Leo Burnett Worldwide has published its 32nd annual Cannes Predictions, hoping to maintain its record of 90% accuracy in predicting the campaigns most likely to win a Lion.
Leo Burnett Worldwide executive chairman & global chief creative officer, Mark Tutssel, curated this year’s list for the 17th consecutive year. Tutssel has served as jury president at Cannes five times, presided over the inaugural Sustainable Development Goals Lions jury in 2018 and has earned more than 600 Cannes Lions throughout his career.
“The creative communications landscape is evolving rapidly and award-winning work is more and more diverse,” Tutssel stated. “This year’s Cannes Predictions are a true patchwork quilt of creative ideas that connect with people, harness human emotion and add value to people’s lives. Our industry’s greatest charge is to use creativity as a tool to create human value and move people to act.”
The agency’s annual Cannes Predictions list is compiled from a yearlong evaluation of work that reflects global industry trends. This year, four trends emerged:
“If there’s been one macro trend over the past decade, it’s that more brands are acting with conviction,” the agency states. This year, two of the biggest voices on planet earth doubled down to drive change. Nike took a risk in making Colin Kaepernick the face of its new global campaign, Dream Crazy. The brand that has consistently lived its purpose made a statement that ignited people – for and against. Meanwhile, Adidas tapped the trailblazing Billie Jean King, and celebrated her trademark blue shoes, worn in the historic Battle of the Sexes, by offering to transform any pair of kicks into a version of the iconic three-striped tennis shoes in Billie Jean King Your Shoes.
Thirdly, Essity followed up its Glass Lion-winning #BloodNormal campaign with something equally audacious. Viva La Vulva’s striking visual metaphors afre doing what they were intended to do – change the conversation about women’s bodies.
The advent of AR and VR has presented a challenge for brands – how to use these technologies beyond the novelty. Carling’s adDRESS the Future took on this challenge, creating a digital wardrobe that could be worn by users on social media to curtail the physical waste of gratuitous shopping. The fusion of our physical and digital realms also came to life through Microsoft Xbox’s Football Decoded, which translated the action on the real field into its gaming equivalent. Each time a player on the pitch made a key play, his action was presented on the perimeter boards. This new language for “the beautiful game” became a next-gen hybrid of entertainment and gaming tutorial.
Acts, Not Ads, Reign
When Leo Burnett launched its HumanKind philosophy almost ten years ago, it charged the industry to reorient and focus on “Acts, Not Ads” – work infused with purpose that creates real value in people’s lives. Nearly all of this year’s contenders are examples of this ethic – from Burger King trolling competition using guerilla tactics in Whopper Detour to IKEA challenging the public to find its modern furniture surreptitiously placed in Museum of Romanticism.
Outdoor campaigns that create theatre on the streets continue to make a mark on what great advertising needs to be. This year, several contenders tuned in to what was happening on the streets to gin up drama. Country Time Lemonade’s Legal-Ade campaign tapped into an injustice happening across America where kids’ lemonade stands – a summertime rite of passage – were shuttered by local government bureaucrats. This turf war became theatre of a new order as the brand committed to legal defense for young entrepreneurs caught in the storm.
In Paris, Centre Pompidou legitimised itself as a museum by creating its own souvenir model that was pitched to tourists by street salesmen in Souvenirs de Paris. In New York City, Broadway stole the limelight from Super Bowl XXI, as Skittles eschewed a film for a full theatrical production in Broadway the Rainbow.
Data That Moves
Data and intelligence – every marketer wants more right now. But “If data is the new oil, the magic happens at the refinery, where it’s distilled into actionable insights,” Leo Burnett stated. This year more work is using data to move people to act. Pernod Ricard’s The Time We Have Left, created an algorithm to calculate the amount of time we have left to spend with our loved ones. Not only did the work surge into popular culture and become the most-watched Spanish ad of all time, it changed the behaviour of thousands around the world, proving that data, coupled with creativity, become a formidable force.
Full List of the Top 20 Cannes Contenders:
- Nike Just Do It Dream Crazy Wieden + Kennedy (Portland, USA)
2. Pernod Ricard – Ruavieja The Time We Have Left Leo Burnett (Madrid, Spain)
3. John Lewis & Partners The Boy and the Piano adam&eveDDB (London, UK)
4. Bahay Tuluyan Disgusting Stories TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno (Makati City, Philippines)
5. Mars Wrigley Confectionary – Skittles Broadway the Rainbow DDB (Chicago, USA)
6. Amazon Prime Great Shows Stay With You Droga5 (London, UK)
7. Centre Pompidou Souvenirs de Paris Marcel (Paris, France)
8. Burger King Whopper Detour FCB (New York, USA)
9. Essity Viva La Vulva AMV BBDO (London, UK)
10. The New York Public Library Insta Novels Mother (New York, USA)
11. HBO Westworld: The Maze 360i (New York, USA)
12. Kraft Heinz – Country Time Lemonade Legal-Ade Leo Burnett (Chicago, USA)
13. Adidas Billie Jean King Your Shoes TBWA\Chiat\Day (New York, USA)
14. Shiseido My Crayon Project R/GA (Tokyo, Japan)
15. IKEA Museum of Romanticism McCann (Madrid, Spain)
16. Microsoft Xbox Football Decoded McCann (London, UK)
17. Carsales.com AutoAds CHE Proximity (Melbourne, Australia)
18. The New York Times The Truth Is Worth It Droga5 (New York, USA)
19. Carlings adDRESS the Future VIRTUE (Copenhagen, Denmark)
20. Netflix Narcos The Censor’s Cut J. Walter Thompson (Bangkok, Thailand)