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Every year the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity celebrates the best of creative
communications work from around the world. It is a chance to submerge in the latest trends
within the industry.
This year, there was more emphasis on advertising technology, which is fundamentally changing
how advertising is created and how we connect with our consumers. As marketers, we must be
alert as the pace of change in our industry continues to quicken.
The launch of the new Cannes Innovation festival (a festival within a festival) at the end of the
week focussed on data and technology. Speakers referred to data as being the linchpin to creating
more emotional content. They called for greater collaboration between the industry – from
creative to technologists – as a way of moving people’s hearts. Professor Brian Cox said: “Every
creative person needs data to keep them rooted in reality.”
Here’s my wrap up of the best work from Cannes 2015.
Innovation: it’s not about how, it’s about why
Authenticity: what does Jamie Oliver have that every brand wants?
Harness the power of data to build emotion-led connections.
Be disruptive! By the year 2025 the average person will own 26 connected devices. Now is the
time to learn how to vie for the consumers attention.
Always go back to the basics: the power of creativity will remain a key factor of success.
5 key themes from Cannes 2015
As Marketers, we need to ask ourselves how we
can institutionalize innovation and
experimentation not as a nice-to-do but must-
The best and most innovative campaigns in
Cannes suggest marketing innovation is mission-
critical to sync customer experiences and
expectations in constant motion. Demystifying
new developments through continuous
experimentation and learning should be an
integral part of the marketing playbook.
INNOVATION WITH A
The Life Saving Dot
1 x Gold Lion for Innovation
Iodine deficiency, and a list of
associated medical issues, is an
unfortunate reality for millions of
women in rural India. Since most
women in India wear a bindi, Talwar
decided to make one that doubles as
an iodine patch, providing its wearer
with a daily dose of iodine.
The creation was dubbed the “Life
Saving Dot.” Iodine patches were
handed out in medical camps across
rural India, helping women who can’t
afford iodine supplements receive
the much-needed nutrient.
1 very simple change has saved
thousands of lives and counting.
The worlds most advanced baby monitor
1 x Gold Innovation, 1 x Silver and Bronze Mobile
For new mothers, understanding
your baby’s needs is paramount and
so RGA developed the worlds first
wearable device for babies, Owlet.
Owlet’s wearable device launched in
late August 2014. It tracks a baby’s
oxygen, heart rate, sleep,
temperature and rollover alerts.
It is hypoallergenic, connects via
Bluetooth Smart and doesn’t use
adhesives. Giving parents around
the world peace of mind whilst
flagging up any potential concerns.
INNOVATION WITH A
Grand Prix – Design and Promo & Activation
Volvo’s LifePaint is a reflective safety
spray to be used by cyclists to make
them more visible to cars at night.
The product driven campaign
explores the complicated territory
that emerges when ad agencies mix
marketing with product design.
LifePaint is a simple, and worthy,
proposition. Sitting as part of a
wider campaign for Volvo that aims
to emphasise the brand's safety
credentials, it presents Volvo as
gracious enough to care about
cyclists as well as car drivers, and
appears to be a genuinely useful
product. As such, LifePaint has
received coverage in media all over
the world, and the film to
accompany the campaign has been
viewed on YouTube over three
INNOVATION WITH A
1 x Gold Lions
In a unique collaboration with
Optus, Google and tech company
Shark Mitigation Services, M&C
Saatchi responded to an Optus brief
to demonstrate the power of its
network with an R&D project that
creates world-first, breakthrough
shark detection technology to help
protect people and sharks
throughout Australia and the world.
'Project Clever Buoy' harnesses new
and existing technologies to develop
world-first smart ocean buoys. This
project is the perfect response for
Optus because it's a demonstration
of their brand DNA, to push the
boundaries of innovation and have
their consumers' backs.
