Cannes Lions

Could these winning Latin American ideas take top prizes at Cannes?

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One of the Latin American market's leading advertising contests, The Wave Festival, held its 11th annual competition last month in Rio De Janeiro, awarding its top prize, The Blue Wave, to the agency David Brazil for "This Coke is a Fanta," a campaign for Coca-Cola that sought to subvert a widely-used homophobic slur that involved the brand's name.

The Wave Festival is organized by Brazilian advertising and marketing media company Grupo Meio & Mensagem, Ad Age's longtime editorial partner in Brazil.

AlmapBBDO Sao Paulo took home the Agency of the Year prize, while Omnicom earned the recognition of holding company of the year.

The festival, which also covers the U.S Hispanic market and Puerto Rico, also honored U.S. agencies with 18 trophies, distributed between Fitzco/McCann, Casanova/McCann, Alma DDB, We Believers and The Community.

Seven U.S. creative leaders were part of this year's lineup of judges, including two jury presidents: Daniel Perez Pallares, executive creative director at The Community, led the digital judging; Veronica Elizondo, VP-group creative director at Conill, oversaw PR. Other jurors included We Believers Creative Director Santiago Luna Lupo, Orci Senior VP-Executive Creative Director Juan Jose Quintana, LatinWorks Executive Creative Director Serge Flores, Dieste Associate Creative Director Dario Campos and Alma USA Senior Creative Director Monica Marulanda.

Quintana, who served on the Film/Film Craft and Blue Wave juries, offered his thoughts on this year's prizes, which could provide a peek into what will resonate with global juries as well at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this week.

Juan José Quintana, Orcí:

I recently had the opportunity to view and judge some of the best work developed in the U.S. Latino and Latin American markets, including a variety of creative materials being submitted to different festivals and competitions worldwide.

Besides the natural feeling of envy ("Gosh, I wish I would've thought of that,"or "If I would've had that fancy budget…"), being exposed to so much talent inspired me to draft a list of reminders that could improve the quality of all of our work in advance of the next award season.

Welcome a client who comes to you with a crazy idea. Smart, courageous clients are always inspiring and a great challenge. When they come with a crazy idea such as, "Let's change the whole banking experience…," we need to embrace it. That's exactly what R/GA Media Group did for Bradesco bank. They turned a traditional boring bank into a modern and appealing one, specifically designing their banks to attract the tech-savvy millennial audience.

Take your planner out to lunch when given simple, yet powerful, insights. Hug them when they hand you a brief with one of those "hello-o-o!" insights, simply because most of the creative work will already be done… or not, but it will certainly enlighten the team, making it easier to execute ideas. Take for instance, the spot for Issue Professional Hair Color from JWT Argentina. Memorable, fun and very insightful.

Give copywriters a raise for their focus on writing great ads, instead of the next Hollywood blockbuster. Let's motivate and cultivate copywriters to come up with a perfectly written, not to mention entertaining, script like this one about "Culo y Calzón" (Butt and Underwear), for the TyC's "Conversos" campaign.

Pro-bono work can be "Pro-bueno." Remember that a good cause can bring great talent and enthusiasm to the table. You open the door to possibilities for the most incredible and diverse team of animators, musicians, audio engineers, etc. The final product could be as great as this beautiful and moving piece that relaunched the name of a Children's Hospital.

Remind yourself over and over again, that one of the main goals of our work is to change perceptions. And also, to do it in an unexpected, almost unbelievable way. It can even be as easy as calling your local hypnotizer who has the power to unlock your consumer's true prejudices and preconceptions. That's exactly what We Believers did for Burger King and Pepsi Argentina with great results.

Anything is possible. Changing is possible. That even a Coke can turn into Fanta, like in the "This Coke is a Fanta" campaign, the most engaging organic campaign that defeated the power of a popular homophobic Brazilian expression, turning it into an expression of inclusivity and pride.

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