Singer says advertisers should add more value to communities

No one cares about YouTube ads, warns Will.I.Am

Singer and entrepreneur Will.I.Am joined a panel of media and industry leaders at Cannes Lions this week, to discuss the future of advertising.

Hosted by global communications group The&Partnership and The Wall Street Journal, Will.I.Am urged the advertising industry to think about advertising as ‘adding value to communities’ rather than ‘advertising or marketing’.

During the event he said: “You know people don’t like it on YouTube. They skip it.”

But after Lorraine Twohill, marketing executive at Google, ensured the rapper that 87 per cent of people do not skip the ads, Will.I.Am added: “OK, well they’re not paying attention to it. They’re skipping it in their head.

“Regardless of what your metric says, we’re not paying attention to it. If you don’t add value to people’s lives, I don’t really give two shits about your advertising.”

During the event, Will Lewis, CEO of The Wall Street Journal, also voiced his concerns over media platforms and how they are disrupting traditional journalism models.

He added: “Do we run towards offers from companies like Apple and Facebook to put content in their walled gardens? Or do we pause and think together about what the most appropriate ways of dealing with these opportunities are?

“Professionally created news is of incredible importance in societies and has deep moral purpose. If you stop doing the stories brilliantly and it just is all about cats on skateboards then none of this will work.”

But Will.I.Am went on to say how the tech giant Apple has ‘changed the world’ and that the vendor is here to stay. He also advised his fellow panelists that competing against each other was not the path to success.

Check out the video of the panel session below: 

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