Cannes Lions Live: WPP, BBDO Worldwide, P&G among big winners on finale day

Mary Wells Lawrence won 2020's coveted Lion of St. Mark award

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Jun 27, 2020 8:26 AM

There might have been no descending on the south coast of France for adland this year but conversations and discussions on creativity change, innovation and the future still continued; thanks to Lions Live. After some thought-provoking sessions over the course of five days, the finale day was all about gleaming wins. Almap BBDO São Paulo took home the Agency of the Decade, followed by Wieden+Kennedy Portland in second and BBDO New York in third.WPP won the holding company honor, with Omnicom coming in second and Interpublic in third. Meanwhile, BBDO Worldwide won the Network of the Decade, followed by Ogilvy and DDB Worldwide.
Wieden+Kennedy Portland clinched the Independent Agency of the Decade, with Droga5 New York as runner-up, followed by Forsman & Bodenfors. Procter & Gamble won the decade list among brand marketers, followed by Nike in the second spot and Volkswagen in third. The Palme d’Or of the Decade went to MJZ, with Smuggler coming in second and O Positive landing at third. Founder of the New York advertising agency, Wells Rich Greene, in 1966, Mary Wells Lawrence won 2020's coveted Lion of St. Mark, awarded for lifetime of services to creativity in communications.
In terms of sessions, Susie Walker, Head of Awards at Cannes Lions, presented a guide to creative survival. The session shed light on how the industry has weathered tough times before and creativity bounces back but how is this recovery different. Walker has trawled thousands of Cannes Lions winners in The Work to identify how creative communications responded to periods of economic turmoil, from the 80s to the 2000s. She mulled over what trends and tactics worked then, and which will work now and creative trends that are set to accelerate.
Next up, Accenture Interactive Brazil presented Heart-beating Brand Experiences that unravelled how the fingerprint, the iris and the voice, every human being has a unique heartbeat – that is already being used for biometric authentication and will soon become the ultimate personalisation tool for brands. The session spilled the beans on how once the heart is an autonomous muscle, it will open up a new dimension for segmentation as the messages will be delivered accordingly to people’s real moods. Eco Moliterno presented some real examples of companies that are already putting the heart at the heart of their businesses and also showed how the stimulus of the five senses will be crucial to create brand experiences for the consumers in the near future.
Another interesting session was on the mobile revolution in China and how it has fast-forwarded following the ban on travel and shutdown of cities. Pully Chau, Group Chairman, Cheil Greater China Group spoke of how post-pandemic China now continues their work of poverty-reduction and the collaboration between the worlds of conventional media and e-commerce helping sustain employment and grow business in rural areas. She showed how everyone is engaging in creative storytelling in order to sell - anything from oranges to rockets within an insightful commentary on China's journey back to growth.
Every year at Cannes Lions each Jury President is asked to put together a President’s briefing for their jury - a set of guiding principles used to assess every piece of work. Looking ahead to 2021, Simon Cook, MD of Cannes Lions invited the President of the Film Lions, adam&eveDDB's Richard Brim who shared what that briefing looks like today and how the Film Lions category is set to evolve in response to changes in the wider world at present. Brim shed light on the new trends he's keeping an eye on, and looked back at some of the award-winners that moved the industry forward, helping set the standards of exceptional creativity that the category demands today.
The CMOs in the Spotlight session had Pedro Earp is the Chief Marketing Officer for AB InBev speak to Dana Anderson, Chief Transformation Officer of MediaLink on how they're managing remote leadership in lockdown and whether the world of marketing will really change forever.
Moreover, YouTube Creative Director Ben Jones took a look at the new opportunities--and challenges-- that 2020 has revealed and how the algorithm needs more help from the imagination to open up new ways of storytelling. He observed why most made the same COVID ad and what it means for the future of data and creativity.
To be sure, our world has changed forever and so must marketing. On similar lines, Marcel Marcondes, Chief Marketing Officer of Anheuser-Bush USA shared his vision for marketing in today’s culture and what it takes for brands to earn peoples’ belief and trust.
Next up was a session on deepfake (from 'deep learning' and 'fake') - a technique that uses AI to replace one person’s face with someone else’s.
Renowned innovators and VFX specialists Framestore, assisted by some international celebrity guests, dug deeper into the process and explained how manipulating pixels through Machine Learning will open up a whole new world of creative possibilities.
Moreover, Juan Señor hosted the first ever global creativity quiz with killer questions, a cocktail to make in the break and four passes that were awarded for Cannes Lions 2021.
And with that, it was a wrap. While there were some compelling conversations that ensued despite the tough times that the world is grappling with currently, what makes Cannes, “Cannes” is the social element, with networking at its core.
Can’t wait to see you on the Riviera in 2021.

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