Another year, another Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Looking at this year’s award-winning works, there weren’t many that hit you with a “wow” factor in terms of creativity. Instead, the focus seemed to be on “small but beautiful” campaigns.
In this whitepaper, we’ve selected some of the award-winning works, from the video category’s Grand Prix winner “R.I.P. Leon” to British Airways’ outdoor ad series “A British Original” and PedidosYa’s “World Cup Delivery” campaign for a South American food delivery platform. These campaigns feature small humorous or clever ideas, without any mind-blowing concepts or sharp social insights. They may not give you a groundbreaking feeling, but they will give you a momentary boost, like being hit by static electricity in winter, and make you exclaim, “Hey, that’s pretty good, I like it!”
This year, Cannes awarded two Grand Prix winners in the film category. While I appreciate both films and really like them, they seem to lack a little something as “Grand Prix” winners.
# Apple: R.I.P. Leon
First up is Apple’s humorous short film “R.I.P. Leon,” promoting the message recall feature of the iPhone 14.
If “message read” is the most annoying and stressful feature in social apps, then “recall” must be one of the most popular, as who doesn’t like a second chance?
The interesting thing about Apple’s ad is that it avoids the common scenarios where you need to recall a message, such as sending it to the wrong group or chickening out after confessing your love. Instead, it chooses a less common but relatable scenario: taking care of a friend’s pet and thinking you’ve accidentally killed their pet lizard…
Compared to sending a message to the wrong group, where your friend goes from being grateful to thinking you’re a monster in seconds, the agony and indecision of having to tell your friend “Leon is dead” after taking care of their pet lizard is something that the audience can deeply empathize with. This makes the surprise of “surviving the ordeal” even more satisfying.
To be honest, when that little lizard flipped over and got back up, I breathed a sigh of relief for the protagonist and was genuinely happy for him to be able to recall the message.
ITV×CALM: Last Photo
This video is a part of a suicide prevention campaign launched by ITV×CALM last year. The campaign aimed to challenge the common perception that people who choose to end their lives appear sad, depressed, and negative. In reality, many people who take their own lives may seem perfectly normal, even happy and content.
“Last Photo” is a collection of the final images left behind by those who have committed suicide. Without exception, these photos do not resemble the image of someone who would take their own life.
In addition to the video, the campaign also included an offline exhibition and various outdoor advertisements featuring the last photos of suicide victims. In these photos, they all appeared happy and cheerful.
This campaign sparked a huge social response at the time, with many people sharing their own experiences and greatly correcting society’s inherent impression of suicide victims.
Apart from Cannes this year, this campaign has also stood out in various advertising creative competitions, which is a testament to its impact and shock value.
The winner of this year’s outdoor advertising award is the British Airways campaign “A British Original,” which we previously wrote about and was also very popular on our website. (Click the image below to go to the original article.)
When we arrive in other countries or go through customs, we are usually asked, “Are you here for business or leisure?” This is a common question, but if we think about it outside of the context of customs, can’t there be more reasons for travel and exploration?
This is the basic logic behind the British Airways campaign.
In the 500+ ads they created, they presented a romantic vision of travel by piecing together reasons to travel, from reasonable ones like “life is short,” “single parties,” and “experiencing life,” to unconventional ones like “spent 5 hours taking passport photos” and “worse than getting sand in your shoes is not getting sand in your shoes.” These reasons urge you to start your own journey.
Print and Publishing
Plant-based milk brand Not Milk has been targeted by the dairy industry, who accused the brand of “misleading consumers by using the reputation of milk.” Not Milk fought back with a campaign called “We didn’t write this campaign,” copying and turning the accusations made by the dairy industry’s lawyers into their own advertisement.
The billboard in the middle of the image above states that Not Milk is a soy-based drink that is already commercialized and available in major supermarkets nationwide. The text below claims that the brand sees itself as a hero, capable of replacing industries with severe pollution, such as the dairy industry.
In today’s terms, Not Milk’s campaign took the “fight fire with fire” approach – if you sue me, I’ll use your lawsuit to advertise. The campaign sparked widespread discussion on social media, with 92% of the content being positive (the remaining 8% may have been bought by dairy industry insiders).
After this marketing campaign, the outcome of the lawsuit seems to be less important. Not Milk has won in terms of publicity and even won a gold award at Cannes.
The Artois Probability, the grand prize winner in the digital creativity field, and Chipotle Doppelgänger, one of the gold award winners, both brought interesting big data experiences. Personally, I think the latter provides more inspiring ideas because it proves once again that “there are no outdated media, only not creative enough ideas” (although using social media may have a more explosive effect).
