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Cannes Contenders: Serviceplan’s Top Picks for ‘23


Across the global network, the Serviceplan Group tell LBB about the pieces of work being sent to the Cannes Lions Festival for consideration this year

Cannes Contenders: Serviceplan’s Top Picks for ‘23

Germany's only fully integrated agency, and Europe's biggest independent, owner-managed agency group, Serviceplan Group shares its hopefuls for this year's Cannes Lions advertising awards. From work originating in Germany, the USA, Austria and more, this year's picks range from fun to serious, innovative to confronting and everything in between.


Japanese-German textile startup AIZOME partnered with Serviceplan Innovation to launch WASTECARE™, a premium skincare product made from wastewater sourced from AIZOME’s textile dyeing factory. Because AIZOME only uses plants, water, and ultrasound instead of synthetic chemicals in its dyeing process, the wastewater, like the textiles, has natural health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, pain relief, and skin rejuvenation.

Julie Rutigliano, creative director, Pereira O'Dell: “It’s rare to come up with an idea that is both simple and innovative. WASTECARE™ for AIZOME manages to achieve this. Skincare made from industrial waste sounds absurd. And therein lies the power of this campaign. A provocative notion that ultimately proves how AIZOME is completely unique. Even its waste water is not only harmless, but actually healthy. That is a powerful statement, demonstrated in such an elegant and original way, that it deserves high recognition in this competition."

Midea - 90 Minutes of Air Conditioning

During a heatwave, New Yorkers will go to see ANY movie just for the AC. So, our partners at Pereira O’Dell made a whole movie about that. Just that. Welcome to the longest product placement in the history of film! Brought to you by NY’s favourite AC, The Midea U.

Katina Fitsch, art director, Wien Nord Serviceplan: “It is only right that award shows today are dominated by socio-political cases. After all, one of the best things about our job is that we can do well with good work.
"However, in the midst of all this important commitment, we must not forget the basics: identifying product benefits, finding new perspectives, and communicating them in a surprising way. Pereira O'Dell's ‘90 Minutes of Air Conditioning’ is a refreshing example of how this can be done in 2022. Based on a simple and target-group-relevant observation, coupled with a good dose of humour and, last but not least, a flawless execution, ‘90 Minutes of Air Conditioning’ is a product demonstration that could not be more timely and already whets the appetite for the next hot summer. Or maybe not.”

Leopold Museum - A Few Degrees More

In cooperation with the climate research network CCCA and Wien Nord Serviceplan, the Leopold Museum puts selected paintings by Klimt, Schiele and Co. in a slanted position to draw attention to the dramatic effects of global warming as a result of climate change. Because a permanent increase in temperature by just a few degrees can drastically worsen our quality of life.

Jonas Bolzenius, senior art director, Serviceplan Bubble‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬: “‘A Few Degrees More’ proves that with creativity, you don't need to throw mashed potatoes at paintings to make people see them with different eyes, and you don't need to superglue yourself to the tarmac to get stuck in people's minds. In the geometrised environment of a museum, 'a few degrees' are of great importance, as are a few degrees in environmental science. It is a tiny displacement that causes this itching in the back of your mind that you can't ignore. For me, this play with perception is the even better part. It is not only about tilted landscapes. It's about letting people experience for themselves that small changes will matter. One could say: ‘It didn't change anything. It did not stop traffic, and it did not solve the problem.’ But it changed something anyway. For a brief moment, it changed something in people's minds. And it grabbed their attention — the most valuable good of our time. And this, for me, is what great communication is all about — being a lever that achieves a lot with minimal resources. It is not the change itself but the spark that encourages rethinking.”

Penny - The Rift

The Rift: PENNY and Serviceplan’s 2022 Christmas Campaign is a powerful plea against the divisions within society. The film was conceived and realised by the lead agency Serviceplan Campaign in Munich, and directed by Seb Edwards (ANORAK Film).

Christian Hellinger, managing partner, Wien Nord Serviceplan: “The covid-19 pandemic, Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the endless culture wars that are taking place on social media every day and are fuelled by ignorance, hate-speech and an unwillingness to find common ground. The last few years have divided our society into ever more uncompromising camps of 'us' and 'them'. In its campaign 'The Rift', Penny bravely enters the conversation where there clearly is a lack of it in our society and encourages audiences with a simple yet so utterly important call to action: ‘Let’s talk (again).’

“In an amazingly accessible manner, Penny supermarkets acknowledges its role as a meeting point of all walks of life in our society. No matter if you are ‘pro-life’ or ‘pro-choice’, an ‘anti-vaxxer’ or four-times boosted, a conspiracy theorist, or a climate activist, at the local supermarket different people with different opinions converge. It’s there where we realise that we are not so different after all. We just have to patch up the cracks and fill the ravines that divide us, by listening and talking to each other. The campaign chose striking imagery and an uneasy tonality that turns the invisible rift between us into some kind of malevolent force that stalks us. But don’t let the stunning visuals of the TVC fool you. It’s an incredibly empathic, nuanced and emotional film that serves as a conversation starter in itself.”

