Before we start, it’s worth noting
that Cannes could have been very
different this year if Red Bull had
entered. Stratos was an idea with
great risk and a big payoff.
“…Our approach towards communications is that we don’t
really talk about ourselves too much. Rather, we focus on
what we do — the events we create and produce and the
athletes we support — versus who we are. With this guiding
principal, we do not submit for awards very often.”
Director of Corporate Communications
RISK THE IDEA
DUMB WAYS TO DIE
Before Dumb Ways to Die became the most
awarded campaign in advertising history (a
record breaking 5 grand prix, 18 gold, 3 silver and
2 bronze) it would not have been an easy sell to
the client. Hats off to McCann Melbourne for
pitching the idea that a very serious problem
could be solved through a musical video with
cute animated characters dancing and singing
about dumb ways to die. And equally, hats off to
the client for taking on the risk associated with
5 Grand Prix
DUMB WAYS TO DIE
RISK THE IDEA
THE BEAUTY INSIDE
Beauty Inside is perhaps the most perfect idea
I’ve ever come across. When judging this year,
we saw a lot of great advertising that was not
inherently and absolutely linked back to a brand.
You could change car brands or sports shoe
brands and the campaign “still worked” because
it was category speciﬁc and not speciﬁc to the
brand. Beauty Inside stands out because the
idea is absolutely perfect for Intel and could not
be be owned by anyone else. It’s supported by
the most amazing craft and incredibly engaging
INTEL & TOSHIBA
RISK THE IDEA
OREO DAILY TWIST
Oreo highlights a different kind of risk. In order
to deliver breakthrough communication they
changed the client/agency model so that they
could deliver a perfectly executed real time and
reactive campaign over 100 days. What’s great is
that real time doesn’t mean “quick and dirty”.
The craft is ﬂawless.
ADS WITH A PURPOSE
It seemed that there was a kick back on gadgets
and high tech and some of the most interesting
ideas were beautifully crafted low tech solutions.
I love IBM’s Ads with a purpose which picked up
the Grand Prix in outdoor.
It’s great to see a hi-tech company not afraid to
use low-tech means to get people talking about a
very hi-tech solution (smart cities).
The mobile grand prix didn’t go to a whizzy new
smart phone app. Instead, it went to an idea that
transformed analogue phones into e-readers and
old SIM cards into a new type of text book for
school kids in the Philippines.
How often does a Telecoms company leverage old
Coke has been leading the way with interactive
kiosks, mobile apps and other digital experiences
that bring ‘open happiness’ to life. This year they
picked up a Gold Lion in Design for ‘the sharing
can”. A low-tech but effective idea that
innovates at the product level and demonstrates
open happiness in delightful way.
Coke risked changing their product.
OGILVY & MATHER
STORIES FOR EVERY
Qantas treats it’s most privileged frequent ﬂyers
with a special series of books purpose designed
for the ﬂight times of key Qantas routes.
Qantas took on a risk on books having high value
for busy, tech-addicted clients.
This idea is very simple, but very effective. It
really shows the importance of context. Potholes
in Russia were hijacked and turned into chalk
portraits of Russian Politicians. Beside each
portrait there was a quote or failed promise from
that particular politician concerning the state of
the road. Politicians were quick to repair their
image and reputation, and so accordingly also ﬁx
It’s risky to play with the public image of political
ﬁgures in Russia.
URA.RU CITY WEBSITE
Maurice Levy hijacked the YouTube player
functionality to produce a very human (and lowtech) experience. The speech was recorded over
30 times so that the Publicis Groupe CEO could
personally interpret each Youtube player
command on the ﬂy.
The risk was to be ﬁred if it ﬂopped.
This was the ﬁrst year for the Innovation Lions at
Cannes. The Grand Prix was awarded to Cinder,
described as ‘an open source software platform
for creative coding’.
Digital is going retail and transforming and
connecting the commerce experience across
channels. Adidas does this well and shows the
potential of connecting commerce, mobile and
retail through a rich brand experience with digital
at the core.
THE ANT RALLY
It may seem strange to include Ant Rally in this
section. I’ve done so because about 18 months
ago I heard about a company that had some
technology that meant you could write on a leaf.
Ant Rally brings a powerful and engaging creative
idea to partner this technology.
The risk for this idea was in the production (it’s
hard to control ants).
We’ve already different examples of popup
windows in various chrome experiments. What
makes this interactive video press worthy is the
storytelling behind the video clip. The story of
artist trying to sell all of his possessions in order
to ﬁnance his album.
The risk was that perhaps nobody would buy the
items for sale.
CLOUDS OVER CUBA
Clouds Over Cuba shows us what “Cyber” can do
at it’s best. It’s industry changing and has
redeﬁned the potential of digital storytelling.
Apart from taking a risk on the production in
order to innovate a new type of storytelling they
also risked mixing ﬁction and history to make the
story more compelling.
THE JFK PRESIDENTIAL
LIBRARY & MUSEUM
I wish there were more product websites like
this. Geox uses everything digital has to offer to
transport us and make us want to buy their
shoes. The craft is ﬂawless.
Geox took a risk on being able deliver against the
idea. A story about shoes in the rain could have
been extremely boring, but they came through
with an incredibly compelling experience
Southern Comfort shows us how to tell
a great story without any words. This
was one of our favourite ﬁlms at the
festival this year.
What we like is that Southern Comfort
had the guts to bet everything on the
“mood” and on the execution.
Following on from the success of DAY ONE last
year, Prudential goes one step further in helping
people prepre for retirement.
Prudential is taking a risk on being able to
change behaviour and ﬁx the problem - rather
than just creating an engaging message around
the problem. Any experiement is a risk because
you can’t guarantee results.
BRIDGE OF LIFE
Samsung equipped Mapo bridge
(notorious for the highest suicide rate)
with sensors and lights that trigger
messages of hope and reassurance as
someone walks close to the rails in an
attempt to change behaviour and lower
the rate of suicide.
It’s risky for a Life Insurance company
to tackle suicide in this manner.
SAMSUNG LIFE INSURANCE
MY BLOOD IS RED
It’s already risky to tamper with a football
uniform, let alone to do so as part of a campaign.
Football Club “Vitoria” offered up their most
precious media space (their football jersey) in an
attempt to change behaviour and drive fans to
ESPORTE CLUBE VITÓRIA
Bodyform is a great example of brands tapping
into one individual consumer and engaging a
conversation that can be broadcast to the wider
online community. This new approach to “open
discussion” requires a degree of risk because
brands must open up and be ready for the
When most brands were chasing likes, Grey
Poupon started to reject fans. It was done with
taste an humour and the risk paid off.
Nike picked up a Titanium Lion for their brand
campaign during the Olypics. By not being an
ofﬁcial sponsor they risked fan disappointment
and visibility. The risk paid off as they
outperformed ofﬁcial Olympic sponsors +200%.
OUR FOOD, YOUR
Brands used to use mass media to push out one
standard message to a mass audience. We now
see brands engaging in conversation with one
individual and publishing that open discussion to
a mass audience online and ofﬂine. McDonalds
shows that this can go beyond a campaign
mindset - to become a new brand behaviour.
They risked an attacking defense. They opened
up and were ready and able to answer ANY
question from consumers.
This year we’ve seen how ideas and advertising can solve problems.
And some very serious problems indeed (suicide, blood donation, organ
donation and rail safety). But we’ve also seen how ideas and advertising
solve equally serious brand problems (brand perception, loyalty and sales).
It seems beﬁtting to end with Bill Bernbach’s quote :
“Safe ideas can kill you”
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