Food For Thought From The Cannes Lions

28 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Adam & Eve/DDB takes home bronze Integrated Lion.

At this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, we’re seeing a theme emerge that no one within a 10-kilometer radius of this French outpost’s creative celebration can deny.Campaigns that promoted the strength of women, encouraged Cambodians to cook in a way that increased iron levels and highlighted a fluorescent spray that kept bicyclists safe are among the cause-related campaigns that have won the prestigious Grand Prix award, which is considered an Oscar in the advertising and marketing world.CANNES, France—A gorgeously cinematic film for Leica by F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi and a hilarious and innovative preroll ad for Geico by The Martin Agency each won a Grand Prix in Film at the Cannes Lions festival here tonight, an odd couple of brilliant executions indeed.

The Omnicom agency, one of three agencies shortlisted for the category, won a bronze Integrated Lion for “Monty’s Christmas”, the tear-jerking TV ad for John Lewis featuring Monty the penguin. The Film Lions jury, led by Grey’s global creative chief Tor Myhren, was allowed to award one Grand Prix for TV work and one for non-TV work—and they did just that. The kick-off video in the campaign showed young women and boys moving in awkward, weak ways when asked to run, throw and fight “like a girl.” Then, young girls who weren’t aware that “like a girl” could be a negative stereotype were asked to physically show what that phrase meant to them.

And we’re doing both with singular, powerful, creative concepts that propel masses of consumers to actively change their existing beliefs, and, more importantly, behavior. The Titanium Grand Prix was won by Domino’s in the US for its “emoji ordering”, in which emojis can be used to order pizzas to be delivered, by Crispin Porter & Bogusky Boulder. Leo Burnett’s “#LikeAGirl” campaign for Always, which was written by a team from the agency’s London office but was attributed to Leo Burnett Canada in the entry form, won a silver Lion. And I think we actually found that.” The jury awarded one specific spot, “Family,” in Geico’s celebrated “Unskippable” preroll campaign from Martin in Richmond, Va., which presented the brand pitch in the first five seconds (i.e., before the “Skip ad” button appears) and then humorously showed characters pretending to be frozen as the action continued around them. “You can’t skip this Geico ad because it’s already over,” the voiceover says.

In fact, PR Lions judge Lynn Davies said in her speech that their jury tested every entry with the question, “Why did it matter?” Creativity at its best can make a brand promise and a culturally relevant purpose not only feel one and the same, but be one and the same. The campaign involved distributing 2,000 promotional canisters of LifePaint to the biggest bike shops in London and asking cyclists to post their experiences with using the paint on social media. The US charity, The ALS Association, won a gold Lion for its “ice bucket challenge” campaign, which dominated social media feeds across the world in 2014. These younger millennials and Gen Z-ers – the ones in their teens and early 20s – are not even of U.S. drinking age, but they are ready to change the world with their creative power.

To encourage Cambodians to add a small slab of iron to their pots while cooking — the slab provides 75% of daily iron intake if used for 10 minutes — each piece of iron was molded into a Cambodian symbol of hope and good luck: a fish. Instead of a long story with a tenuous link to the brand at the end, there’s a gigantic logo of the brand in the middle of the screen the entire time. This deceptively simple piece of communication really showed us that film can reinvent the way you look at media—the least sexy medium in the world, which is preroll.” Meanwhile, the two-minute Leica ad from Brazil, marking the 100th anniversary of the brand’s first camera, delightfully and beautifully re-created 35 famous photos of spontaneous moments—celebrating the ability of portable cameras to capture real, unscripted, unposed life. “This is a nearly perfect piece of filmmaking,” he said. “The visual storytelling is unique and stunning. Our influential push to leverage Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as agents of social change – be it for marriage equality, #blacklivesmatter or otherwise – changed the norm for all ages.

Geometry Global, which worked with the Lucky Iron Fish organization to expand the product’s reach, posted a clarification on its website saying that it would like Lucky Iron Fish to receive full credit as the Design entrant since that group created the product design and prototype. But, for all of our liking, sharing, connecting, spreading and talking, I’m excited to see a noticeable shift towards active creation and acute problem-solving in the next generation of folks taking the helm at creative agencies and start-ups. And importantly, it’s a category that is challenged right now with cell phones and with photography becoming a little bit less sexy.” While there was little debate about the TV Grand Prix, there was plenty of discussion regarding the non-TV Grand Prix. In a bid to broaden its image beyond a hyper-masculine apparel brand, Under Armour partnered with New York-based ad agency Droga5 to promote female athletic empowerment.

I surveyed the teams this year, mostly in their early 20s, and asked them a plethora of questions related to their personal views on creativity as well as what they felt brands needed to understand about their generation. The “I Will What I Want” campaign, which won the Cyber category, featured a video with model Gisele Bundchen exercising in a space populated by real-time wall projections of social media insults about her being signed on to work with Under Armour (sample: “What’s her sport; smiling?” and “She’s not even pretty”). The first was Wieden + Kennedy London’s “The Other Side” YouTube film for Honda, in which users can press the R key to switch between two parallel stories about the same man that match up shot for shot—one bright and happy, one dark and dangerous. British telecom giant Vodafone and Y&R Team Red Istanbul, an ad team dedicated solely to Vodafone, designed an app to help victims of domestic abuse in Turkey — a country where 40% of women are victims of domestic violence, according to a report from the Turkish Ministry of Family and Social Policy.

Registered under the alias “Red Light” at Cannes to continue to protect its identity from men, the secret app allows women to each call three friends for help just by shaking their smartphones. Instructions on how to find the app were placed in targeted content for women, specifically chosen to be so gender-specific that most men would likely never stumble upon them, including cosmetic tutorials on YouTube, women’s clothing tags, and on posters in women’s restrooms. “(Our agency in Instanbul) came up with an idea that was a perfect melding of creativity with connectivity,” said Tony Granger, Y&R’s chief global creative officer, in a press release. This instant.” Even Raj Singh, the 20-year old CEO of Dronecast here at Cannes for the first time, is taking his drone-based advertising fleet and expanding it for use as emergency-response tech for the medical community (given that drones can be dispatched, and at less cost, than helicopters).

The Media category is for campaigns that “demonstrate understanding of the target market” and find innovative ways to implement strategies across multiple platforms. “Red Light” defeated 3,178 other entries to take the Grand Prix. HBO President Richard Plepler reminded us at his Cannes session with Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus that we can’t be buried by gravitas all the time – smart, impactful, and funny can co-exist happily. Perhaps this focus is the fire our youngest colleagues need to stay aflame – creatively speaking – and build a sustainable future for upcoming generations while still helping companies in the marketplace.

And frankly, it makes sense that the folks furthest down the line in inheriting the world’s problems would be the ones most motivated to actively use the tools at their disposal – a mélange of creativity, technology, and entrepreneurial enthusiasm – to find a solution.

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