Brand trust issues for debate at Cannes ‘festival of creativity’

Focus on ‘what humans do and why they do it’, MCCP founder Kay McCarthy will tell event

MCCP managing director Kay McCarthy: “Consumers like brands but they don’t always trust the ad.”

MCCP managing director Kay McCarthy: “Consumers like brands but they don’t always trust the ad.”

Thu, Jun 12, 2014, 01:04

Other than the inevitable Bono, the only Irish person speaking at next week’s Cannes Lions advertising festival will be Kay McCarthy, the founder of account planning agency MCCP, who will give a speech titled “Planning for the death of planning, as we know it”.

McCarthy will argue that account planning (essentially, the marriage of consumer research with marketing strategy) needs to renew its attention to why consumers make the decisions they make. This must include updating research into “real-time consumer behaviour, as opposed to what they say in focus groups,” she explains.

“Consumers like brands but they don’t always trust the ad. We think that planning can help them solve a bigger problem and that’s how to get consumers to trust brands,” she says.

“There has been a focus on big data and analytics but this is more about the human side: what humans do and why they do it.”

Rather than chase short- term cash, as they have tended to do in recent years, brands need to form longer-term strategies and examine how they can reposition themselves, adds McCarthy, who founded MCCP in 2008 and employs 15 people, counting Heineken, Jameson whiskey and An Post among her clients.

The Cannes Lions “festival of creativity” attracts more than 12,000 delegates and 250 speakers from 94 countries. The event is something of a gongfest, with more than a thousand Cannes Lions trophies due to be awarded to the best advertising, marketing, public relations and other creative work selected from almost 36,000 entries.