Cannes Lions 2016: Creative Collaboration, Virtual Reality and 360 Video Were All Hot Topics At This Year’s Festivity

With: Alexandra Thielke, Co-Founder of Twentyfive & Thirty

After this year’s installment of Cannes Lions, we had the pleasure to do a 1-on-1 interview with the co-founder of “world-traveling” agency Twentyfive & Thirty, Alexandra Thielke. Haven’t heard of the 2-person creative agency? Check out their feature in AdWeek!


Here’s the scoop:

Was this your first time at Cannes Lions? Would you agree that this festival is the most rewarding annual event creative professionals can attend?

“This was our 3rd time at Cannes Lions. This is definitely an inspiring event to attend for all creative professionals. This event sets the tone of what is trending and what will be the tendencies in the year to come. So many inspiring people are gathered to share and discuss their point of view of the creative industry. We believe that this is one of the most educating events you can possibly attend.”


In 3 words, please describe this year’s festival.

“International. Inspiring. Rosé.”


Major brands like Burger King and John Lewis brought home the Lions Grand Prix. Out of all participating campaigns, which one stood out to you the most?

The Swedish number – A campaign created for the Swedish Tourist Association, where they made a number anyone in the world can call to ask about Sweden, which will be connected to any random Swede who have signed up to participate and represent their native country.”

“Breast cancer awareness – The Manboobs campaign takes on social media censorship of female breasts by demonstrating how to do a breast self-exam using a man. We just thought it was so well made, clever and hilarious!”


What was the overarching topical theme at this year’s festival? What was the buzz?

“Virtual reality and 360 video was to be found everywhere – It is really taking off! Passion that beats talent, and the collaboration between agencies and clients was a strong topic at this year’s festival as well”


Cannes Lions always attracts a plethora of celebrities. From Will Smith to Martha Stewart. Would you say that any of this year’s keynote speakers managed to capture what branding and creativity means today?

“Absolutely. One of our favorites was Will Smith. Besides his amazing ability to capture his audience and set a relaxed “down to earth” mood, he had some really good points on how to manage a brand and how social media has changed the entire ball game. One of his main points was the change in running a company, and the increased expectancy of full transparency where companies these days are forced to be completely honest and create good wholesome products. If they don’t, their flaws run the risk of being spread across social media in no time.”


What was the most extravagant occurrence during the festival? Any helicopter entrances or outdoor cirque du soleil performances?

“Our most extraordinary experience was delivered by SNASK who made their talk dressed as a rock band. They just look cool and make great work.”


Lastly, what are the thoughts and ideas you will bring back with you to your creative agency?

“We found the subject on collaboration between agency and client very interesting. We had many discussions about this and how relationships need to change to be more honest and close. There were definitely points that support the way we want to – and already work. Especially the thoughts on working “as a team” instead of accepting the traditional client – supplier relationship.”

“The possibilities with Facebook live and 360 video was also very inspiring and is something that we were already looking into before, but now something we will be looking even closer to get involved in. It is clear that advertising is changing from “making ads” to “solving problems”. As creatives, this is something we maintain a strong focus on so it was very inspiring to see and seeing what others are doing gave us tons of inspiration.”




Alexandra Thielke, Co-Founder & Strategic Planner of Twentyfive & Thirty

Twentyfive & Thirty is the world’s smallest global creative agency set out to challenge the way traditional ad agencies work while fulfilling a dream of traveling the world. It is an agency without a fixed address, without fixed work hours but with the flexibility to work whenever they are needed, wherever they want, and with clients from all over the world. This means they often work with their clients without ever meeting them in person.



Laura’s Language: Visual Language

Emojis have become a normal way of communicating through text messages and social media, especially for young adults and teens. Are we evolving backwards by allowing ourselves to use images instead of words? According to a survey by Talk Mobile, 72% of 18-25 year-olds find it easier to express their feelings in emoji form than through written words.