INNOVATION WITH A
One of the most popular talks featured the always
cheeky Jamie Oliver. Jamie has been on a 17 year
crusade to help educate the world about food. He’s
done all this without the aid of traditional media
campaigns. Jamie has built a movement. He’s
capitalized on a long term connection he’s built with
fans and audiences around the world by never
pretending to be something he’s not. Jamie Oliver is
TRUSTED and AUTHENTIC
But it was Marilyn Manson, a man who chose his
stage name, his look, wrote his autobiography and
even booked his first venue before he had written a
song, who spoke to authenticity more than anyone
else. He reminded us there’s nothing more important
than being real. “Consumers see through the fake
faster than ever these days,” he explained.
In today’s industry having an authentic brand belief is
critical if you want to connect with consumers.
Shot on iPhone 6
1 x Grand Prix Outdoor
According to the jury president Juan
Carlos Ortiz, the judges didn't so much
choose “Shot on iPhone6," it chose
them. Praising the Grand Prix winner,
Ortiz said: "It’s not just a great idea, it’s
a game changer. It’s really opening a
new way of doing things and changing
Apple debuted the new ad campaign in
early March, featuring photos and video
taken by iPhone 6 users from around
the world on billboards, print media, TV
ads and more.
Apple is taking the authenticity of UGC
to an entirely new level.
Better Call Saul
Netflix undertook a genius ad
campaign to make Paris ready for the
premiere of Better Call Saul. Their
campaign focused on personalized
ads scattered across Paris. Saul
Goodman voiced his wisdom and
targeted it towards viewers based on
With over 50 tips presented with the
same template. The ad design was
simple but the prints still conveyed
My favourite example includes
letting husbands know that buying
flowers is drastically cheaper than
I Will What I Want
1 x Grand Prix
Under Armour's integrated effort
starring Gisele Bundchen, "I Will What
I Want," won the Cyber Grand Prix at
Created out of Droga5, the campaign
featured a television spot showing the
supermodel pounding away at a heavy
bag, as real comments pulled from
social media appeared on the walls
An online experience, "Will Beats
Noise," took that same idea but
allowed the audience to view the film
with the social media posts as they
were happening in real time, creating a
new experience with each view.
If there was one word used more than any other
this year, it was data. This wasn’t just about
debating the need for “analytics” or “insights”, or
even repeatedly raising “big data” as a buzz
phrase, but how we take the fact we know that’s
happening and still combine and integrate it with a
human truth, a real emotion, creatively.
Speakers referred to data as being the linchpin to
creating more emotional content. They called for
greater collaboration between the industry – from
creatives to technologists – as a way of moving
people’s hearts. Professor Brian Cox said: “Every
creative person needs data to keep them rooted in
1 x Gold
Nobody likes those ‘stalking’ banner
ads that follow you around on every
website, showing products and
deals that you might have searched
for previously. Post-it® decided to
use this behavioural retargeting
technology for something that you
purposely stick in front of your eyes
Using cookies and scripts, they came
up with these brilliant banners that
can be used as sticky notes for your
chores and to-do lists.
“Melanoma Likes Me”
1 x Silver, 1 x Bronze
More than 1,500 Australians die from
melanoma each year, it is the most
lethal cancer for 15-30 year olds. The
Melanoma Likes Me campaign was
created to raise awareness of the
dangers associated with sunbathing
amongst this younger and harder to
reach audience. GPY&R
Brisbane/Melbourn created an online
persona for Melanoma who ‘liked’,
‘followed’, and commented on young
Australians’ social media activities. A
unique algorithm found and responded
to popular hashtags and geo-located
images. It sent millions of tailored
messages, straight to our hard-to-reach
audience; right when it could make the
most difference. By clicking on the
profile they could check for melanomas
and learn about prevention.
1 x Gold
The makers of Madden, a NFL-based video
game, had seen its popularity decline in
recent years. The business was seeking to
reverse this by tapping into the excitement
and team rivalry of the NFL season to reach
the 157m NFL fans in a real-time and relevant
way with the creation of the Giferator. This
dynamically generated GIFs in real-time,
layering headlines and stats from NFL games
as they happened with video game artwork
featuring the relevant players.
