Cannes Contenders 2017

Issue 43 | June 2017

Matt Eastwood
Worldwide Chief Creative Officer,
J. Walter Thompson

There has been some incredible work created over the past 12 months. And, whilst it feels impossible to limit my Cannes contenders to just three, I’ll do my best. My favorite piece, and the one that I think will sweep Lions across multiple categories, is “Fearless Girl” for State Street Global Advisors. It really ticks the boxes of what judges are looking for; provocative, progressive and relevant. But, best of all, is that it doesn’t look like advertising. For me, the best advertising understands, responds to and, ultimately, creates culture. And there couldn’t be a better example of that viewpoint than this brilliant sculpture. 

Agency: McCann New York
Client: State Street Global Advisors 
Title: Fearless Girl

In terms of craft, one piece of film that will undoubtedly be a jury favorite is the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival’s “I Dreamed a Dream” from DDB New York. The environment is a tough category in which to create something new and surprising. But this execution deftly winds its way past tried and true approaches to create a film that bears viewing over and over again. It’s stunningly produced. And tear inducing, for all the right reasons. But, in the end, it leaves you feeling like you can and must make a difference. A hard task in these cynical times.

Agency: DDB New York 
Client: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival 
Title: I Dreamed A Dream

My third pick (and I apologise for this) is a campaign from J. Walter Thompson, New York. The agency recently started working with Black Lives Matter, an international activist movement that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people. It’s both an honour and a privilege to work with such an important organization. To generate awareness on Martin Luther King Day earlier this year, J. Walter Thompson created the “Unsafety Check”, a provocative take on Facebook’s “Safety Check”. The campaign allowed black people to mark themselves “unsafe” in modern America; a sad, but true, reality. As the Washington Post said, “Black America is in a state of emergency.” This campaign not only lifts creativity to a higher level, it lifts society to a higher level. And that, to me, is the ultimate goal.

Agency: J. Walter Thompson, New York 
Client: Black Lives Matter 
Title: Mark Yourself Unsafe

Nick Worthington 
Creative Chairman,
Colenso BBDO Auckland

My radar has limited range, but things that have caused ‘blips’ on my screen would be:

1. The little girl on Wall Street. Done by an asset management company to highlight gender diversity. Not sure if they have Cannes Lions on their radar, but hopefully someone will enter this into the show this year. This little Bronze would pick up Gold for sure.

Agency: McCann New York 
Client: State Street Global Advisors
Title: Fearless Girl

2. The YMCA’s Playnasium from McCann Melbourne is closer to home and appears to be a genuine big idea. Could be Gold.

Agency: McCann Melbourne 
Client: YMCA 
Title: Playnasium

3. I’d wager that Graham, the only human to be designed to withstand a car crash, will do well too. 

Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne 
Client: Transport Accident Commission, Australia 
Title: Graham

Conscious Crossing for NZ Rail will do well too.

Agency: Clemenger BBDO Wellington 
Client: KiwiRail, New Zealand 
Title: Conscious Crossing

Not wanting to trumpet our own offerings but not wanting to miss an opportunity either I do think DB Export Sand – the next instalment following DB Export Brewtroleum, Pedigree’s Child Replacement Program – our new work for the Pedigree Adoption Drive, and our brand new Anchor NZ’s Milk Slams will all trouble the juries.

Agency: Colenso BBDO Auckland 
Client: DB Breweries 
Title: Sand

Graham Fink
Chief Creative Officer,
Ogilvy & Mather China

If you flame-grill your burgers, your restaurants are at risk. But it’s worth it as is clearly shown in these brilliant ads for Burger King. And it’s when clients take risks like this that the competition gets toasted. 

Agency: David, Miami 
Client: Burger King 
Title: Flame-Grilled Restaurants

Anti-marketing is the way forward, judging by this campaign for MailShrimp. Or should that be JailBlimp or KaleLimp?

Oops, I meant MailChimp.

Great work by RoverDrive. Sorry, Droga5. I predict a plethora of Gold Lions coming their way.

Agency: Droga5 New York 
Client: Mail Chimp 
Title: Did You Mean MailChimp? 

