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3 must-see campaigns from Cannes

by | Jun 21, 2018


My now annual pilgrimage that is attending the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is inspiring, knackering (yes, I am actually working), thought-provoking and entertaining, sometimes all at once. There is so much to see, do and absorb that it can feel like information-overload. There are so many awards categories, talks and workshops that it’s hard to know what to share first. But there some campaigns that have really stood out for me so far and I know I’m going to be sharing and talking about them for the months to come. So here are my top 3 picks from the festival (so far) to spark some creative inspiration.

Burger King – Scary Clown Night

I love this work so much. It subverts the competitor’s image for it’s own ends, using Halloween night as the reason to demonise the iconic clown character that we all know represents McDonalds. So far, this work has won gongs in the outdoor and print and publishing categories, but it is also a PR-idea driving earned media, talkability and controversy.

LADbible’s Trash Isles

LADbible and Plastic Oceans created “The Trash Isles”with the agency AMV BDDO.  The description of the cause by the organization: In the North Pacific there is so much plastic an area of trash the size of France has formed. Governments have simply ignored it. So we found a way to ensure they couldn’t. By turning the country sized trash patch into an official country. On World Oceans Day, 8 June 2017, the Plastic Oceans Foundation and LadBible submitted an application to The United Nations to recognise the Trash Isles as an official country. Because if it is recognised as an official country, then other countries are obliged to help clean it up. We created an identity for the country and asked the public to support it by becoming citizens.  The campaign encouraged young people to lobby the United Nations to acknowledge the plastic in oceans as its own country to force a conversation around the issue and the work won the Grand Prix for Design, as well as for PR, notable this year as the only work to win 2 Grand Prix.

I absolutely love this work because it is so scalable – it could have been delivered around ‘just’ earned – via the PR and the story itself without any execution at all, but the craft and care with which the campaign was delivered is what really earned it the awards. They created an Isle of Trash passport, stamps and a flag as real-life items which brought the campaign to life, through great design.

Montefiore Health System presents Corazon Give Your Heart

Corazón, a powerful film based on a real-life doctor-patient story won the Cannes Lions Grand Prix Health & Wellness award. The work’s rallying cry is to become an organ donor and Give Your Heart” is both the tagline and a call to action, as twenty-two people die every day in the U.S. due to a lack of organ donations.

The fully integrated campaign centred around the emotional film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and featured a new and interactive way to become an organ donor: by simply holding your mobile phone up to your heart.

The phone connects your heartbeat to the website, corazonfilm.com, and to a digital Times Square billboard, among other placements, where actress Ana de Armas comes to life in movie posters, awakened by your heartbeat.  It’s the innovative use of the technology that really sets this work apart and makes the campaign more than entertainment or content, the heart of it is the call to action.

More creative inspiration to follow. The PR awards are tonight and I’ll be poring over those tomorrow to bring you my top picks. Stay tuned! What strikes me though is that everything competes with everything. Any of these campaigns could have started out as an idea from a PR agency as they all have earned media, share and talkability at their core.

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