Making creative strategy look easy

by | Jul 5, 2023

Helping people to devise an effective creative strategy is a Now Go Create speciality, so these are 2 awards we watch with a keen eye.

The Creative Strategy Grand Prix and the Creative Data Lions winners at this year’s Cannes both demonstrate how good creative strategy can support a product or service, as well as helping to achieve long-term business goals. What we love about both these campaigns is that they are that heady mixture of imagination and maths – exploring different ways to frame the problem before they begin to offer solutions.

Creative Strategy Grand Prix 

Plug-Inn, from Renault (Publicis Conseil)

Effective creative strategy involves an alchemy of understanding pain points, comprehensive market research, audience understanding and a laser-like focus on the business objectives to devise a campaign that connects multiple dots and is based in solid, robust critical thinking. The creatives behind Renault’s Plug-Inn campaign set out to tackle the problem of just how few electric car chargers there are in rural France, a real social problem as the country lags behind in its adoption of electric vehicles. And clearly a serious barrier to long term business growth.

The creative approach: Renault, who sell more EVs in France than anyone, worked with Publicis Conseil to develop ‘The Airbnb for plugs’ – a peer-to-peer app that connects the drivers of electric cars with other people’s home chargers.

The delivery: With 680,000 private chargers (compared to just 80,000 commercial ones), the campaign set out to unite the EV-driving community by conveniently and easily allowing users to book a charge slot pretty much anywhere – and pay a reasonable price for the electricity too.

Success metrics: Renault claims to have developed the “fastest growing recharging network for all brands” – and turned a business problem into a new business model via its marketing efforts. Next stop: the rest of world. Numbers? 140m impressions and 31,000 users so far.

This work also won a Gold in Creative Business Transformation and also in Mobile.

We love it for the lateral thinking around the problem and it’s a great example of combinational creativity – taking existing resources and using them differently. Also the ability to summarise your idea in 4 words is a clue that you’re onto a winner – ‘Airbnb for plugs’ – you’re halfway there with selling your idea if you can bring people on board in a way they can easily understand.

Renault Plug Inn Creative Strategy Grand Prix Cannes Lions 2023

Cannes 2023 – Creative Data Lions Winner Grand Prix

The Creative Data Lions celebrate the interplay of ideas and information. According to the Cannes Lions website criteria “entries will need to demonstrate how the work was enhanced or driven by the creative use, interpretation, analysis or application of data. The creative use of data must sit at the core of the idea and the results / impact must be clear and robust.”

Of the 418 entries in this category, there were 15 Lions were awarded – two Gold, five Silver, seven Bronze, and of course the Grand Prix. ‘The Artois Probability’, for Stella Artois, by GUT, Buenos Aires, Argentina bagged the highest prize and is one of my favourite campaigns this year. It combines history, art and technology, glued together by data – all highlighting Stella Artois’ heritage, raising brand awareness.

The creative approach: Thousands of famous works of art including famed artists like Van Gogh and Manet feature people drinking beer. Using hundreds of datapoints from the year when the picture was painted, to the place it depicts, to the glass it was being drunk from to the colour of the drink the team created an algorithm to calculate the statistical probability that the beer in question is actually a Stella Artois.

The delivery: An outdoor ad campaign, art exhibition and art exhibition all brought the idea to life. AR was used to allow consumers to interact with the art.

Success metrics: The campaign delivered over 7 million impressions and during the exhibition, 24,000 people interacted with the web app.

I love it because it’s a truly creative idea from the outset – looking at something in a completely different way and supporting it with data – in this case fine artworks – and creating the hypthothesis that all the beer in the art is likely to be Stella. The product is front and centre too and reminding people of the heritage of the brand, whilst using technology to bring it bang up to date!

We have a range of awesome courses designed to help everyone from novices to creative veterans up their game. If you’ve already completed our popular Creative Ninja training and wondering where to go next, why not upskill with our brilliant Insight course?

Ready to dive in and become a Strategy Ninja? Learn how to unravel a brief, tackle the blank page and develop a robust argument here.