You can’t help but compare this version of visual language to that of ancient Egyptians hieroglyphics and even prehistoric cave art. Emojis can be great for expressing emotions that simple text messages cannot and saves us from a lot of misunderstandings. There is a great Key and Peel sketch about this that you should check out.

This visual language has become a huge part of modern life with articles on Buzzfeed quizzes that tell the plot of a movie using only Emojis. Emojis are in modern advertisements, films, and even on clothing! Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber have created their own Emojis, but they come with a price. That’s right for just $1.99 in the app store you can send a booty-shaking, pole dancing KIMOJI (aka Kim Kardashian’s emoji set)

Even with all these emoji options there is still a limit on what you can say, a problem the ancient Egyptians ran into. Those who could read and write had to learn the 2,000 hieroglyphic characters each representing one common object or idea. Is this our future? Will there be more and more Emojis created until the use of written words is unnecessary? It is doubtful but not impossible, it’s scary to think we could be evolving backwards.

They say every picture is worth a thousand words but how many words is an emoji worth?


Lots of Love,




Laura’s Language: Using Plain Language In PR

Being dyslexic can be frustrating because you have a larger vocabulary than you can spell. When speaking out loud I think I sound intelligent and I understand the meaning of large words, but ask me how to spell them and I will just laugh. If you’ve read any of my previous columns you would know that spelling isn’t my strong suit, but I definitely have a lot of ideas. In college I would try to beef up my papers with bigger words browsing thesaurus.com for assistance.

As a PR professional I think it’s very important to understand the language of your field and the fields your clients work in. However, when speaking to journalists I find it is best to use plain language. Just tell them what you want right away and don’t leave them guessing. When I first started in PR I tried to fill my pitches with a lot of grand words and explanations, all with no responses. I’ve learned that if you speak “plainly” and get straight to the point in a short pitch you are way more likely to get a response. I will take a “no thank you” email over being ghosted any day!

So why is it that when I’m communicating with a journalist, who probably have a larger vocabulary and literary understanding than I do, I keep it simple? Well, because nobody has time for that! I know I don’t want to take five minutes to read an email that could have been explained in two. Neither does a busy journalist. Just keep it simple and everything will be easier.


Lots of love,





Summer’s Sass: Pinterest Is Not Only For Hobby Inspiration

For those of you that think Pinterest is only for pinning recipes, planning a wedding, or picking out an outfit, you surely are mistaken.

I mean yeah that stuff is enjoyable, even I do that (you should see my puppy board)! But Pinterest is actually a great business tool. Not only does it work extremely well for restaurants and retail stores that want to show off their product and recipes, but for other business endeavors as well. Pinterest is honestly one of my favorite social apps, I follow literally everyone I possibly can and love “exploring” specific things I am searching for. I am so addicted to being an avid “pinner” and I’m proud of it!

Pinterest has so much traffic hitting its servers each day. I know this because half of the people that sit around me on the Metra are surfing on Pinterest, each one searching different boards. It has become one of those apps that people check daily, like they do with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. So considering all this scale why would you not want to contribute to Pinterest?

Let’s be honest, it is really easy to use Pinterest. It’s pretty self-explanatory and you can access it from any smart device. You can measure your pinning success with analytics to see how well you are pinning or posting to boards.

It’s a great way for PR professionals to connect with journalists. If your goal is to build a relationship with them go see what they are pinning to their public boards and use it as it as a conversation starter. You can see what they think is funny, what kind of pets they like and what kinds of food they like. This is something that would come in handy if you were to meet up for lunch.

Sincerely yours,


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Are You A Tech Startup Looking For Quick Fixes? – That’s Not Us

We are not a platform. We will not help you to automate a single thing in seconds. Our tech stack will not at allow you to just lean back and expand your relationships within minutes. We won’t state that within days we can strategize, plan, schedule and optimize any sort of outreach.  And we’re quite proud of that. 


