Every year, adfolk from around the world emerge from their florescent hollows and don their finest pastel-hued linens and boat shoes to descend on Cannes France for one of the world’s largest and most hyped industry awards, the Cannes Lions.
The festival celebrates the thinkers, the innovators and the generally awesome individuals and creative teams that continue to push advertising to exciting new places.
This year was no exception.
One of the unsurprising winners from this year’s festival was Volvo with its eye-watering Epic Split featuring the legendary Jean-Claude Van Damme perched precariously between two moving trucks.
With more than 73 million views on YouTube, the award-winning video impeccably juxtaposes extreme danger with an Enya-esque backing track to create something that is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
One of the other big winners of Cannes 2014 was undoubtedly Harvey Nichols’ delightfully selfish, 2013 Christmas campaign ‘Sorry I spent it on myself’.
While somewhat controversial in premise, the campaign encouraged buyers to spend the money they would normally spend on gifts, on themselves and instead gift one of the store’s beautifully packaged promotional items that included a bag of gravel, a sink plug and paperclips.
The campaign was deemed an overwhelming success with all 20,000 items sold within three days.
Our friends at McCann Melbourne followed up their unprecedented haul from last year with a brilliant campaign for V-Line. Exploiting the soul-crushing power of parental guilt, the campaign politely ‘encouraged’ adult children to visit their parents for the holidays.
One of our personal favourites was this inspiring feel-good campaign by the clever crew at M&C Saatchi in Cape Town. The Street Store aims to bring people together and clothe the homeless in a dignified manner. For many, The Street Store was their first dignified shopping experience.
This campaign was brilliant as it was based on the genuine insight that people wanted to help the homeless, they just didn’t know how. It is an incredible example of how one great idea executed well can solve social problems and change lives.
Another fantastic example of a campaign that sought social change was the Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables campaign for Intermarche France.
As a country, France was disposing of 520 million tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables because they weren’t as pretty as their counterparts. And given 2014 is the year against food waste; Marcel Paris came up with the ingenious idea of rebranding the ugly ducklings.
The Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables sold an average of 1.2 tonnes per store in the first two days alone. The campaign was hailed an overwhelming success and has increased awareness against food waste.
To view all of the winners from Cannes 2014, see the winners list here.