Dot Inc. - Dot Pad 

According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, around 365 million people worldwide are blind or severely visually impaired. With communications becoming increasingly screen-based, 4.5% of the population is being left behind. Tactile books are expensive and limited, and audio descriptions, besides being indiscreet, fail to provide a lot of information. Launched in 2022, Dot Pad uses AI to analyse and segment digital images, and through a partnership with Apple, its technology integrates with iOS and iPadOS. The Dot Pad can be invoked with a gesture, showing whatever the highlighted item is on the screen and the tablet displays any visual content from any source using its Dot Image Processing and actuator technology. This makes images tactile through 2,400 pins in a pixel-like grid that can be set up to form letters, shapes, and charts. The powerful innovation is disrupting all kinds of industries and was even a recipient of Fast Company’s 'World Changing Ideas' Award 2023 in the Asia-Pacific category and also won the CES Innovation Award. 

PJ Pereira, chief creative officer, Pereira O’Dell: “There are moments in our industry, when we have the chance the birth of something incredible, that we feel proud for our entire generation, even if we had nothing to do with it. Dot Pad is one of those.”

The iii Museum - An Immersive Art Experience for Iranian Artists

Discover the iii virtual museum introducing contemporary Iranian art to the world. Lilli Studios created a virtual museum founded by Mohammed Afkhami for the Afkhami Foundation, curated by Fereshteh Daftary.
Andy Wyeth, managing director creative, Serviceplan Cologne: "This is an incredible piece of immersive technology that creates a monumental digital stage to amplify the voices and artistic visions of Iranian artists. The iii museum sheds light on 73 masterpieces from the Mohammed Afkhami Foundation at a scale that will blow your mind. The browser-based experience powerfully portrays how female artists are categorically isolated and cut away by segregating genders all together into two separate worlds that defy gravity. The digital craft is not only exquisite, but it draws the user into a powerfully interactive and intellectual art experience that's worthy for such an important topic of artistic expression."

Transklar e.V., Trans-Ident e.V. and Rosa Strippe e.V. - Saved Memories

Many Trans people report that they cannot look at their childhood photos after a successful transition: ‘Saved Memories’, developed by Serviceplan Berlin in cooperation with the German NGOs Transklar e.V., Trans-Ident e.V. and Rosa Strippe e.V., transform childhood pictures to reflect the person’s true gender identity using artificial intelligence. The project and the accompanying film, which tells the story of the ‘Saved Memories’ project’s first participants, reached over 165 million contacts on the International Day against Homo-, Bi-, Inter- and Transphobia.

Till Diestel, chief creative officer, Serviceplan Germany: “It is great to see how AI can be such an immense healing tool when it comes to traumatic experiences. It’s not very often you come across a project that combines technicality with such an emotional impact. We believe ‘Saved Memories’ is a great opportunity for trans people to see their past as it always should have been.”

Heinz - The Drop

We’ve all been there. You’re almost done your shopping when you suddenly you see a product on the shelf that is so much better than the one you already have in your trolley. Serviceplan Cologne’s campaign for Heinz takes this all too human moment and turns it into a hilarious brand experience with the tagline: "When you drop everything for Heinz". 

Aisha Blackwell, executive producer, Neverest: “When I first saw the campaign I felt caught. Why? Because it’s simply true what is shown. The insight is a sharp and clear observation of something everybody who ever went grocery shopping knows: you decided to put a product in your shopping car – and then you find a better alternative somewhere else in the shop. What to do? Been there, done it. The whole narrative is clear in one simple picture. Kudos to Heinz for promoting its products by showing a bunch of generic products instead of its own throughout the commercial apart from the packshot at the end.” 

MINI USA - Polar Bear

A MINI USA Campaign from Pereira O’Dell for the Electric SE kicked off on Earth Day in April 2023, starring a cute polar bear character in the passenger’s seat.

Alexander Schill, global chief creative officer, Serviceplan Group: “Today we are all trying to do less advertising and instead embed brands more into culture, which means making them part of daily conversations and part of people’s daily life. This happened perfectly with the MINI Polar Bear campaign. MINI became the talk of the town and actively interacted with its community over quite a long period of time. Plus, the campaign even led to a change in the product by offering a new ‘Polar bear colour’ for its new all-electric MINI.”

O2 - Can Do Decoded

'CAN DO DECODED' is the first brand book that contains the DNA of real game changers. Developed by Serviceplan Bubble for telecommunications service provider O₂ and written by bestselling author Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre, it expresses the brand's aspiration to constantly question the rules of the telco market and improve them for its customers.

The goal was to create a brand book that is not about the brand DNA, but carried the DNA it within itself. That’s why the printer's ink contains the DNA of outstanding personalities who have shaped the zeitgeist: Grandmaster Flash, Jimmy Wales, Enissa Amani, Dick Fosbury and Marian Goodell. The book decodes on every single page what it means to be a game changer – as an inspiration, a guideline, and a shared attitude that all O₂ employees embody.

Moritz Dornig, executive creative director at Serviceplan Campaign 3: “To me, this work is a perfect example of how to transport a brand’s essence into the corresponding medium – the brand book itself. By adding the DNA of real makers to the ink, life is literally being breathed into the work, and thus the brand. Personally, I get a slight feeling of sublimity flipping through a brand book that contains Grandmaster Flash's DNA. I guess, this is how any of the brand's representatives will feel the 'CAN DO' mentality when going through the brand values.”

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SERVICEPLAN GERMANY, Tue, 30 May 2023 18:00:00 GMT