Our approach is similar to when you get home from a long day and you’ve had a specific craving since lunchtime. All you want for dinner is marinated flank steak with fresh snapped green beans, creamy garlic mashed potatoes and a slice of crisp apple strudel that melts in your mouth. But you’re tired and you know you also have a frozen TV dinner in your fridge. So you sit there in your kitchen for a few minutes and start talking to yourself, “if I take the time to mash the potatoes, marinate that steak, snap the green beans, make my grandmas recipe of strudel, it will take a lot longer than just popping the TV dinner into the microwave for immediate satisfaction. But then again I would have a tastier dinner if I put in the time, a healthier one as well. I also wouldn’t be regretting it later… and man I do love that dang homemade apple strudel. So you decide to wait for this homemade meal and put in the effort to make it, because the satisfaction of having the end result taste so good and only having to wait a bit longer was worth it. You know you’ll be fully pleased with the results. So at the end of your delicious meal, you go into your fridge and throw out that microwave dinner, because let’s be honest, anything that comes that immediate isn’t going to benefit you in any kind of way.


Marketing and PR is a lot like that. We wouldn’t lie to you! There are techniques and vendors that allow you to cut some corners and automate some processes. The issue is that each time you do, you replace a very crucial concrete building with a block of cardboard that could break at any moment. In truth, much like the frozen TV dinner, PR has some quick fixes. The second statement here is that those fixes will never take away the role of an agency that emphasizes human driven executions for human audiences. Relationships are built and not automated. Outreach takes into effect creativity, customization, personalization and time.


At Emerging Insider we’re proud to represent some of the most amazing technology and media innovators in the world. But for us, technology represents a small side note. We use technology not to replace our staff efforts, but as small compliments to a much larger picture.




Ryan’s Rant: Donald Trump and His Master PR Plan

Around this time every four years, the media goes into a frenzy covering the country’s potential political future. It’s an absolute free for all where no parties’ candidate is safe from the scandalous headlines and public scrutiny. However, this year’s race is one for the books.

Why am I writing about the current state of politics for a PR firm, you may ask? Because never before in our nation’s history has a candidate been so unbelievably talented at getting free press. And no, I’m not referring to Hillary Clinton.

Pushing all political opinions, Donald Trump currently and always has been a master craftsman at PR. No other presidential candidate in this century has gotten more free media coverage than Trump. How does he do it? Well every single remark, speech, event and move he makes is carefully plotted. While most statements he releases even make the most conservative squirm in their seats, the media thirsts for such controversy. If the media truly wanted to take a stand against the republican candidate, then they would cease to cover his campaign. But of course, media companies are in the business of viewership and nobody receives more views on both sides than Donald Trump.

Even before his campaigning days, Trump stirred up controversy. No matter how controversial the statement, whether it be by questioning Obama’s birth certificate, attacking Rosie O’Donnell or even providing excuses for rape in the military- he’s always gotten free press and it keeps his business booming.

Trump is now the leader of the Republican Party and only trails Hillary by 9 percent in most polls. The old saying goes “There’s no such thing as bad press.” While I certainly don’t agree with this, he makes it extremely difficult for me to prove my point.


All the best,





Weekly Aspect by Alex: Out of Home Ads Not Only Surviving But Thriving

What a week – full of new reports on ad blocking, digital video and mobile ad spend. But the report that captured my attention a bit extra this week was a study released by Borrell.

The report claims that out of all traditional advertising mediums the Internet is slowly killing off, Out-Of-Home (OOH) has not only manage to survive – it is the only ad vehicle, outside of online advertising, that has shown consistent growth since 2008 and the only one expected to show year-to-year growth over the next 5 years.

Now why is OOH doing so extraordinary compared to print and radio? There is a one word answer to this – Technology.

Technology, digitalization and the explosive development of digital video has turned what used to be flat posters into interactive branded experiences that produces sights, sounds and even smells! Based on the eye-grabbing nature new technology brings to what tend to be dull settings (bus stops), OOH ads are poised to see increasing investments and enlarged budgets.

Have a look at some stunning examples of Out-Of-Home ads here.






