Folk from AKQA, MullenLowe, Jam3, Sid Lee, Wieden+Kennedy, J. Walter Thompson, Rosapark and more dish up the work they hope to see bag a Lion
It’s that time of year again folks. Cannes Lions kicks off tomorrow (yes, really) and with that some awards will be given out. But who will win what? Well, if the predictions below are anything to go by, then there are three campaigns that are set to hit Gold (or better Grand). We’ll let you guess what they are. But fear not for the esteemed brains we have picked for this prediction piece have conjured up some real hidden gems. Enjoy.
Wayne Deakin, Executive Creative Director, AKQA
Of course, it’s going to be Meet Graham, The Refugee Nation and Fearless Girl – brilliant and original thoughts that don’t fit into boxes are meaningful and create dialogue.
But then there are those hidden gems that are pure entertainment. One I championed when I was judging at another major award show earlier this year was the amazing Japanese film, Gravity Cat. Check it out. It’s insanely brilliant and well crafted, and I hope it’s rewarded.
AKQA also has work in the mix. We were very honoured to be awarded seven Lions at Cannes last year, and hopefully we go ok this year too. But it would be a bit selfish of me to big up any of our work here.
Jean-Francois Sacco, CCO and Co-Founder, Rosapark
For me this year there are three blockbusters.
We Are The Superhumans. Because it is by far the best film of the year. Strong, punchy, lively… It goes beyond disability, it gives you the energy to move your ass… to run, jump, dance, play music. Whatever you do, whatever you are, if you don’t want to die, just move your body to feel alive. Brilliant.
Meet Graham. Totally crazy and brilliant. Unseen piece of art to serve a social cause. The craft is crazy. It’s totally invented but you strongly feel that this guy exists. It’s the UFO of the festival. Amazing.
Fearless Girl. This little girl facing a monster. It shows that symbols are stronger than the statue (the bull). It shows all the power of advertising. How a temporary installation can be stronger than a statue that’s been there for years. How an idea that says nothing is heavier than a statue that weighs three tonnes! To put it another way, how a static statue moved women’s issues forward. Brilliant.
In France I particularly like:
Louise Delage : Like my addiction. It’s a subtle way to play with a social network. This campaign penetrates in a delicate way to deliver a fat and strong message.
Finishing with two works from the agency that we are particularly proud of.
Monoprix ‘85 years anniversary’. A lovely romance playing on the assets of the brand (jokes on the pack that transform daily life into an adventure. One of the best films in France this year.)
Thalys ‘Scents of the City’. To follow up ‘Sounds of the City’ we created a unique travel agency that makes you travel with scents.
Greg Bolton, Creative Director at Jam3
I think ‘Meet Graham’ for the Transport Accident Commission in Australia is a lock for Integrated and Titanium. That central visual - this weird, almost creepy statue - was obviously really arresting, but it was also such a fresh way of talking about the need for better road safety. And let’s be honest, it’s a topic that’s not exactly uncharted territory by now, so kudos to Clemenger BBDO for pulling off something that felt so fresh. I love that it wasn’t just a site, but an art exhibition and a research project as well. That stuff breaks through with judges, just as it does with audiences. It’s already been cleaning up at other shows. It will at Cannes too.
‘Fearless Girl’ is another piece that got people talking, and Cannes obviously tends to reward that kind of work. My only quibble is that for all the attention it got, I’m not sure the piece created enough of an association with the client, who I actually had to look up more than once to jog my memory. ‘Fearless Girl’ is definitely not without controversy, but I’d be surprised if it doesn’t clean up in outdoor and PR. Either way, it’ll continue to spark conversation, and that’s why it’ll win.
For innovation, I’ll be shocked if Google’s Tilt Brush doesn’t crush it. I think it’s going to be more of a platform than a painting app, and that’s the really interesting story for the long term. But for right now, it’s just gonna win because it’s so damn cool.
For mobile, Pokemon Go is another sure thing. Sure, it burned pretty fast and bright for a lot of us, but it basically put AR on the map, which is way more interesting than catching Charmanders. Either way, the launch was completely bonkers, and that’ll be enough.
