Leo Burnett Forecasts Cannes Lion Winners Based On Six Key Trends

Leo Burnett Forecasts Cannes Lion Winners Based On Six Key Trends

Ad agency Leo Burnett has once again had a look into its crystal ball to see what’s going to happen at Cannes this year. Here are some of the agency’s predictions.

Katy Denis
Posted by Katy Denis

Leo Burnett Worldwide’s chief creative officer Mark Tutssel curated the list to encompass the most forward thinking, compelling creative work across channels and regions. From Ubisoft – Assassin’s Creed “Unity – Cinema Trailer” to Guinness Africa “#MadeofBlack” to Smart “The Dancing Traffic Light,” this year’s predictions include some of this year’s most powerful ideas.

“The depth and breadth of innovative thinking this year is astonishing,” said Mark Tutssel, chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Worldwide. “This is work that draws upon a convergence of media, technology, self-expression and creativity to deliver remarkable brand ideas that have transformational impact.”

The yearlong research to curate the Predictions helped uncover emerging trends in the industry.

“The thread that binds this collection is that human purpose sits at the heart of each of these brilliant pieces of work,” said Tutssel. “Whether it’s P&G Always launching a cultural movement or Nike designing an immersive experience, ideas that create real value, fuel our imagination and ignite change in human behaviour will prevail in Cannes.”

Leo Burnett discovered the following six trends that are influencing creative campaigns today:

Brands are making the world a safer place.

This year, the Festival expands its Lions Innovation module, a two-day breakout to explore the connection between “technology, data and ideas,” a growing and fertile territory for marketers. More than ever, brands are seizing the opportunity to couple creativity and cutting edge tech to serve a higher human purpose, and this year that’s manifested in efforts that make the world a safer place.

Samsung is always looking to enrich people’s lives through innovative technologies. With “Safety Truck” they went even further. A wireless camera built into the front of the truck transmits a view of the road to a video wall of four monitors at the rear of the vehicle, helping drivers behind the truck see what hazards may lay ahead. Creativity coupled with technological ingenuity that will change the way people drive, making highways safer and ultimately saving lives.

The Hammerhead, a product developed by R/GA New York, tackles a different type of road safety. This intelligent navigational device fits onto handlebars and provides guidance that lets bicyclists keep their attention on the road.

In Australia, telecom Optus designed nautical buoys that use sonar signals to protect the shores from life-threatening sharks without endangering them.

Screens on steroids.

The proliferation of screens in our daily environment has not only demanded more content from marketers, but it’s also challenged them to develop inventive new ways to connect with audiences. Some of our favourite work this year incorporates levels of interactivity that signal the screens of the future might be more two-way than one.

The Other Side” for the Honda Civic Type R transformed the passive activity of watching a YouTube video into a brilliantly simple but deeply engaging experience. Viewers discover while watching the interactive film that pressing the R key reveals a hidden narrative beneath the surface. Executed with utter precision, this campaign from Wieden + Kennedy London, deftly conveys the dual personalities of the car.

For its “Rise” activation, Nike transformed a basketball court in China into an LED interactive experience that guided players through drills that helped them learn Kobe Bryant’s game. The “House of Mamba” incorporated artificial intelligence and reactive sensors, enabling the court to transform into various training scenarios that left even Kobe dazzled.

Superhumans made human.

Hot on the heels of Messi and Kobe being crowned YouTube champions of the last decade, expect to see even more sporting legends playing hard to win in the South of France.

Athletes have long been called in as “hired guns,” but there’s something much richer happening beneath the surface this year. Sportsmen are portrayed not as untouchable superstars, but rather human beings with the same feelings, fears and motivations as the rest of us.

The Game Before The Game” for Beats by Dre opens on Brazilian football captain Neymar as he listens to the motivational words of his father before stepping onto the world stage. He’s nervous and even questioning himself before the big match, but this revealing moment of vulnerability makes him even more authentic and relatable.

The U.N. World Food Programme’s “805 Million Names” leveraged the fame of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a way that put the striker’s warmth and compassion on full display. After scoring a goal in a highly publicized game, he stripped off his shirt to reveal beautifully tattooed names of some of the millions of children who are dying from hunger each and every day. Using his body as a creative canvas was a bold and personal gesture that resulted in astounding earned media coverage.

Reestablished: Lebron James,” also for Beats by Dre, follows the Chosen One as he returns to where it all began. His journey home is presented as a humble and deeply human story.

And even Derek Jeter becomes approachable in “Made In New York” for Gatorade. The touching farewell strikes a visceral chord as it celebrates the deep-rooted, emotional, and human connection that the Yankee developed with his New York City fans.

Stories, not storytelling.

This year we saw a raft of fascinating stories, beautifully told. Stories that intrigue, captivate and charm, are also the stories that people love, tell and share. For as much as we talk about telling, it’s easy to forget that what matters is what’s being told.

Last Christmas the British public was charmed by “Monty the Penguin,” an emotional story of love and magic told through a child’s eyes. This beautiful film for John Lewis captured the imagination of the nation, and the integration of the idea is a best-in-class study in amplification and activation.

100” for Leica is a stunning tribute to photography, and the pivotal role that the iconic camera has played throughout its 100 years. This beautifully filmed and compelling narrative rewards multiple viewings.

The craft behind Du’s “Two For One Tickets” campaign from Dubai has been the talk of the production world all year. Channeling directorial greats like Stone, Scott and Tarantino, the series offer a master class in the art of filmmaking. After capturing a Black Pencil for Direction at D&AD, “Too Insulting,” “Too Distressing” and “Too Informative” promise a strong showing in the Film Craft category.

Shattering stereotypes.

Another change coming to Cannes this year is the introduction of the Glass Lion, an acknowledgement of the power that marketing has to positively shape culture, and an honor intended to recognize “work that implicitly or explicitly addresses issues of gender inequality or prejudice.”

One idea has rewritten the rules in 2015. Always ignited a cultural movement and showed that doing something #LikeAGirl isn’t an insult. It has captured the attention of the world and is one of the most talked about and celebrated ideas in our industry. A powerful idea that strives to boost self-confidence in girls everywhere. A groundbreaking idea that challenges gender bias and shatters stereotypical images of women.

Jurors will have some compelling contenders to consider: Under Armour enlisted supermodel Gisele Bundchen to help bring to life its powerful “I Will What I Want” campaign. The film depicts Bundchen immersed in a workout, while real-time social media commentary from supporters and detractors is projected on the walls of the room. She remains focused, willing what she wants amongst the noise of contradicting opinions.

Lightning in a bottle bucket.

Finally, in the summer of 2014, a small online social behavior became a global phenomenon. The simple act of pouring a bucket of ice water one one’s head — and challenging friends and family to do the same — grew into one of the biggest movements the internet has ever seen.

The ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” had no media budget, but the sheer power of the idea compelled the creation of more than 17 million videos that were viewed more than 70 billion times. More people participated than the Super Bowl and Oscars, combined, and the effort raised a staggering $220 million for ALS research.

Each year, there’s work that makes its debut in the Palais, which is what makes Cannes the most exciting festival of creativity in the world. And whether it’s officially in the hunt or not, we’d be delighted if this mighty idea collects a Grand Prix for Good.

Leo Burnett curated the Cannes Predictions by perusing hundreds of campaigns, dissecting global and local award show results and listening to dialogue happening across the industry.