Laura’s Language: A Millennial Dyslexic’s Love/Hate Relationship with Abbreviated Spelling

In the early 2000’s, my fellow classmates and I had to write out everything by hand. This included papers, spelling tests and secret notes we passed to each other. In grade school it was rare to have a computer at home and if you did it was usually off limits to anyone but your parents. Within a very short period of time between grade school and middle school, having computers at school and at home became the norm. We were playing games on the computer and learning that we could talk to our friends in a secret language called IM. The shorthand language was easy for me to pick up and hard for me to mess up.

I thought computers were wonderful because spellcheck would “fix” all my grammar and spelling mistakes but papers still came back to me covered in red marks. How could this be? Well because I was choosing the wrong words from my spellcheck options and slipping in IM shorthand without noticing it! It had become so ingrained in my mind that when I saw the shorthand it looked normal to me.

Today I have to use my laptop every day for work. I have to send emails, write out thought leadership outlines, and write blog columns like this. Sometimes I will read something I wrote in a hurry and find abbreviated spelling snuck into it. Could you imagine emailing an editor and it having “are” spelled “r”? It doesn’t get much more embarrassing than that.

I don’t know if other millennials have these issues but I’ve been trying to retrain my brain to type in full words. While it is convenient to use when you only have a few seconds to send a text I greatly encourage you all to join me in bringing back full words. It’s hard enough to learn correct English so why would I want to fill my brain with useless short text that I can’t use anywhere else? I know shorthand writing will always be apart of how I write and I think it’s because it was a big part of my core learning. The good thing is everyone still understands shorthand writing. The bad thing is people will give you crap about it.


LOL (lots of love),



Summer’s Sass: Show Off Your Instagramming Skills

Instagram is something I don’t take lightly. It is by far my favorite past time, favorite stress reliever, favorite way to see what my friends are up too and my favorite way to promote a company/brand!


Instagram is wonderful.


When I am scrolling through my timeline or through the search of “things I might like” I look for two things. I look for visually appealing “instas” and appalling but intriguing ones as well.

My favorite accounts are food accounts. All of the yummy cakes, BBQ’s, shakes, brownies and don’t even get me started on the cheese wheel they mix pasta on… Like holy cannoli are they trying to put me into a food coma?


But I am here to tell you why using Instagram daily is oh so beneficial to your brand. So they say that Instagram has over 400 million monthly active users… That is so many stinking people that you could be getting brand views from. Instagram has scale.

There are certain times of the day that you can post on Instagram to obtain more followers and or “likes”. Now I am only going to say this once… If you post something on Instagram any time before 6am and or after 1am nobody is going to like your stuff until they wake up from nite nite land. It is said that right before dinner time around 5pm is a prime time for Instagramming and midafternoon when everyone is at lunch – people are checking their social accounts.

It is important not to just spitfire nonsense into the Insta-sphere especially boring things…you have to keep it light, interesting and airy.

The best Instagrams are the ones that irk people, pull on their heartstrings, or make them laugh and smile. So make sure your post is doing one of those things and it will get some good share.



Sincerely Yours,





Laura’s Language: PR Jargon

My first few days as a PR intern were filled with questions, mistakes, and misunderstandings. Every field has its own jargon and PR is no exception. Looking back I should have asked more questions because no one expects an intern to know everything. Now that I’m more seasoned in the language of PR I thought it would be nice to share what I have learned with ya’ll.


For all those struggling with jargon, you are not alone!

  1. Getting a Hit = Earning a media placement for your client.
  2. Traction = When your placement or press release has been picked up in the media and is getting widespread attention.
  3. Buzz/Trending = What everyone is talking about in the news and on social media.
  4. Branding = Using consistent language to describe your client or company and how you want the world to view you.
  5. Market = City.
  6. Pitching = Presenting an idea to a journalist, editor, or reporter.
  7. Media Contacts = Editors and journalist you have created good relationships with.
  8. Angle = A specific emphasis for a story being presented to the media.
  9. Bylines = Bio of the author of a thought leadership piece.
  10. Boilerplate = Short company description that usually appears at the bottom of a press release.


I hope you find this helpful! If you are still confused you can always use Google… I always do.


Lots of Love,