Every year at Cannes, I’m impressed by the rapid invention and reinvention of ideas. Our industry is one that never fails to amaze and surprise consumers — and each other.
We’ll spend the next week on the Croisette and in jury rooms debating these ideas. But push or pull, it’s easy to agree when you come across a brilliant piece of work. They all share one thing, which is that they have strong human insight. They have the power to move people. Here are some of the pieces I’m rooting for this year.
1. Proctor & Gamble Always "#LikeAGirl" / Leo Burnett
I love this work because I think it makes a real and significant step toward redefining gender stereotypes. I always applaud work that not only solves a client’s marketing challenge, but also pushes society to a higher level. This was one of the year’s most memorable campaigns addressing gender inequality and I expect it will be a strong contender in the new Glass Lion category.
2. Honda Civic Type R "The Other Side" / Weiden+Kennedy
This work was all about using YouTube's incredible technology, while preserving and elevating the importance of great storytelling. The work is engaging first, and technologically advanced second. The way it should be.
3. John Lewis "Monty the Penguin" / Adam&EveDDB
People say television is dead — this spot proves otherwise. This is emotionally powerful storytelling at its best.
4. Snickers "The Brady Bunch" / BBDO New York
This is an example of smart work that really understands its target audience. Using iconic pop culture references, Snickers was able to deliver a perfect and relevant brand message to Gen Xers.
5. AfroReggae "Ta No Mapa" / J. Walter Thompson Brazil
This work was about creative applications of technology in truly meaningful ways. With the help of Google, the campaign broke down digital walls to put the culturally vibrant and densely populated favelas of Brazil back on the map.
6. Under Armour "I will what I want" / Droga5
Starring international supermodel Gisele Bundchen, this was another great example of brands taking a stance on redefining gender stereotypes. You can’t be beautiful and athletic? Think again.
7. Zoolander 2 Valentino runway "Walk off"
A really, really ridiculously inventive way to re-launch one of the world’s most beloved movie franchises. Launched on the Valentino runway at Paris Fashion Week, this idea totally blurred the line between advertising and content.
8. Equinox "The Pursuit" / R/GA
Brands are riding the tech wave. This is where high-end spin class meets dynamic applications of data. The gamification of existing behavior enabled Equinox to add another level to a standard exercise routine. Dare I say they've made exercising fun?
9. Al Arabia "The Biggest Gallery" / J. Walter Thompson Riyadh
A simple idea gone big and bold. This campaign for Saudi Arabia’s largest outdoor advertisement company achieved the impossible, resulting in the biggest art gallery ever seen in the nation. It pushes the boundaries on outdoor advertising as well as a culture’s views on modern art.
10. Land Rover "The Vanishing Game" / Y&R New York
A brilliantly interwoven story that uses film, writing and user-generated content in a brand new way. This is not technology for technology’s sake. This idea genuinely takes storytelling to the next level. This could conceivably change the entire format of e-book publishing.
Follow all our Cannes coverage via our dedicated blog.
Matt Eastwood is worldwide chief creative officer for J. Walter Thompson.