These GIFs were then distributed across sites
where fans were known to be looking for
game updates and were targeted according to
DISRUPTIVE campaigns are not only winning at
Cannes, but also igniting conversations around the
Facebook pounced on the disruptive trend during
Cannes and added an optional rainbow filter
application to its profile-picture platform. To date, an
impressive 26 million users have placed a rainbow
flag over their profiles in support of the pride
With the growth of AirBNB and Uber, there has never
been a greater need to look at solutions to problems
differently, to challenge the status quo and disrupt
the norm to bring about positive change and have
If you do one thing between now and Cannes 2016,
*This was the most retweeted image in Cannes
What 3 Words
3 Words to Address the World
1 x Gold
Watching people navigate big cities with
their faces glued to a smartphone screen,
it's hard to comprehend that four billion
people around the world don't have a fixed
But in many parts of the globe beyond
street grids and mapping software,
directing someone to your home is a
challenge often beyond the skills of Siri.
What3words, has a simple solution.
The what3words system seeks to map the
globe with a series of three-word addresses
that correspond to a worldwide grid of 57
trillion squares. The company has divided
the entire globe, both land and sea, into 57
trillion three-by-three meter squares, and
assigned each one a three-word address, to
ensure everyone has a three word home.
Titanium Grand Prix
Dominos wanted a way to appeal to the
younger generation of consumers who are
used to instant, wordless communication in
a world of Snapchat, Instagram and the one
word Yo! messaging app. But how could
that translate to take way pizzas?
The ‘tweet-to-order’ was the first major
player in the restaurant industry to use
Twitter on a regular basis to place and
complete orders. The company will then
sends users a direct message, where they’ll
confirm their order. In just one day, more
than 500 people across the US used the
emoji ordering system, although it’s
impossible to say if they would have just
ordered the regular way or the novelty of
the idea prompted them to use Dominos.
But more importantly, the marketing stunt
earned the brand significant media
Titanium Grand Prix
Getting viewership rates for YouTube
preroll ads is a challenging skill. Part of the
problem is, very few marketers specifically
tailor ads to preroll—they prefer simply to
run their TV spots unchanged. But that
ignores the fact that those first five seconds
are crucial. If you don't hook people then,
you'll lose them.
Geico understands this and rolled out some
fun new digital ads that really put the
emphasis on those first five seconds.
Absurdly and comically so.
The ads will run as :15s, :30s and even
longer spots, but what happens after the
first five seconds is part of the humour.
An incredibly disruptive new approach that
has definitely paid off for both the viewer
and the business.
The ALS Challenge
11 x Cannes Awards
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge won a total of
11 awards including the coveted “Grand
Prix for Good” award.
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge co-founder Pat
Quinn and his family attended in person (I
was in floods of tears by this point) and
received a standing ovation after the
campaign was awarded the Grand Prix for
Good. This award recognizes exceptional
campaigns for charities or public service
We all know the ALS challenge, most of us
even participated, but the case study really
brings to home the enormity and scale this
campaign achieved from such a simple but
I'm always intrigued by ideas that have the perfect
blend between math and magic, as Robert Pittman -
the founder of MTV - perfectly stated.
An idea that leverages a cultural paradox, addresses a
social tension and delivers the bottom line of the
business will always win.
In this complex ecosystem of data, tech and
innovation the power of creativity to solve business
and social issues have never been so critical to
success, and with the introduction of the Glass Lion,
to celebrate gender equality, this was really
championed at Cannes.
Nature is Speaking
1 x Gold Film
All the talk of "saving the planet" overlooks
one thing—the planet, as abused as it's
been, will be fine in the long run. It's
humans who need saving. That's the gist of
Conservation.org campaign "Nature is
Created by TBWA and ad legend Lee Clow,
the campaign delivers a strong message
from nature—but this time, nature doesn't
take on the woe-is-me demeanour of a
victim, but rather that of a tough old-timer
finally fed up with the folly of an entitled
brat. The message is loud and clear: Nature
doesn't need people, people need nature.
