Presented by Axis41, Presented by Taylor Crane
Every June, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity crowns the most impressive advertising of the year. As I browse through the advertising award winners each and every summer, I am inevitably overcome with two emotions. The first being a rousing bout of inspiration. Whether the idea changes the world or is just incredibly beautiful, funny, or interesting, I walk away wanting to create better work. The next is an irrational amount of jealousy. “How on earth did they come up with this?!” “Duh! It’s so simple!” “Why in the name of all that is good and holy did I not think of that?!”
In my best effort to help you feel those same emotions, I present to you the most notable winners from this year’s show, in what I’m calling: The Top 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity Winners, Presented by Axis41, Presented by Taylor Crane. (That name is still a work in progress.)
Each victorious case study was selected from six categories that are of particular interest to what we do here at Axis41, including: Use of Data, Use of Tech, Personalized Experience, Customer Experience, Brand Experience, and UX/UI. So, without further adieu, let’s move on to our winners.
Best Use of Data
Our Winner: Project Revoice, The ALS Association
Agency: BWM Dentsu
Cannes Awards: Grand Prix, Gold Lion, Silver Lion, 3 Bronze Lion, 7 Shortlisted
Back in 2015, the infamous Ice Bucket Challenge went on to win two Gold Lions. It was yet another Internet sensation that I kept a healthy arm’s distance from. Now, the ALS Association is back with a sequel of sorts with Project Revoice. I love work like this because amazing, impactful, life-changing advancements like this don’t need media dollars. They spread like wildfire on their own.
Our Winner: Know What Your Data Knows, Google
Agency: Eleven, Inc.
Cannes Awards: Gold Lion, Silver Lion
This was a tough category. But is it any surprise that one of the awards goes to the company that knows everything about everyone that uses a computer? Mark my words, advertising like this is only going to get more and more prevalent.
Best Use of Tech
Our Winner: Corruption Detector, Reclam AQUI
Agency: Grey Brasil
Cannes Awards: Grand Prix, Gold Lion, Silver Lion, 4 Bronze Lion, 3 Shortlisted
Much like Project Revoice, this is another game-changing technology. This incredibly powerful, yet simple tool should be standard issue with every constitution written on earth. Heaven knows we need it right here in the good old U.S. of A.
Our Winner: MY LINE Powered By Google, Ministry of Communications & Information
Agency: MullenLowe SSP3
Cannes Awards: Grand Prix, 3 Gold Lion, 4 Silver Lion, 3 Shortlisted
It’s with a heavy heart that this work only gets runner-up status. Truly, outstanding work that really deserves more. But alas, the arbitrary rules that I made up for this blog are nonetheless still the rules.
Anyway, in a day and age where even jr. high school kids and minimum wage workers have a smart phone, we’ve forgotten what life was like before we had the Internet in the palm of our hands. The Ministry of Communications & Information took that cultural change we’ve experienced in the developed world and blew it up for rural Columbia.
Best Personalized Experience
Our Winner: Exclusive Rainbow, Mars
Agency: DDB Chicago
Cannes Award: Bronze Lion
At Axis41, we’re all about personalized experiences for as many people as we can reach. But a personalized experience for just one customer? That’s unheard of.
I’ll admit when I first heard about this spot around the time of the Super Bowl, I wasn’t impressed. But seeing the entire story in this video blew me away. DDB got shafted at Cannes with this work. They should have walked away with more accolades.
Our Winner: Cars vs Data, Via Rail Canada
Cannes Awards: Silver Lion, Bronze Lion
This execution and video are anything but sexy. But it illustrates just how well technology and data can be used to speak to your audience wherever and whenever you want. Truly amazing—and terrifying.
Best Customer Experience
Our Winner: The Franchise Model, Microsoft
Agency: McCann London
Cannes Awards: Grand Prix, 3 Gold Lion, 2 Silver Lion, Bronze Lion, 5 Shortlisted
Sometimes advertising makes a big splash and creates brand awareness, but fails to increase sales. This little doozy is not only an agency pleaser because it’s a fantastic idea, it’s more importantly (so I’m told by my boss) a client pleaser because it clearly impacted sales. Brands that “get it” aspire to create work like this.
Our Winner: The Daily Show Presents: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library
Agency: Comedy Central
Cannes Award: Grand Prix
Quick jabs at Trump seemed to be all over Cannes this year. But nobody does Trump quite like the satire news of America. The Daily Show took thousands of 140 characters worth of word vomit, and turned them into a golden, real life experience.
The thing I love most about this is that many agencies will do anything for a Lion, and will create work specifically for the award show. I’m willing to bet Trevor Noah and his team just wanted to troll the President because they could. Who knew it’d win them the most prestigious advertising award in the industry?
Best Brand Experience
Our Winner: DEISEL – GO WITH THE FAKE, Diesel
Cannes Award: Gold Lion
I love the guts this took. Bravo to the creative team for coming up with this idea. Bravo to the client for taking a chance and saying yes. And bravo to the media buying/social teams for taking what could have been a small, not-so-talked-about event into a viral sensation.
Our Winner: Today@Apple, Apple
Cannes Award: N/A
That’s right, this won zero awards. It’s about time big, bad Apple came up empty-handed. But I’ve selected this entry to illustrate a point. Sometimes we overthink what a brand experience or customer experience should be. This idea is so brain-dead simple. But it’s the attention to detail like this that makes Apple one of the most beloved brands in the world.
Our Winner: The Most Interesting Job Interview, ASIS
Agency: Cummins & Partners
Cannes Award: Silver Lion
The whole job interview thing has been done before (most notably World’s Toughest Job by American Greetings). But ASIS takes it to a new level by turning it into a fun, beautifully designed game. I’d love to get my hands on this test. But I’d first want to get my hands on a didgeridoo.
Our Winner: Endless Stories, Getty Images
Cannes Award: Bronze Lion
In the ad world, stock imagery has a negative association attached to it. Account team: “There’s no budget for a shoot, gotta use stock.” Creatives: (In your best Charlie Brown voice) “Aaugh!!!”
That’s why I love what Getty has done here with refreshing their image—pun intended. They show, rather than tell, how diverse and in-depth their stock options truly are.