Marcus Tesoriero, Executive Creative Director at The Brand Agency Perth, says in contrast to recent years, the accolades at Cannes this year were evenly spread, rather than dominated by one or two campaigns.
While the Soccer World Cup battles on, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity flickers to a close. But unlike a clearly defined triumph on the football field, there was no clear winner in Cannes this year that has stolen the conversation. In contrast to 2017, with Fearless Girl and Meet Graham shooting it out for a number of top honours, the Grand Prix for most categories in 2018 was represented by different work.
I felt some awarded projects were better than others with work often pushing the categories so much, they almost didn’t feel right for the category itself. But I guess that’s what progression is all about – reward a sweetly completed reverse triple pike over the perfect swan dive.
Advertising to save the world was yet again the dominating theme in Cannes, too. If your LinkedIn feed is anything like mine, you’ll see it clogged up with agencies backslapping each other about metal won for making a worthy difference on our planet. And in some cases it’s actually true. But in most cases it’s just a way to find an emotional connection with their audience – or from a cynical perspective, an emotional connection with award judges.
Personally, I’m all for social good so the more our industry can promote philanthropic behaviour, the better. But let’s not forget that there are many more ways to connect with our audiences’ emotions to create connections with brands. Great stories, tech innovation, comedy – I’d love to see more of this bubbling back up to the top. That’s why it was refreshing to see some laughs slipping through the cracks with ‘It’s a Tide ad’ scooping a Film Grand Prix. The campaign that hijacked the Super Bowl with clean clothes.
Outdoor was a battle between Ronald and The Colonel with Ronald winning out in the end, taking home the Grand Prix. But personally, I felt like The Colonel was hardly done by. See the KFC Hot & Spicy campaign? An absolute cracker that won a bunch of gold in Outdoor and Print.
The Corruption Detector for ReclameAQUI won the mobile Grand Prix. An outstanding integration of mobile technology in peoples’ lives, allowing voters of an upcoming election in Brazil to take photos of politicians then instantly provide any corruption history the politicians may have had.
And yes, there is a time and place for ad people to save the world. The Palau Pledge picked up three Grand Prix in deserved categories proving how there are many more ways to solve a client’s problem than traditional advertising mediums. They manipulated the immigration process for incoming visitors to Palau, mandating that each and every visitor must sign an agreement in their passport to not damage the island’s resources. It was then launched at the UN and international media attention took over.
Wrapping up a great year of talks, meetings and inspiration, the individual conversations I had with people in Cannes are some of the highlights I’ve valued the most. Discussing the zeitgeist of what’s next with some of the world’s best creative leaders has been a priceless channel of knowledge sharing – and it doesn’t hurt that it’s all at one of the most beautiful locations in the world.
That’s it for this year. Now everyone can get back to the World Cup. Come on Australia, bring on Cahill!