It’s here, and don’t pretend that you haven’t been waiting for it. Leo Burnett Worldwide has published its 31st annual Cannes Predictions, forecasting the top 20 contenders ahead of the 65th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
The annual Leo Burnett Cannes Predictions has a track record of nearly 85% accuracy in predicting campaigns with a strong likelihood of winning a coveted Lion.
The list is curated by Leo Burnett worldwide executive chairman & global chief creative officer, Mark Tutssel. Tutssel will return as a Cannes Lions jury president for the fifth time this year, presiding over the inaugural jury for the newly created Sustainable Development Goals Lions.
“It’s an exciting year of change at Cannes, with newly simplified award tracks which will allow us to be more focused than ever on recognizing bold creativity,” Tutssel commented.
“As the industry shifts beneath our feet, it’s important that we pause to acknowledge the truly innovative ideas and brilliant people who are creating work that drives impactful business results and, in some cases, contributes to the betterment of humankind.”
The Cannes Predictions list is a compilation of a year-long evaluation of brand work that reflects global trends fueling the industry. This year, the following five trends stood out:
- Episodes lead to Epic
Epic never goes out of fashion. The new crop includes Nike’s Nothing Beats a Londoner and P&G Tide’s It’s a Tide Ad, both strong contenders for Film Lions.
“Each brilliantly executed, they each also seamlessly stitched together small stories into narratives that made a seismic cultural impact,” Leo Burnett states.
Nothing Beats a Londoner, which was shot on 16mm film to capture the essence of the city, also cast more than 250 real-life residents, including star athletes and celebs, for a whirlwind tour of the rigours of sporty Londoners.
P&G Tide won the Super Bowl this year, with its self-referential collection of ads that all turned out, hilariously, for Tide. More than a dozen spots were crammed into four breaks that helped catapult #TideAd to the highest-trending hashtag besides the game itself.
- Human Storytelling
The emotion of human storytelling and the timeless potency of meaningful moments captured on film is thriving in this year’s collection of ads. Conversations between children and parents are the subject of two favourites: one presents a small slice of life, the other a more difficult dialogue.
Cadbury’s Mum’s Birthday stars a young girl who hopes to buy a bar of chocolate for her mother. At the corner store, she’s only able to offer the assorted contents of her pockets as payment, but is treated to a warm act of kindness by the storekeeper.
The Talk from P&G, reveals the painful discussion that black parents have to have with their children about growing up in a country that doesn’t treat everyone equally.
“It’s a poignant film and a powerful message, made even more so by the fact the film refrains from showing any products,” Leo Burnett notes.
- Visual Spectacular
Kaleidoscopic colour, charm and wit creating joy. This is another theme from this year’s collection.
“Outstanding production, art direction and flawless execution are hallmarks of two favorites here, each dazzling visual metaphors,” Leo Burnett explains.
In Audi’s Clowns, a troupe of merrymakers wreaks havoc on the road in various ways. Despite the hazards they throw at the drivers, the technology in their Audi vehicles deftly outmaneuvre the antics, proving the brand is “Clown proof”.
In Welcome Home, the sound of Apple’s HomePod speaker is brought to life through a spectacular performance by singer-songwriter and dancer, FKA Twigs, and wonderfully creative direction by Spike Jonze. Arriving home after a dreary day, she cues a song and the interior of her home becomes a variegated, shape-shifting wonderland. Note that the film was shot using very few CGI effects, relying on sophisticated hydraulics that moved the set.
- Topical & Tactical
Agility has never been as critical to modern marketers, and this year’s collection of work shows that brands are keeping pace by seizing real-time moments, tapping into culture and exploiting tactical opportunities like never before.
Orange Telecom’s Now or Never seizes World Cup fever and the national Egyptian team’s long drought. Burger King taps the proverbial fear of clowns for its Scary Clown Night promotional effort.
Two other favourites turned problems into advantages uniquely.
KFC may well become the first piece of crisis communications to win a Lion thanks to its brilliantly crafted FCK response to having run out of chicken across the UK. Downtown Records exploited a technological hiccup in Facebook Live to create an ingeniously simple and hypnotic music video for indie band, The Academic, in Live Looper.
- Spontaneity and Personalisation
The industry’s push toward personalisation manifests in a number of ways this year. More work has made an impact through the spontaneous and the personal, whether that’s the lighthearted use of technology to enable people (and their pets) to take the perfect picture or a sombre effort that puts the faces of real victims of the opioid crisis.
Snaptivity’s Snaptivity App made use of AI-enabled camera infrastructure placed in stadiums to deliver one-of-a-kind photos to fans, captured at key moments in soccer matches.
Pedigree New Zealand stepped into the mobile accessories business with Pedigree SelfieSTIX, a device intended to hold a dog snack in order to capture pooch’s attention for the perfect selfie.
The National Safety Council’s Prescribed to Death featured 3D images of each of the 22 thousand people who have died from prescription overdoses in the US intricately carved onto individual pills that were presented as a striking exhibition. The installation put a human face to an epidemic in an unforgettable way.
Skittles took personalisation to new heights with its Super Bowl stunt, Exclusive The Rainbow. Three weeks before the Super Bowl, the brand announced it would be customizing, and then screening, its spot for just one person, Marcos Menendez. Everyone else could tune into a Facebook Live broadcast at half-time in which viewers could watch Marcos’ reaction, but not the actual ad, which nevertheless has become Skittles’ most talked-about in its history.
These are Leo Burnett’s Top 20 Cannes Contenders:
- P&G Tide’s It’s A Tide Ad, P&G (USA), Saatchi & Saatchi NY
- Nike Breaking2, Wieden + Kennedy (Portland USA)
- Orange Telecom’s Now Or Never, FP7/CAI (Cairo, Egypt)
- KFC’s FCK, Mother (London, UK)
- Palau Legacy Project’s Palau Pledge, Host/Havas (Sydney, Australia)
- National Safety Council’s Prescribed To Death, Energy BBDO (Chicago, USA)
- Edeka’s, The Most German Supermarket, Jung von Matt (Hamburg, Germany)
- Downtown Records’ Live Looper, BBDO (New York, USA)
- Audi’s Clowns, Audi (UK), Bartle Bogle Hegarty
- The Times’ JFK – Unsilenced Rothco – Accenture Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
- Mars Wrigley Confectionary – Skittles’ Exclusive The Rainbow, DDB (Chicago, USA)
- Cadbury’s Mum’s Birthday, VCCP (London, UK)
- IKEA The Human Catalogue, IKEA, BBH (Singapore)
- Snaptivity, Snaptivity App, R/GA (London, UK)
- Apple HomePod’s Welcome Home,TBWA/Media Arts Lab (Los Angeles, USA)
- Burger King’s Scary Clown Night, LOLA MullenLowe (Madrid, Spain)
- LADBible & Plastic Oceans’ Trash Isles AMV BBDO (London, UK)
- Mars NZ – Pedigree, Pedigree SelfieSTIX, Colenso BBDO (Auckland, New Zealand)
- P&G’s The Talk, BBDO (New York, USA)
- Nike’s Nothing Beats a Londoner, Wieden + Kennedy (London, UK)