What We Learned from Cannes Lions 2018: Highlights to Inspire your Own Creative Direction

What We Learned from Cannes Lions 2018: Highlights to Inspire your Own Creative Direction

Rosie Shephard
17 July 2018
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The Cannes Lions Film Festival has once again come to a close. The powers of the marketing world have all returned to their home cities, some in elation and some disappointed – but all inspired. Just before we all move on with our lives, let’s have a look at some of the campaigns that got everyone’s tail’s wagging – including my own!

Cannes Lions 2018 Highlights

This year, there was a distinct theme spanning corporations and agencies, great and small, honing in on ‘purpose’ messaging. This often referred to the environment, large-scale humanitarian issues or societal issues such as diversity. In addition, the altering and tweaking of logos was another key component of many campaigns that prospered in the judging process.  This is an interesting phenomenon that goes against many of the fundamentals of marketing, but as you can see from these examples, it paid off.

LADbible and Plastic Oceans Foundation, “Trash Isles”

Agency: AMV BBDO

Cannes Lions - LADBible

There is so much plastic in the North Pacific Ocean that an area of trash the size of France has formed. Governments have simply ignored it, but advertising agency, AMV BBDO, found a way to ensure they could no longer turn their heads by turning the country sized trash patch into an official country.

On World Oceans Day, The Plastic Oceans Foundation and LadBible submitted an application to The United Nations to recognise The Trash Isles as an official country. If it is recognised as an official country, then other countries are obliged to help clean it up.

They created an identity for the country and asked the public to support it by becoming citizens. The Trash Isles now has more than 200,000 citizens, including some very influential faces.

Why I loved this Cannes Lions award-winning campaign?

  • Hugely creative, entertaining and enriching
  • A truly 360 degree approach
  • Tangible change in progress, in addition to successful awareness

Watch the campaign video here!

Lacoste, ‘Save our Species’

Agency: BETC Paris

Cannes Lions - Endangered animals

BETC creatively leveraged the iconic Lacoste polo as inspiration to get their message out about protecting endangered species. They created 10 very special polo shirts where the crocodile leaves its historic spot to 10 threatened species: the Vaquita, the Burmese roofed turtle, the Northern Sportive Lemur, the Javan Rhino, the Kakapot Parrot, the Cao Vit Gibon, The California Condor, The Saola, The Sumatran Tiger and The Anegada Ground Iguana.

For each species, the number of polo shirts produced corresponds to the number of animals known to remain in the wild: ranging from 30 examples for the Vaquita to 450 examples for the Anegada Rock Iguana. Sadly, just 1,775 polo shirts in total were launched during the Paris Fashion week.

Why I loved this Cannes Lions award-winning campaign?

  • Bold – sacrificing the brand logo for the first time
  • A truly 360 degree approach
  • Bigger picture awareness campaign with tangible positive outputs

Watch their campaign video here!

Nike, Nothing Beats a Londoner

Agency: Mindshare London & Wieden+Kennedy

cannes lions Nike

During research, Mindshare found that the pace at which young Londoners lived and consumed media was unparalleled. They constantly consume bite-sized content on the go. The myth of ‘short attention spans’ not only underestimates them, it misleads clients and creative marketing teams. This is a generation who are masterful curators & viewers of content. They consume long-form media too, but our job is to give them a compelling (and fast) reason to consume it.

To involve them, content needs to be exciting and relevant; not just to London but to specific neighbourhoods in London. Nike took on this challenge…

To engage the capital’s youth, Nike launched the “Nothing Beats a Londoner” campaign. The campaign showcased tales of hardship presented by a cast of influencers including Skepta, Mo Farah, Harry Kane and Dina Asha-Smith. The purpose was to inspire young London through storytelling, encouraging them to break the mould, fight through struggles and achieve success just like their heroes.

At the heart of the Nike campaign were short video stories about real young Londoners. These worked both as a series and in isolation. Mindshare tailored the first story someone saw and the platform it launched on to the user’s geolocation.  Full films were created from social media posts and uploaded to YouTube, reaching the top trending charts. The brand also created a custom swipe up story on Insta, as well as Snapchat stickers to inspire kids to join free sporting events across the city during the 6 weeks summer holidays.

Why I loved this Cannes Lions award-winning campaign?

  • Captured the voice of the target generation
  • Led to authentic user-generated content
  • Took Nike in a new direction with a new logo
  • Social first, multi-platform success

Watch the campaign video here!

Diesel, Go with the Fake

Agency: Publicis

cannes lions - brand fraud

Staying true to Diesel’s disruptive nature, the design team subverted Diesel’s classic logo with subtle misspellings to look like a real knock-off.  They rented a store in the heart of NYC’s counterfeit district for two weeks. For authenticity, the pop up was designed to look cluttered and two actors were hired to perform as suspicious shopkeepers. The store opened secretly for the first week. Those brave enough to shop there during this time bought real Diesel pieces, disguised as DEISEL, for knock-off prices. The second week was the big reveal during New York Fashion Week. Full price this time.

At first, Diesel teased the idea through Instagram Stories, then let the secret out, through social media, attracting thousands of fans and fashionistas. The store was supposed to be open for several days, but it sold out in one. Then the fakes launched the brand globally on Diesel.com, selling out in several hours.

Why I loved this Cannes Lions award-winning campaign?

  • Bold, creativity and amusing showing brand once again sacrificing the logo
  • Commentary on the biggest problem in the fashion industry – fakes
  • Led to real fakes of the fake fakes!
  • Great use of ambient and moment marketing capitalising on NYFW

Watch the campaign video here!

Tourism Australia, Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home

Agency: Draga5 New York

cannes lions - Australia tourism campaign

Out-of-region travel from the US has grown by 11% in recent years, and yet Australia’s share of US tourism has been stagnant at only 1.3%. While the world loves the idea of an Australian holiday, the “tyranny of distance” means Tourism Australia struggle to convert that desire to visitation.

Tourism Australia historically spreads investment across the year, but to break through they needed to own a single moment—the Super Bowl—to be noticed by their audience: American high-value travellers.

The tagline, “There’s Nothing Like Australia,” was designed to differentiate Australia, but prior campaigns simply showed tourism-generic sweeping shots of coastlines and vineyards. What makes Australia special isn’t just its physical nature: it’s the nature of its people. Aussies are known for their casual warmth and irreverent sense of humour. No one embodied this better than Paul Hogan in 1986’s Crocodile Dundee. This film was, in essence, a tourism campaign in disguise. A campaign that made Australia (and Australians) feel so desirable to 1980s America, that Australia enjoyed the biggest tourism upswing in its history.

Capitalising on the cult classic, it was time to do it again with the creation of a fake movie with a megastar cast, acting as the ultimate advert for Australia.

Why I loved this Cannes Lions award-winning campaign?

  • Fun and light-hearted campaign that entertained
  • Executed to engage a highly targeted audience at a very targeted time

Watch the campaign video here!

Tweet us and let us know your top campaign showcased at Cannes Lions, @Meltwater

*This is a guest post written by Rosie Shephard, Founder of Luxury Communications Council