Lastly - and yes, it's shameless plug time - but we at Jam3 really do think that our own Bear 71 VR project is a worthy candidate in the digital craft categories we entered it in. The original interactive documentary did well for us back in 2012, and we’re really proud of the craft and the storytelling that went into the new VR version. We think those elements are what’s bringing VR out of the realm of “holy shit, that’s cool” and into a more rich, nuanced complex storytelling medium. Fingers crossed.
Ben James, Executive Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson
The Oculus/NBA film from m ss ng p eces is super dope. I think that should crush it in the entertainment lions. It's everything. A bit of sport. A bit of authenticity. And a whole lot of new meaning brought to this still very unknown space. And that's what is very exciting. I've wondered about how VR will scale for a long time, and it's a demonstration of the power of a great idea and great execution.... in that it makes me want VR like never before.
Celine and Clement Mornet-Landa, and Stéphane Soussan, Creative Directors, Sid Lee Paris
Kenzo ‘My Mutant Brain’ and Channel 4 Paralympics We’re The Superhumans. Because it’s always nice when an ad has the means to get on the big screen.
Donate Life ‘The World’s Biggest Asshole’. Because, even though we aren’t huge fans of campaigns for big causes, this one made us laugh. Sometimes the best muse is an asshole.
Geico ‘Condensed Ads’. Because it’s always hard to successfully renew yourself with the same concept.
Spotify Outdoor. Because there were 1,235 guys who loved the ‘Girls’ Night’ playlist this year.
Pandora ‘Sounds Like You’. Because… Michel Gondry.
Sophie Worth, Recruiter, W+K Amsterdam
Work that sparks a conversation and affects culture stands out for me.
I have a soft spot for Nike “What are girls made of?” It was made for the Russian market, but was picked up globally so the idea clearly powerfully resonates with all girls and women. Hopefully this work serves to give all women more confidence to reveal their true self.
For that same reason, I love ‘Fearless Girl’. It is a simple yet powerful idea. It moved people and sparked a conversation that impacts culture. What more can you want?
Another spot that resonated was the ‘Kenzo World’ film by Spike Jonze - it is such a wonderful departure from the usual language of the category. It’s invigorating and refreshing to see a woman in advertising step outside of the polished expectations.
John Cornette, EVP, Executive Creative Director/Director of Innovation, EP+Co
I’m hoping to see more refined AR and VR work. Ideas that not only use these platforms as entertainment but look to use these technologies in a more utilitarian fashion, by evolving the interface and functionality. Ideas like Google’s ‘Window Wonderland’ give people the ability to not only be in a place they may not be able to visit in person but by creating a unique means of navigation, they gave the viewer a way to experience nearly all of New York's holiday windows in a completely new and meaningful way.
Amy Ferguson, Creative Director, MullenLowe New York
Fearless Girl. The best ideas are always the simplest. I loved that the statue, arguably one of the oldest forms of media in the book, felt new and fresh. Also timing is everything and this capitalised on what was not only a moment in time but a moment in history.
Meet Graham. The best test for me is to ask, am I jealous of this work? And the answer is undoubtedly yes. I’ve never seen anything like it. The weirdness made it unforgettable. I am always drawn to ideas whose executions stretch the boundaries of what we make and do, and Graham was exactly that.
JetBlue FlyBabies. Apologies but I have to push one of my own. I loved (and kind of hated) bringing this stunt to life because it was based on a universal truth of air travel that effects everyone, yet no one had ever talked about it.
Patrick Scissons, CCO, KBS
Cultural impact, breakthrough innovation and emotional storytelling will continue to run the tables. Fearless Girl from USA, Meet Graham from Australia and the New Superhumans from the UK are well poised against each of these three things, respectively. Ideas that solve problems in a sustainable manner versus one and done will also stand out. We are super proud of the Ada mobile innovation from Ada Health Inc and KBS Albion as a good example here. An Innovation Lions Shortlist to kick off the festival is a good start!
Héloïse Cugnod, Social Media Manager, Quad Group
Here's a great ad: 'We’re The Superhumans' from Channel 4, which should win according to our producer Martin Coulais – and everybody here was in agreement with his choice! Three minutes where humour and spectacular acting share a new way to perceive the Paralympic Games. The background sound takes us into this brilliant concept where everything seems possible... a must-see!
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