Festival of Creativity – Exploring the best of the best

Friday morning saw another of our ‘Best of the Best’ series. We focussed on key trends and what this means for our brands here at OMD UK.

Female Empowerment

Female empowerment was firmly on this year’s agenda with talks dedicated to these issues including Jefferson Hack from Dazed in conversation with Samantha Morton about the lack of female directors in Hollywood; Ogilvy & Mather’s session with Monica Lewinsky; A&E Network’s ‘Marketing to women in the fourth wave of feminism’ forum and many more.

Female empowerment was a focus that also carried through to the work – with the Glass Lion, introduced for the first time in 2015, an award which recognises work that implicitly or explicitly addresses issues of gender inequality or prejudice.  Winners of this new accolade included Always’ Like a Girl and Sport England’s This Girl Can.


Authenticity was the buzz word of Cannes 2015 with many of the speakers touching on what this means for celebrities and brands alike.  Marilyn Manson reminded us there’s nothing more important than being real, and how it’s harder to remain mysterious in the age of social media, “consumers see through the fake faster than ever these days,” he explained.  Pharrell Williams also talked about the importance of intention and how this should be the number one ingredient in all of your work.  He said that  “It’s intention that makes consumers feel something”, and if you don’t believe in what you are doing, millennials will “call you out in seconds”!

A great example of how a brand embraced authenticity is the ‘Technology and Stuff’ campaign for Chevrolet in which, after regional manager fluffed his lines at the super bowl,  they took ownership of the Twitter storm and embraced this mistake by changing their comms.

For the Greater Good

Campaigns which sought out to affect change for the good were heavily present in this year’s winners.  This was also a hot topic at the podium, with speakers calling upon the power of the audience to help achieve greater goals. Jamie Oliver spoke about brands and their role in healthy eating, while Monica Lewinsky discussed cyber-bullying.

Keith Weed from Unilever talked about how consumers are now holding brands that are not part of the solution for wider global issues accountable and the importance of connecting purpose to purchase.

This was evident in the Grand Prix winner in the media category for the ‘Vodafone Red Light Application’ which used app technology to give women an option to seek help from domestic violence.

Big Data vs. Big Ideas

This was a hot topic at Cannes – but not just as a buzz phrase.  This was evident when we asked the big question “Which is more effective: Big Data or Big Ideas?” where data was only 10% away from being neck and neck with ideas.

As the traditional advertising construct flattens out, we see that more emphasis is being placed on the importance of data vs. ideas.  In fact, DigitasLBi “called for greater collaboration between the industry – from creatives to technologists – as a way of moving people’s hearts”.

A great example of this was ‘German Wings – Corridor Targeting To Bring People Together’ which used data to identify people’s long distant relationships and deliver customised flight deals in real time.


We asked people “What elevates ideas: Stories or Technology?” The results were close with stories winning 57% of the vote.

There were some fantastic examples of storytelling amongst the winners.  ‘The Gun Shop’ was a great example of using storytelling to get people to come to their own conclusions to change behaviour.  It was such a powerful campaign which resulted in 80% of shoppers changing their minds.

‘TinnyVision’ utilised Snapchat to tell a story in a totally new way.  They created a journey which followed stoner guys throughout the day – mimicking  the behaviour of the target audience.  The content got their hard to reach audience hooked so that the big reveal had even more impact.

We need to remember that media is our weapon and find new ways of using platforms to tell stories in a different and unique way.


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