Data, Identity and Interoperability Take a Lion’s Share of Focus at Cannes 

BLOG POST 7/8/2022

The hiatus of in-person gatherings has been deeply felt. But as difficult as the pause was, it reset the energy at the tentpole media and marketing event, Cannes Lions. There was excitement to reconnect and (coincidently) discuss how advertisers, media and technology companies can strengthen connections to lay a foundation for meaningful change in the advertising supply chain for more effective activation. What will that foundation look like? Here’s a collection of thoughts from the TruAudience team at TransUnion.


  1. A common — not single — approach to identity across people, households and devices.
    Many leaders in the industry agree advertising will inevitably look different in the coming years. Consumers are spending more time in digital channels buying, watching, listening and playing. There’s a shifting regulatory landscape afoot, and some identifiers relied on for advertising activation are deprecating.

    Significant changes in data, technology, infrastructure and strategy are needed in response to these inevitable shifts — producing a critical moment in time to focus on structuring an advertising ecosystem that’s more effective, consumer-focused, omnichannel and collaborative.

    What’s clear from our Cannes discussions is this future won’t depend on a single identifier or approach to identity. Rather it calls for an infrastructure allowing for many identity definitions — across people, households and devices — to be precisely resolved, securely translated and effectively transacted across environments, including offline media, digital, connected TV and others.

  2. Increased data collaboration with a focus on privacy.

    Amid recent years of identity-related uncertainty, advertisers, agencies, publishers and platforms have taken steps to build out first-party data and strengthen approaches to third-party data while operating and scaling advertising activation in a digital world. Now, second-party data — the data you collaborate on with direct partners — has come into the limelight.

    With datasets increasing in volume — across data categories, channels, devices, etc. — there’s a greater need for tools to manage, understand and activate against this data. More importantly, there’s need to bring data together for joint analytics, media activation and marketing measurement in a secure way.

    Ahead of Cannes, Neustar, a TransUnion company, rolled out its Marketing and Analytics Clean Room. By combining Neustar and TransUnion’s advanced identity resolution, machine learning and privacy-enhancing technology capabilities, this easy-to-use solution powers data collaboration, identity resolution, audience targeting and measurement across first-party customer data, as well as second- and third-party channel and media partner sources.

    At Cannes, many conversations were spurred around evolving privacy regulations, collaboration challenges and how clean rooms offer a solution. The Clean Room Inevitability: Demystifying the Privacy-Dominant Ad Future, a panel hosted by The Drum (in partnership with Neustar), featured a discussion of industry leaders at Neustar, Wavemaker, Kinesso and Horizon Media.

    In a roundtable offering advice to industry stakeholders, Neustar SVP and GM Steve Silvers concluded, “How we use data needs to be part of those core values. And we need to decide what we're willing to do and what we're not willing to do; what type of data, what type of consent. We need to make those decisions about who we are as an organization. And then we need to take that to inform the data strategy and technology decisions we're making now — so we have a successful business in the future."

    The industry clearly seeks to define and align on alternative ways to share data in privacy-first, identity-driven and scalable ways to effectively target, measure and drive deeper insights. Through improved collaboration capabilities, brands and the media companies serving them can enable better, more consistent consumer experiences.

  3. Interoperability and connectivity will play key roles in enabling the full potential of future-proofed, omnichannel and collaborative solutions.

    There are many players in this digital ecosystem, and trusted partnerships that embrace interoperability and build connectivity will enable advertising solutions with scale, precision and speed.

    Agencies, publishers and platforms will ultimately support a broad set of identity solutions and integrations spanning the media and marketing world — across individual and household-based environments, as well as linear, digital and connected TV channels and walled gardens. For media companies with less or little access to unique identity components, these developments and partnerships will also serve as an opportunity for survival. Through broad integrations across advertising activation touchpoints, advertisers and media companies will realize the digital speed that enables real-time activation and decisioning.

Advertisers and media companies are determining how they’ll invest in a mix of data and technology. Some investments will be in-house, many more through partnerships, and all will rely on the infrastructure we as an industry create today. From Cannes, the main takeaway is this: Every trusted partnership formed today is a long-term opportunity to build more relevant, secure and seamless consumer experiences tomorrow.

The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TransUnion. The information contained in this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. You should consult your own attorney or financial adviser regarding your particular situation. TransUnion does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute an endorsement by TransUnion. TransUnion LLC and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“TransUnion”) make no endorsement, recommendation or representation with respect to the information provided herein. For complete details of TransUnion products, visit www.transunion.com.