by Louise Burgers. The ultimate festival of advertising and brand excellence, the Cannes Lions, was back in all its creative glory in Cannes, France, this year, serving up award-winning creativity and thought-provoking campaigns. After two years of lockdown absence from in-person events, it was all about “storytelling and stigma-shattering”, according to AdWeek.
This is how AdWeek described the winning campaigns: “Many of the high-profile Grand Prix winners in this year’s festival reflected an urgency by marketers to address cultural tensions, inequality, climate change and more. Others revelled in longform storytelling that proved attention spans aren’t always as short as popular opinion would have us believe. While this year’s gallery of top winners is light on practical, sales-driven campaigns, it’s clear that what the festival’s juries wanted to honor at the highest level, was a sense of ambition to create captivating narratives and right wrongs rather than just turn a profit.”
Grand Prix advertising winners
Out of the 27 campaigns that won the ultimate prize, a Grand Prix, across all the categories at The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, we chose the ones most relevant for our industry – and some of the product innovation is truly brilliant:
Health & Wellness
Maxx Flash, The Killer Pack, by VMLY&R, Mumbai – How about this innovative packaging that also delivers what its key product does, contributing to wiping out a disease-carrying mosquito in India.
Creative Data – The Lion for Change
We Capital, Data Tienda, DDB Mexico, Mexico City – Providing marginalised communities with credit.
Mars Petcare, Sheba, Hope Reef, AMV BBDO, London – Saving the planet one view at a time.
Creative Business Transformation
Dole Sunshine + Ananas Anam, Piñatex, L&C New York – Using pineapple leaves to replace leather in a true green solution.
Wingstop, Thighstop, by Leo Burnett, Chicago – Turning a Chicken Wing shortage during the pandemic into a thigh-high advantage.
Michelob Ultra, Contract For Change, by FCB Chicago & FCB New York – How to encourage farmers to risk organic farming.
Swedish Food Federation, Eat A Swede, McCann Stockholm – Plain weird, but, er, interesting nonetheless.
Entertainment For Sport
Nike, NikeSync App, R/GA London – Excellent advocacy for women from Nike.
Adidas, Liquid Billboard, Havas Middle East, Dubai, and Jack Morton Worldwide – World’s first water billboard you could swim in. Great innovation on a sensitive subject for many women.
Dell Technologies & Intel, I Will Always Be Me, by VMLY&R – Beautiful storytelling and an important story to tell.
Sustainable Development Goals
P&G Whisper, The Missing Chapter, Leo Burnett, India – More brand advocacy for women and girls.
These are not FMCG brands, but we loved these campaigns so much, we had to share:
Polycam, Backup Ukraine, by Virtue Worldwide, New York – You may tear up.
Penguin Books, Portuguese (Re)constitution, FCB Lisbon – Design can heal a nation.
*If you want to watch all the Grand Prix winning campaigns from Cannes Lions this year, go to Contagious.com.
Main image credit: Nike.
Louise Burgers is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of RetailingAfrica.com. She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.
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