagship Ear (1) sit alongside the AirPods Pro 2 as a flagship offering. 

See, that lipstick case shape likely will not support wireless charging. That and the rumored lack of ANC means the Ear (stick) is probably arriving as the more affordable option in Nothing’s ouevre. 

For now, we sit tight until October 26. 

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.  

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers
Woman watching YouTube on mobile phone screen



(Image credit: Shutterstock / Kicking Studio)

You might soon have to buy YouTube Premium to watch 4K YouTube videos, a new user test suggests.

According to a Reddit thread (opens in new tab) highlighted on Twitter by leaker Alvin (opens in new tab), several non-Premium YouTube users have reported seeing 4K resolution (and higher) video options limited to YouTube Premium subscribers on their iOS devices. For these individuals, videos are currently only available to stream in up to 1440p (QHD) resolution.

The apparent experiment only seems to be affecting a handful of YouTube users for now, but it suggests owner Google is toying with the idea of implementing a site-wide paywall for access to high-quality video in the future.

So, after testing up to 12 ads on YouTube for non-Premium users, now some users reported that they also have to get a Premium account just to watch videos in 4K. pic.twitter.com/jJodoAxeDpOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that Google has been searching for new ways to monetize its YouTube platform in recent months. In September, the company introduced five unskippable ads for some YouTube users as part of a separate test – an unexpected development that, naturally, didn’t go down well with much of the YouTube community. 

A resolution paywall seems a more palatable approach from Google. While annoying, the change isn’t likely to provoke the same level of ire from non-paying YouTube users as excessive ads, given that many smartphones still max out at QHD resolution anyway. 

Of course, if it encourages those who do care about high-resolution viewing to invest in the platform’s Premium subscription package, it may also be more lucrative for Google. After all, YouTube Premium, which offers ad-free viewing, background playback and the ability to download videos for offline use, currently costs $11.99 / £11.99 / AU$14.99 per month.

Suffice to say, the subscription service hasn’t taken off in quite the way Google would’ve hoped since its launch in 2014. Only around 50 million users are currently signed up to YouTube Premium, while something close to 2 billion people actively use YouTube on a monthly basis. 

Might the addition of 4K video into Premium’s perk package bump up that number? Only time will tell. We’ll be keeping an eye on our own YouTube account to see whether this resolution paywall becomes permanent in the coming months.

Axel is a London-based staff writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the newest movies to latest Apple developments as part of the site’s daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned a gold standard NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme. 

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

USB-C als Ladestandard in der EU

Mundissima / Shutterstock


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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