The Artois Probability
We previously introduced this project in a collection of “marketing through tracing” (click here to jump to the article). Stella Artois, a beer brand with the oldest company logo still in use, uses big data to try to associate itself with famous paintings throughout history. They developed an algorithm that analyzes variables such as the year, location, glass type, and liquid color of each painting to determine the probability that the beer in the painting is a Stella Artois.
From Van Gogh’s “The Drinker” to Pieter Bruegel’s “The Peasant Wedding,” these famous paintings have been turned into posters to showcase Stella Artois’ long history.
In addition, they collaborated with the Bellas Artes Museum to hold an exhibition. Visitors can scan a QR code to see the probability that the beer in the painting is from the Stella Artois brewery.
For brands, email may not be the first choice for advertising, especially for mass marketing. However, the Mexican burrito chain Chipotle used email to create a viral marketing campaign on social media.
In their own words, it may be the “only email used as a TikTok green screen background to date.”
How did they do it?
The campaign, called “Chipotle Doppelgänger,” aimed to find two people who ordered the exact same meal at different locations and times. With 53 ingredients available for customers to mix and match, the chances of two strangers ordering the same meal seemed low, but not impossible.
By collecting and organizing daily orders from different Chipotle locations across the country, they were able to identify two people who ordered the exact same meal at the same time and send them an email with details of their order and the location of the other person’s restaurant, along with the message “Maybe your next Chipotle will have a doppelgänger too.”
In the four weeks leading up to the campaign, they sent out a total of 466,000 emails, which had an open rate 176% higher than the benchmark. Most importantly, the campaign generated $4.8 million in revenue for the brand.
Imagine there’s someone out there who ordered the same “double egg, shredded pork, ham, chicken, and sesame pancake with extra spice and sesame, no scallions” as you did at 11:38 pm on July 13th. Don’t you wonder where they are?
Society and Influence
What is the favorite thing for brands to study nowadays? Gen Z! When you feel that the roads of “youthfulness” and “self-proclaimed youthfulness” are already crowded, Samsung has opened up a new path and won a grand prize at Cannes this year with it.
To be honest, I carefully studied this activity called “Flipvertising”, but I still didn’t fully understand the technology behind it (it’s hard for me to completely understand it), but it can be roughly explained as: making young people who hate ads hope to be the one selected by Samsung’s ads.
Samsung made three official commercials for the Galaxy Z Flip4, but unlike the operation of trying to stuff ads under your eyelids in traditional marketing, they require you to actively “find” them. If you unlock all three sticker ads, you have a chance to win a Galaxy Z Flip4.
The specific operation is that you have to constantly search for content about the Galaxy Z Flip4 on YouTube, adjust your search keywords, let big data define you as a potential consumer, and then push Samsung’s sticker ads to you. These three ads also have a specific order, and at the end of each one, there is a search clue for the next content.
Samsung turned “watching ads” into a large-scale internet game, completely hitting the interest points of Gen Z. “Watch ads? No way! What, a puzzle search game, and a chance to win a phone? Then I’m excited!”
In the process of constantly adjusting search keywords, each participant will see a lot of content about the Galaxy Z Flip4, such as some KOL’s evaluation videos. Of course, in addition to giving away phones, after this campaign, the sales of Galaxy Z Flip4 increased by 34%, which can be said to have truly achieved “both fame and fortune”.
“Small investment, big return” is always the goal pursued by creative people and the favorite solution of clients. This year, the project that won the grand prize in mobile experience is an example of achieving high traffic with low cost – Worle Cup Delivery, an online food ordering and delivery service brand from South America called PedidosYa (similar to South American Meituan).
First of all, let’s talk about the result. This marketing campaign made PedidosYa top the Twitter trending topics list after Argentina won the World Cup last year, surpassing “Messi wins” and “Argentina wins”. The brand was mentioned more times on social media than even Messi himself.
The key, they say, is that the entire marketing campaign didn’t cost a penny, relying solely on a push notification from the app.
How did they do it?
It’s simple. After Argentina won the World Cup, PedidosYa sent a message to every Argentine user – “Your order is being delivered, click to check the delivery progress” – regardless of whether you ordered takeout or not. Curious and skeptical users who clicked on the message would find that the small hamburger icon representing food had been replaced by the World Cup trophy, and the “delivery progress” was the progress of the trophy flying from Qatar to Argentina.
PedidosYa found the flight information of the national team in public information, and then introduced the information of the flight into their app. In this way, through the original order tracking system, users could track the location of the World Cup trophy in real time.
“Your World Cup trophy will arrive in 5 minutes.” Who can resist such a message for Argentine fans who have been waiting for 36 years?
When Messi walked out of the cabin holding the World Cup trophy, your “order” arrived.