The most coveted awards in the creative and advertising industries, the Cannes Lions also act as a showcase for the best in the business and the chance to catch global campaigns you may have missed. Here are some of our favourite winners from this year’s event.
A number of brands based campaigns around International Women’s Day and the issue of gender inequality. Fearless Girl, by McCann New York and winner of the Grand Prix in four different categories, has been one of the most publicised examples. The campaign saw a sculpture by artist Kristen Visbal installed directly opposite Wall Street’s famous charging bull statue, staring boldly up at the imposing form.
The sculpture was installed to publicise a move by investment firm State Street Global Advisors to supporting women in leadership roles, and was enthusiastically embraced by New Yorkers and tourists alike. Its installation has been widely reported by the media, with one news outlet describing the statue as “Representing women’s daily experience of having to face a ton of bull.” People flocking to pose with the statue means it has generated 4.6 billion Twitter impressions and 745 million Instagram impressions in 12 weeks, and a petition to make the statue a permanent fixture currently has almost 40,000 signatures.
A campaign’s potential to go viral has never been more important, and one of the best ways to ensure this is to create something genuinely funny. A number of brands took this on board in their campaigns, with a standout example coming from New Zealand agency Colenso BBDO in its campaign for Pedigree. The ad encourages empty nesters to replace their departed offspring with dogs: “When they move out, move on.” Branding it the ‘Child Replacement Programme’, a custom URL ‘replacethem.co.nz’ was created for the purpose. As well as putting a smile on everyone’s face, the campaign led to an 824% increase in dog adoption enquiries and generated 15 million impressions, over three times the population of New Zealand: a truly viral campaign.
Jet.com, a US discount and savings website, was founded in September 2015 with the mission of “finding people innovative ways to save money.” One year later it was bought by Walmart for $3.3 billion. Their ad campaign, by RG/A and the winner of the Grand Prix, reflected these values using a mix of innovation, creativity and humour to make cheap yet well-executed and effective adverts. One of these was a spoof video advertising a ‘super bowl’, where the clever use of key words meant it was one of the most watched ads around the time of the Super Bowl event, without the implicated price tag.
Some brands, however, went down a more traditional, but no less effective, route during the Super Bowl, often considered the biggest advertising opportunity of the year. Saatchi & Saatchi created an ad for laundry detergent Tide that really caught people’s attention. Placing a highly visible stain on host Terry Bradshaw’s shirt set social media alight, with #BradshawStain trending on Twitter a matter of seconds after the live broadcast began. The illusion was shattered, however, in the first ad break when, blurring the lines between live TV and the commercials, Bradshaw sprinted off to clean his shirt with Tide, returning stain-free in time to resume the live broadcast. People couldn’t believe they had fallen for it, and the stunt was covered by over 600 news outlets and garnered 4.8 billion impressions.
If you were a fan of Snickers’ Joan Rivers adverts, you’ll be familiar with their slogan “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” In a data-driven campaign, Melbourne agency Clemenger BBDO harnessed the anger of the infamously hostile internet by using an algorithm to alter the price of Snickers bars across Australia according to the mood of the web. The angrier the internet, the lower the price of a Snickers. The algorithm, developed by MIT, analysed over 14,000 social posts a day and was built around a 3,000 word lexicon, and even able to understand Australian slang and sarcasm. Prices fluctuated over 5,000 times in 5 weeks, and the activity garnered 30 million media impressions and most importantly led to a whopping 67% sales increase.
One campaign that flipped influencer marketing on its head was for French addiction charity Addict Aide. Louise Delage was your typical Instagram star – rising to prominence on the platform in a short space of time through well-curated posts in beautiful settings. Her posts gained 50,000 likes in 7 weeks, but her followers missed something: the innocuous glass of wine, beer, or cocktail in every post was not so innocent, and the main message of Addict Aide, that it can be hard to spot addiction even when it’s right under your nose, was brought home successfully. Perhaps the most impressive point to note about this campaign, is that although nothing was spent on media investment, after the construct was revealed the story was covered on every continent and generated 1 billion media impressions.
Check out the case videos for these incredible campaigns here.