Cannes may have finished over the weekend, buy B&T’s bloggers – UM’s Charlotte Berry (left in main photo) and Grace Espinoza – have fired off this one final blog from some dodgy Wifi in Nice Airport…
And so it has arrived, the end of our crazy, crazy road.
We are physically and mentally exhausted after the best week of our lives, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
From the competition, to talks with the likes of Christine Lagarde, to having casual chats to famous directors, to beach-side events – some might say that we have done Cannes pretty well.
Yesterday we spent four hours in the campaign hub, reading some of the best campaigns in the world. We are itching to get straight back into the office and apply what we have learnt.
The shortlisted and winning campaigns varied in scale and depth – from ingenious simplicity, to beautifully complex. Aside from the key themes that came out of Cannes this year with the big one being authenticity, there are several sub-trends that we noticed in our favourite work that excite us:
We speak often about advertising and media aims to “keep up with the speed of culture”, however often the talk index is high, but the action index is low.
Brands are increasingly trying to make statements about what they believe in from a societal point of view. The brands doing this best are the brave, with their brand purpose at the heart rather than just jumping on the “authentic” bandwagon.
Speed and quality of reaction to social, cultural, competitor or political events is key. But brands can’t just “be” reactive, they need a plan in place so when these events occur they can strike while the iron is hot.
One of our favourite agile campaign won Media Gold for BMW Russia. To celebrate their 100 year anniversary, BMW was treated its customers with he first free of charge toll booth on highways to the airport – resulting in an unexpected reaction from non-BMW drivers – they loved it. To help competitors’ drivers fulfil their desire they allowed people to print BMW logos stick over the top of competitor car manufacturer’s badge, turning vehicles into vehicles!
To be agile, brands need to fully commit – this includes having a contingency budget and being unashamedly brave.
Implication: Agility can be planned for to react quickly, keeping brands top of mind and leaders in culture.
As they say, some people’s trash is another’s treasure.
Transforming something currently not being used into a solution is a stroke of genius.
Just look at the success of the Unusual Football Field, transforming unused, oddly shaped blocks in Thailand into irregularly shaped football pitches that fit perfectly into each of the local area. Not only does the concept have the opportunity to decrease violence and crime, but brings the community together.
Better yet, the concept was thought up by a local developer – proof that creativity permeates every field.
The take-out: Idle value is like free money! Find it, use it wisely.
Close to our hearts, this theme reinforces why smart, creative leaders need to be in advertising. We have the power to leverage the voice and purpose of brands for the greater good – may that be gender equality, climate change, poverty, LGBTQI the list goes on.
Social good touched majority of campaigns this year, and could perhaps be seen as an overarching lens, rather than individual theme.
Hands down the campaign that captured our hearts won gold and bronze in the Design Category – “Words of Welcome” by DDB Germany creating a design system that helps Syrian refugees speak German instantly by designing labels for essential aid products of 28 everyday items. The product name on the new label is written in Arabic script but when read aloud one pronounces the word in perfect German.
The take-out: People respect brands using their voices for good when it relates to brand purpose, increasing sentiment by 8-10 per cent.
Sheryl Sandberg said to us that the world is more comfortable playing into stereotypes which is why they are so hard to smash. Sometimes they are so deeply engrained in human psyche that we don’t even know that we are fuelling them.
By playing into stereotypes, we are doing our brands disservices, limiting our target audience pool.
A clever example of a brand flipping the stereotype is Oechsle’s “Mom Doesn’t Want It” campaign. As Peru’s biggest retail stores, they raised the prices of typical domestic presents given to mothers to deter unwanted, stereotypical gifts, with steam irons increasing in price by 5,622 per cent.
The take-out: Unstereotype! Playing into them can alienate consumers who are more socially conscious than ever before.
So there you have it, Cannes through our eyes. We are so incredibly proud of not only our achievement, but our industry. It is comforting to meet so many people that genuinely believe that we can change the world. Thank you to UM for supporting our endeavours and nurturing our skills and thank you to Newscorp for providing us with this opportunity, it was nothing short of life changing.
Rest assured this will not be the last time you hear from us, this is only the beginning.