THE POWER OF CREATIVITY
Touch The Pickle
Grand Prix Glass Lion
2015 saw the arrival of a new Cannes
Award. The Glass Lion recognises work that
implicitly or explicitly addresses issues of
gender inequality or prejudice, through the
conscious representation of gender in
P&G’s campaign ‘Tough the Pickle’ won the
Grand Prix with their campaign which
challenged cultural norms. In India,
menstruation is treated like a shameful
curse. Women are discouraged from
pursuing normal daily activities during their
periods, including touching the jar of
pickles found in the kitchen of most Indian
homes, because the pickles will supposedly
rot. A ground breaking film encourages
women to defy tradition and taboos by
touching the pickle jar.
THE POWER OF CREATIVITY
States United to Prevent Gun Violence
Guns with History
Grand Prix Glass Lion
Aiming to debunk the myth that owning a
gun in some way makes you safer, the
film sees a real-looking gun store opened
on the Lower East Side of Manhattan
with first-time gun buyers shocked by
stories of unintentional shootings, mass
killings and suicides.
In addition to the brilliant hidden camera
film an accompanying website, Guns with
History, shares more horrific stories
behind various models.
Every gun has a history, let’s not repeat it.
THE POWER OF CREATIVITY
This Girl Can
1 x Gold Glass Lion
This has been my favourite campaign to
come from the UK year-to-date. Since its
launch in January, Sport England's
groundbreaking This Girl Can campaign
has inspired women around the country
to up their fitness. Don't believe us? Just
check out the #ThisGirlCan hashtag.
The campaign captured the nation's
hearts by showing that real women jiggle
and sweat when they exercise, giving us
all a much-needed boost of self-
Now, it's been awarded a Gold Lion for
tackling gender inequality in a new award
category at Cannes.
I can't think of a more worthy winner.
THE POWER OF CREATIVITY
SCALABILITY FUNDSA CLEAR BRIEFAN AUTHENTIC
is there a winning
*Source: PHD Global Media
Ones to Watch: Main Stage Talks (the ones still
available to the general public online)
Unilever: Marketing for People
Keith Weed, CMO of Unilever explores how our industry can transform to market for people in everything we do – being at our
brilliant best all the time. People are changing. Growth in responsible consumption, the influence of millennials and the power of
being constantly connected are transforming how people connect with brands. Consumer demand led growth in this world requires
marketers to think about creativity in a different way; curating brilliant ideas, content and people for brilliant conversations.
TOOLKIT FOR TRANSFORMATION: Razorfish Global & Contagious
The last ten years has challenged everything our industry thought it knew about marketing. But how prepared are we for what comes next?
While we talk of the ever increasing pace of change, it’s clear that what matters is not so much what we know about the future, but how we
adapt to it. This seminar combined Razorfish expertise in creative with Contagious’ unique perspective on the intersection of marketing,
consumer culture and technology to share everything you can’t afford not to know about the future of our industry.
Ones to Watch: Main Stage Talks
THE CANNES DEBATE: SIR MARTIN SORRELL IN CONVERSATION WITH AL GORE
No synopsis needed. The title says it all.
SIR TIM BERNERS LEE (the guy who created the internet!!!): Sentience: the coming AI revolution
The next technological epoch is increasingly considered to be the AI (Artificial Intelligence) revolution - where the world’s
information is hierarchically ordered to create what is, ostensibly, consciousness but with intelligence greater than every living
human being on the planet. In effect, the internet is set to wake up. This is the endeavour of a number of organisations, with Google
leading the charge. Ray Kurzweil, head of engineering at Google, thinks they will get there by 2029.
There will be many applications that will be created that will start to make us see the incredible power in, what will likely be
considered to be, a new utility - alongside gas, electricity and water. If only half of what these engineers are saying comes to fruition,
then the way that we navigate our waking world is about to undergo the biggest transformation that any single generation has ever
Cannes Lion Young Marketer of the Year 2015
Global Media Manager, Unilever