The following is a post from Frank Holland, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Advertising and Online.


Over seven days in June each year, the advertising industry comes together at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to learn from the best and celebrate work that is changing the marketing landscape. Celebrating its 60th year, Cannes Lions 2013 is expected to be the largest ever with at least 11,000 delegates attending from more than 90 countries. We have been a proud sponsor of the Festival and the Cyber Lions Awards for the past 12 years and will have a strong presence at the event again this year, which starts on Sunday, June 16.

Throughout the week, people will be asking what the next advertising technology or platform will be and how to leverage the current ones. As you will see and hear from us at Cannes Lions, our vision for digital advertising goes beyond just products and specific technologies, trends and tactics. It is truly about putting the consumer experience at the center of everything we do.

We invite Festival delegates to do the same by going beyond… beyond advertising, beyond insights, beyond technology to explore the advertising experiences people want, on platforms they love. We are focused on exploring and creating experiences that matter to people, regardless of channel or device.

To give you a taste of what this means, here is a sneak peek of what we will be sharing during the Festival:

· News on June 18 about the second stage of a journey we began at Cannes last year, with a new round of Co-Ideation with agencies, brands and publishers on advertising experiences. We’re eager to show some new and exciting concepts that push the boundaries of innovation and creativity. We also will be sharing Ads in Apps for Windows 8 momentum news—including a new ad format and effectiveness research results.

· An on-stage session on June 19 by Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of marketing and strategy for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, on “Beyond the Device: How Entertainment is Becoming More Personal.” On the heels of the Xbox One announcement last month, Yusuf will talk about how entertainment and advertising are evolving on Xbox and showcasing innovative experiences that engage consumers.

· A discussion entitled “Beyond Technology: Designing for People” on June 19 with Bill Buxton, principal researcher at Microsoft Research, and Stephen Kim, vice president of global agencies and accounts and Yarn (our team that partners with leading creative agencies on next generation ad experiences and delivers them at scale).

· Also on June 19, news about a new Consumer Co-Creation project featuring input from people across Europe and the U.S. on ideal online engagement and advertising experiences. The results will be shared during a news briefing that morning.

If you will be joining us at Cannes, please stop by the Microsoft Lounge (on Level 1 of the Palais des Festivals), which will be open to all Festival delegates for the entire week. At the lounge, attendees can explore how consumers are interacting with devices and how advertisers can use this knowledge to better connect with people. Grounded in our latest research, the lounge will take delegates on a journey through a consumer’s day – from the functionality of Windows 8, across a range of devices, to home entertainment provided through Xbox.

For those of you not able to join us at Cannes Lions, I encourage you to keep an eye on the Microsoft Advertising site for Cannes and Microsoft News Center for all of the latest stories from us at the Festival. Finally, you are welcome to follow us on Twitter (using #MSACannes) and Facebook.

Stay tuned for more!