The Cannes Lions festivities started off on a rather confused note. The Air-Traffic Control strike prompted many changes in the mode of transportation to the Cannes by the Jury Members. The confusing bit was that even though there was an Air-traffic strike, a few planes were allowed to land and take off. Wonder who was managing that.
The judging in the Cyber category (which I was part of) started a bit slowly as we had a few days of solitary confinement (read: no discussions) before the actual action began. In a way, it was not too bad as it gave me a chance to get to know the jury members and they seemed to be a bunch of really calm people. But the more I chatted up with them, I realised that they all had different work they had seen that interested them. I could not wait for the discussions session as it was going to be fun to see which part of the jury will be the most convincing.
The discussion sessions were fairly healthy and soon we had some interesting viewpoints being thrown about with local insights. The shortlisted entries were a testament to the diverse nature of the medium. The metals and the Grand Prix gave us a direction to where this medium will be leading.
A few insights…
Power of video
The use of video was used practically everywhere. This is not just amateur video (UGC) but TV quality of execution of the same. This is a natural progression and I believe the next year will have about 50 per cent of the Cannes Cyber entries being some form of video interaction.
The Grand Prix winner ‘Beauty Inside’ for Intel and Toshiba proved that a great piece of storytelling can create a compelling, non-intrusive communication that can be extremely effective even if the brand is not selling itself to you constantly.
Social media (mainly Facebook) seems to be the single thread that runs across every category. But when we talk social media, we need to talk effectiveness too. There are very few brands that can be effective and at the same time be extremely creative and the Oreo ‘Daily Twist’ campaign, our second Grand Prix winner, showed us that going back to the basics does work best. It is the swiftness in approaching this medium and the creativity in every story that got us hooked.
In this case, the brand was used blatantly but in a very creative and fun manner that did not seem very intrusive. This campaign is truly a case-study on how we should go about using social media for brands. It also shows the confidence the brand has on it agency because of the daily nature of the posts (something brand marketers need to evolve to). It is the risk you take that enables you to innovate and that is what is clearly seen in this campaign.
So, video and social media, along with some compelling storytelling can pretty much make a lot of noise for you at the Cannes Lions. But then again, this was this year and the next could be different. If you ask me, I believe that this fundamental will stay true to next year too but will be accompanied by mobile sync and offline innovations.
A few notable mentions…
The JFK Presidential Library & Museum – Clouds Over Cuba
The Lincoln Motor Company – Hello Again
Dove Real Beauty Sketches
Perrier – The Secret Place
McDonald’s – Our Food. Your Questions
Bodyform Responds – The Truth
Metro Trains – Dumb Ways to Die
Save Our Sons – The Most Powerful Arm
ALB – Golden Chains
A lot of people have asked me earlier and will still keep asking me the same – Why does India not make the cut in Cyber?
The answer is simple – Budgets.
When you compete against campaigns that have a budget more than double of yours (as is most evident from the examples above), you are left with comparing chalk and cheese. I do believe we are on a better standing though as compared to the years gone by and I do see India grabbing that elusive metal in the cyber category that has long been out of reach.
The author is Creative Director, Hungama Digital Media