Last but not least is Nike's Unlimited Stadium. Formed in the shape of a giant running shoe, athletes can run against themselves and watch as their avatars grow in size. Brilliantly crafted too. I can already picture the team on top of the podium.

Agency: BBH Singapore 
Client: Nike 
Title: Unlimited Stadium

Bechara Mouzannar 
Chief Creative Officer,
Publicis Communications MEA

There will be many solid 'top' contenders in Cannes this year but since I can pick only three of them, these would be:

The ostrich that takes flight for Samsung, beautiful, poetic and well-crafted tale about technology. 

Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago 
Client: Samsung 
Title: Ostrich

'Cook This Page' by Ikea, a brilliantly simple and engaging idea to directly awake the cook in each and everyone of us.

Agency: Leo Burnett Toronto 
Client: IKEA 
Title: Cook This Page

'Born the Hard Way' for Budweiser isa true experience about the brand through perfect storytelling that re-centres the Trumpy debate on immigrants and tolerance.

Agency: Anomaly 
Client: Anheuser-Busch 
Title: Born The Hard Way

Mark Tutssel 
Global Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide,
Creative Chairman, Publicis Communications

Cannes Contenders 2017

Channel 4 first introduced the "Superhumans' in 2012 at the London Paralympic Games. It completely changed the way people felt about disability and was a resounding success. In 2016, they extended the concept beyond athletes and elevated the creative bar to new heights. 'We're the Super Humans' is an epic film, a production masterpiece and a game changer. Set to a cover of Sammy Davis Jr's "Yes I Can," this uplifting film amplifies joy and beams confidence. I’m sure the team will dance their way onto stage at the Palais des Festivals this year.

Agency: 4Creative 
Client: Channel 4 
Title: The Super Humans Return

Another winner will be the Australia Transport Accident Commission’s "Meet Graham." It is part interactive sculpture, part educational tool and, simply, a pure idea. Graham is a catalyst for conversation as the only human being designed to survive a car crash. This humanoid is the result of collaboration between a trauma surgeon, an accident research engineer and a world-renowned artist. The global amplification has been remarkable and within 24 hours of launch, he was a household name in 190 countries and sparked a global discussion around human vulnerability on the road. 

Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne 
Client: Transport Accident Commission, Australia 
Title: Graham

Finally, when it comes to cooking, most people find new foods and recipes intimidating. IKEA set out to prove that getting creative in the kitchen can be deliciously simple. During the IKEA kitchen event, "Cook This Page: The Parchment Paper Recipe Series" posters were hung in stores for people to take home and follow. With the recipes printed on cooking paper, people simply filled in the ingredients blanks with food from IKEA, rolled it, cooked it and voila, dinner is ready. Beautifully illustrated and exquisitely designed, this Michelin Star idea will take center stage in the south of France.

Agency: Leo Burnett Toronto 
Client: IKEA 
Title: Cook This Page

Cam Blackley, 
Executive Creative Director,
BMF Sydney

The right message, at the right moment, in the right place. 

Some things don’t need to be big to be powerful. This piece dropped a bronzed atomic bomb right in the heart of misogyny with such grace and dignity. And got us all rethinking message delivery. I’m not sure I need to bang on about it because it’s a banker for gold (pun intended). 

Agency: McCann New York 
Client: State Street Global Advisors
Title: Fearless Girl

Q: How many three-minute commercials do you want to watch on repeat? 

A: One. This one.

You wonder how they topped the first Super Humans, but they did. There’s so much genius in this ad, and so much celebration of ability among all super humans, whether athletes or small muscle athletes (musicians). It’s light and humorous at a time when we, in marketing, are getting bogged down in worthiness and cause-related furrowed brows. Direction tick. Casting tick. Infectiousness tick. Production tick. Ending tick. Editing tick. Writing tick. Gold tick. 

Agency: 4Creative 
Client: Channel 4 
Title: The Super Humans Return

I think the momentum is with this confronting and engaging piece and I want to get 3 out of 3 with my picks. ‘Meet Graham’ is a layered experience with every channel as rewarding as the next. It has the ‘WTF’ factor. And I think that’s the thing about it. If you missed the PR you might find it online. In a gallery. Moving through your town. Or, over a beer your mate might tell you about an ugly super human he’d seen posted on the net. It will get multiple Golds and more.

Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne 
Client: Transport Accident Commission, Australia 
Title: Graham 

Jason Andrews 
Chief Creative Officer,

“Four years ago we started to wonder, what would shopping look like if you could just walk into a store, grab what you want, and just go.” 

Well, you don’t have to wonder any longer. Amazon Go is an app that makes the checkout till redundant.

Client: Amazon 
Agency: Amazon 
Title: Amazon Go

Yes folks, tattoos can now store data so you can use it as a trackpad, perhaps, or as a button to remotely control your phone. Using gold leaf, which conducts signals, the Duskin Project brings a completely new meaning to the concept of wearables. 

Client: Microsoft Research
Agency: MIT Media Lab 
Title: Smart Skin Tattoos

Trõv gives people the power to insure only the things they care about, when they want and all from their smartphones. You can insure individual items. The whole thing, including claims, is digital. Millennials are turning to it to insure their phones and laptops, which tells you about where it’s headed as a business. Can’t you just feel the tremors rocking through the 300 year-old insurance business? 

Client: Trõv
Agency: Trõv 
Title: Trõv Mobile Application

Eric Astorgue 
Creative Director, BETC Paris

All the planets are aligned to make‘The Super Humans Return’ a GrandPrix winner. 

It is a once-in-every-ten-years commercial: a noble cause, incredible direction, a right and funny tone that avoids sounding condescending. The birth of feel-good advertising!

Agency: 4Creative 
Client: Channel 4 
Title: The Super Humans Return

‘Hero’s Journey’ for Kia is a commercial from one of my favourite directors, Matthijs Van Heijningen.

Ever since Chaplin, we’ve known how funny it is to watch someone take a hit. Wow, what an action bonanza. This is a refreshing piece of work in a category that sometimes feels uninspired. I could watch it a thousand times. Melissa McCarthy is hugely funny, as usual. The best spot of this year’s Superbowl by far.

Client: Kia U.S.A. 
Agency: David&Goliath L.A. 
Title: Hero’s Journey

Ok, this one is from my agencybut I couldn’t not mention ‘LikeMy Addiction’. 

A very skillful use of Instagram. First, in the build-up of a totally fictitious character, so cool and so trendy that she earned a lot of followers. Then, with the video reveal which showed us what we saw without really seeing, exactly as in real life: Louise Delage holding a glass of alcohol in every picture. It's so easy to miss the signs of addiction in someone close. This campaign deservedly got a lot of attention.

Client: Addict Aide 
Agency: BETC 
Title: Like MY Addiction 

Patrick Collister 
Contributing Editor,
Directory/Creative Lead Google ZOO EMEA 

I would like to see all of BBDO New York’s recent work for Lowe’s winning Gold – ‘Flipside’, ‘In A Snap’, the 360 videos. All of it digital, all of it smart, all of it making DIY seem hip and modern. Also from BBDO NY, I’d love to see Bombay Sapphire ‘Artifier’ win something. It’s an adblocker that replaces crap ads with art. 

On the subject of art, I’d love it if Marcel Sydney win with ‘Tiger Air Ink’. For art direction, Goodby Silverstein’s ‘Sonic Shakes’. And OgilvyOne London’s ‘What3Words’ mailings. For advertising with a heart, AMV BBDO’s TV and outdoor work for Maltesers. 

For good causes, Y&R Cape Town’s ‘Break the Mould’ for Cape Talk Radio.

But, narrowing it all down to three.

Holy Moses! Could this be the first Gold in Direct for a piece of DM since 2008? I hope so.

Agency: McCann London 
Client: Doctors of The World 
Title: Reality Christmas

Hungerithm uses real-time data to find out how cranky Australians are throughout the day. If all their social 

posts err on the side of grumpiness and spite, then the price of a Snickers bar falls in line with the mood. It’s interactive, it’s fun, it’s brilliant. 

Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne 
Client: Mars 
Title: Hungerithm

My vote for an Innovation Lion would go to Ford of Spain’s cot. It learns from a companion app about the gentle rocking motion of your car and the hum of its engine. Even the streetlights as you drive. Then it replicates these in the cot and Mums and Dads both get some much-needed sleep.

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Madrid 
Client: Ford of Spain 
Title: MAX Motor Dreams 

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