Bonjour, Créatifs!

by | Jun 11, 2024

It’s that time again, when the entire advertising and marketing community head to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

I’ll be in Cannes working and sucking up all the creative goodness for you, to report back in a few week’s time. In the meantime here are some of the marketing campaigns that I think will win big at the Festival🏆. 

The festival showcases the best of creativity in advertising and communication through various awards categories (the Lions), including film, print, PR, digital, design, and more. 

I want to dive into three case studies that have caught my eye, showcasing the power of creative thinking to overcome challenges and make an impact. The best bit: as you might know by now, I’m obsessed with unpicking creative ideas, so find out below how you can apply these principles to your own work.

On my radar 1: Stok’d Cannabis: “Next to Stok’d” 🍁

The campaign: Cannabis is legal in Canada, but advertising it isn’t. In a cheeky creative workaround of the marketing laws, the Stok’d Cannabis brand made the most of their local communities where their stores are based. The “Next to Stok’d” campaign promoted other local businesses in the area, like a nail salon, where the owners of those businesses play on all the ‘banned’ language in their ads. It’s a win, win. It’s cheeky and on-brand and I reckon this will do well in the direct category or outdoor.

How to do it in your next brainstorm:

  • Think laterally: When faced with restrictions, explore indirect solutions. Ask, “What can we promote that aligns with our brand?” List all the rules and then explore ways to break them.
  • Embrace playfulness: Use humour and lightheartedness to connect with your audience and make your message memorable.
  • Build associations: Look for opportunities to create positive connections between your brand and other entities that share your values or target audience.

Watch it here.

On my radar 2:  Specsavers: Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” Remix 🎶

The campaign: Specsavers took a fun and unexpected approach to raise awareness about hidden hearing loss. In a reframe of the problem, they partnered with the legend that is Rick Astley to re-record his iconic song “Never Gonna Give You Up”. Instead of focussing on hearing loss directly, with the stigma that might have, they focussed on ‘mis-hearing’ which we can all relate to – with amusingly misheard lyrics, highlighting the challenges faced by those with hearing difficulties. The campaign not only generated buzz (pun intended) but also effectively conveyed an important message. I love that Rick Astley was also bang in the audience demographic and shared his own experiences. This was earned media first, and at its best, so definitely a PR Lion contender.

How to do it in your next brainstorm:

  • Tap into cultural relevance: Leverage popular trends, memes, or nostalgia to create instant familiarity and engagement.
  • Balance humour and empathy: Use humour to grab attention, but ensure it’s balanced with empathy for the issue you’re addressing.
  • Seek authentic partnerships: Collaborate with influencers or individuals who have a genuine connection to your cause for added credibility.

Watch it here. 

On my radar 3: Heinz: Ketchup and ‘Seemingly Ranch’ 🍔

The campaign: Heinz jumped on a viral moment with lightning-fast creativity as they are brilliant at doing. When Taylor Swift was spotted eating chicken tenders with “seemingly ranch” at a football game, Heinz seized the opportunity and launched a limited-edition “Ketchup and Seemingly Ranch” sauce. Heinz and their agencies are on fire with their social game. I reckon this saucy fun is in the running for a social gong.

How to do it in your next brainstorm:

  • Stay agile and responsive: Monitor cultural trends and be ready to act quickly when relevant opportunities arise.
  • Embrace the unexpected: Don’t be afraid to experiment with playful and unconventional ideas that capture the zeitgeist.
  • Create FOMO: Limited-edition products or experiences can generate excitement and urgency, driving consumer interest and engagement.

Watch it here.

Like this? Want more?

Book Your Own Cannes Lions Unleashed Webinar with Claire Bridges

I’m working at the Festival on-site for the 8th year, and I’ll be on the front line absorbing all the biggest trends and winning work. Someone has to do it 🙂 

Hot off the Croisette, in this 60-minute webinar, I’ll share the biggest trends and award-winning highlights from this year’s festival, giving you the tools to inject your work with a serious dose of ooh la la.

Key Takeaways:

  • Feed your brain: Discover the trends making waves.
  • Feast on the award-winning brilliance: We’ll dissect the campaigns that took Cannes Lions by storm, dissecting why they won.
  • Get insider tips from the creative masterminds: jury members will spill the tea at the festival and I’ll share it with you!
  • Apply: Think about how to apply the insights and trends to your own business challenges.

I’m going to run these sessions for in-house teams throughout July. Give me a shout if you’d like the low down and the costs.

Are you and your team ready to prepared to supercharge your creativity?

Brace yourself for the ultimate game-changer: our best-selling How To Become A Creative Ninja workshop. This thought-provoking session will supercharge your team with the knowledge, skills, and mindset needed to generate ideas and stay ahead of the curve.