The Goals House at Cannes Lions: Inspiring Purposeful Marketing in the Experience Economy

As the world’s creative leaders gather in Cannes, France next week to shape the creative marketing agenda at Cannes Lions, the largest global event for the creative communications industry, many will be asking “what is the future of marketing?”

SAP, Qualtrics, Deloitte Digital, Freuds, and Project Everyone will share an answer: transforming the industry by turning brands into movements and experiences that scale impact for the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Goals House: A New Home for Purpose at Cannes Lions

Building on the success of the Davos House, which was first created in January 2019 to encourage the high-level discussions that will enable the world to meet its 2030 targets, SAP and Qualtrics are partnering with Deloitte Digital, Ascential, Cannes Lions, Freuds, and Project Everyone to inaugurate the Goals House at Cannes Lions.

On Monday, June 17, the Goals House will be opened by Philip Thomas, president of Ascential Events and chairman of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

“The Cannes Lions Festival is a unique time and place for the world’s greatest communicators and the world’s most powerful companies to come together with those working daily towards the delivery of the SDGs,” says Thomas. “We are delighted to welcome the Goals House to Cannes Lions, a place where these different groups can come together to create genuine, sustainable change at scale.”

“As professional communicators, our unique superpowers enable us to have tremendous impact on the global sustainability conversation. From climate action to well-being and from gender equality to responsible consumption and production, our daily global reach to the whole of humanity positions us to accelerate action,” says Alicia Hatch, chief marketing officer of Deloitte Digital. “We’re thrilled to partner with SAP on this important initiative to bring leaders together to discuss the connection between creativity and sustainability and redefine what it means to ‘win’ as a global community.”

“The definition of winning is changing. For marketers, winning is now about delivering experiences that inspire, inform, and move people around the world to join in scaling impact for the SDGs,” says Ann Rosenberg, senior vice president and global head of SAP Next-Gen. “The Goals House at Cannes Lions brings together SDG champions and influencers among the world’s leading creative brands to build consensus and mobilize action around this new definition of winning.”

New Frontiers in Marketing: Experience and Purpose

Every day during Cannes Lions, the Goals House will host dynamic leaders engaged in high-level conversations to envision the way ahead for the world. SDG champions from the creative industry together with leaders on the forefront of purpose from government, corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the startup ecosystem, journalism, and social activism will gather to share best practices and demonstration projects that point the way to accelerating solutions and scaling impact for the SDGs.

“For me, the most exciting change in the last few years has been the rise of purpose-driven business,” says Richard Curtis, UN SDG advocate and co-founder of Project Everyone. “It’s crucial that companies move from doing token good deeds to becoming companies that do real good. Without business, the UN Global Goals will never succeed. But equally important is that marketing keeps up with it – tells the consumer what’s happening when wonderful things are happening and even pushes businesses to be more bold and more imaginative with what they do and what they tell the public they are doing. The Goals House is the cauldron in which this is going to happen and happen fast.”

The Goals House at Cannes Lions will have more than 30 sessions linked to the central themes of moving from campaigns to experiences, infusing purpose into marketing, and partnering in movements to scale impact for the SDGs. Session highlights include:

  • Monday, June 17: The Opening of the Goals House with Philip Thomas; Turning Leadership into Action! The Global CMO Growth Council at Cannes Lions
  • Tuesday, June 18: Innovation Studios; From Purpose to Positive Impact
  • Wednesday, June 19: How Using Art and Storytelling Can Change Conversations and Build Movements; Dine with Purpose: How Business can Impact Hunger and Food Security; Designing Change in the Human Revolution; Global Citizens Movement; Profit and Purpose
  • Thursday, June 20: Going Beyond Sport to Achieve the Global Goals: How the Power of Sport and Activism Marketing Can Scale Impact for the SDGs; Call to Action for Public-Private Partnerships in the Creative Industry; What Does It Mean To Win?; Experience Management in a Purpose-Driven Economy
  • Friday, June 21: Launch of the United Nations Technology Innovation Lab for Gender Equality with a Specific Focus on Hispanic Women; Telling Stories that Matter: How Creative Risk can Lead to a Global Impact

A New Definition of Winning

A new definition of winning based on the purpose-focused outcomes defined in the SDGs will be a key enabler of scaling impact and making sustainable living the new normal by 2030 and beyond and will affect industries as diverse as fashion and food, functional areas from advertising to production, and sources of innovation spanning academia, the startup ecosystem, corporates, and government incubators.

Returning to her earlier theme, Rosenberg says, “The Goals House brings into focus an important question: What does it really mean to win today? SAP and Qualtrics together with our partners look forward to collaborating with SDG champions to answer this question in collaboration with the world’s leading creative brands. Together we can drive a movement where forward-looking brands create purposeful experiences and lead in the race to achieve the SDGs.”

SAP and its partners aim to make the Goals House an annual focal point at Cannes Lions for the strategic-thinking needed to make the SDGs a reality.