These award-winning ideas from U.S. Hispanic agencies won 12 Cannes Lions
U.S. Hispanic agencies had a strong showing at industry awards shows this year, earning 12 Cannes Lions across four different agencies and other honors at Latin adfests around the globe.
Though they didn’t top their record-setting performance in 2017, when seven shops collectively earned 20 Lions, it’s a significant improvement from last year’s lackluster eight honors at advertising’s biggest awards event.
U.S. Hispanic agencies submitted a total of 245 entries to Cannes, of which nearly 13.5 percent made the shortlist and 4.9 percent won Lions (Gold, Silver, Bronze). According to festival organizers, typically about 10 percent of Cannes entries make it to the shortlist and about 3 percent score Lions.
“If you think about the number of entries that we submitted as a market, winning 12 Lions is something we should feel very proud of, especially at a difficult time in the U.S., when Latinos are struggling to find a voice and place in the country,” says Gustavo Lauria, a co-chair on the board of Circulo Creativo, an industry organization that supports U.S. Hispanic agencies.
Lauria is also co-founder of We Believers, which was the third-most-awarded U.S. Hispanic shop at Cannes this year.
The wins at Cannes and other festivals “demonstrate that Hispanic agencies are bringing big ideas to the table,” says Lauria. “However, it is also evident that most of the big brands aren’t taking advantage of them. That’s the challenge moving forward: To win the confidence of big brands and do good work together.”
Ideas like those featured here demonstrate that U.S. Hispanic shops this year stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best around the world. They offer eye-opening innovation that makes even traditional categories like radio feel fresh while they’re also breaking ground in areas still in their infancy, like data.
“Nowadays we have more possibilities than ever to bring all kinds of thinking and find ways to push the clients to be more relevant for Latino consumers,” says Lauria. “If they are not ready to approve and invest in a Nike or John Lewis kind of spot, maybe it is about showing them that we can come up with super creative ideas for product development or business platforms that can help them get big profits in return.”
Here’s a look at some winning ideas:
Lauria’s agency created one of the year’s most-celebrated U.S. Hispanic creative campaigns, Burger King’s “Traffic Jam Whopper.”
The data-driven out-of-home activation allowed customers to order food that Burger King would deliver straight to their vehicles while they were stuck in gridlock. Digital signs along their route and mobile messages alerted drivers to the availability of the service in their area.
The campaign first rolled out in Mexico City and is continuing in other congested cities around the world, including Los Angeles, Shanghai and Sao Paulo.
The campaign was the most-celebrated effort at El Sol, the yearly global adfest formed by the Spanish Association of Advertising Communication Agencies, and earned double Bronze at Cannes.
Notably, it’s the only U.S. Hispanic idea for a big client that nabbed a Lion. Mirroring a trend in the industry overall, the most-awarded U.S. Hispanic ideas at Cannes were tied to social good, whether they were created pro bono or for brands.
Casanova//McCann, the most-awarded U.S. Hispanic shop at Cannes this year, was behind “Second Chances” for Donate Life California.
The program, which required the cooperation of police departments in the California cities of Fullerton and Placentia, gave drivers who were registered as organ donors a free pass, of sorts, when they were caught committing traffic violations.
Since the drivers were essentially giving “second chances” to others through organ pledges, they got a second chance, too, when police officers refrained from ticketing them.
The initiative eventually extended to Calgary, Canada.
The campaign was the only one from the U.S. Hispanic market at Cannes to win Gold (in the public relations category). It also nabbed multiple Bronze and Silver honors.
Wing, Grey’s Hispanic agency, was the second-most-decorated U.S. Hispanic agency at Cannes. Wing earned multiple Lions for its out-of-the-box idea for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Wing tapped Latin Grammy-winning band Flor de Toloache to create an important lesson in the guise of a new pop song. “El Corrido de David y Goliat” aired on the radio and was designed to teach immigrants about their rights so they could protect themselves against human rights abuses when interacting with law enforcement and immigration authorities.
DDB shop Alma was the final U.S. Hispanic Cannes Lion winner, for its clever print campaign supporting Change the Ref, a gun violence prevention organization founded by the parents of one of the Parkland, Florida, shooting victims, Joaquin Oliver.
The ads, which earned Bronze at Cannes, took a map of the United States and outlined shapes of various states to form silhouettes of guns, in order to show the disproportionate amount of gun violence deaths in Florida compared to other areas of the country.
Alma’s other work for Change the Ref also earned nods. “3D Activist,” which was shortlisted at Cannes, was one of the top winners at the Wave Festival held in Brazil.
The idea used 3D printing—the same technology that’s been used to create some weapons—to sculpt a statue of the late Joaquin Oliver, which then traveled around the world and ended up on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. The campaign aimed to illustrate the dangers of lawful distribution of 3D gun blueprints online.
Alma was also behind another smart, socially conscious idea that took advantage of the backlash against Nike’s celebrated “Just Do It–Dream Crazy” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. After that idea hit social media, there were multiple reports of people burning their Nikes, but Alma’s idea called for the angry customers to do something more constructive with their kicks.
The agency’s print campaign, “Just Donate It,” featured a black-and-white portrait of a child, along with the words “Believe us, there are a lot of people in need of shoes. #JustDonateIt.” The campaign won Silver and Bronze at the Wave. Alma created it for Angel Bins, an L.A. nonprofit that holds shoe drives for those in need.
Alma created one of the honored creative campaigns not tied to social good. The agency’s witty outdoor ads for McDonald’s, “Open 24 Hours,” earned Gold at the Wave. The campaign featured a time stamp across images of McDonald’s food, but they could also be read upside down, reflecting a different time. The point was to remind customers that some of the fast feeder’s restaurants served customers 24 hours a day.
Miami’s The Community also delivered notable celebrated ideas.
It took advantage of current events to help promote PETA’s cause. For National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, the agency created political campaign-like posters featuring the sad face of a pup. The copy read, “Donald Trump doesn’t have a pet. The last president without a pet got impeached.” The campaign earned Gold and Silver honors at the Wave.
The Community was also behind one of the year’s most-intriguing digital, data-driven efforts, “Bridge Forecast,” which earned Silver at the Wave.
The app, backed by Mercedes-Benz, was designed to help Miami residents with a traffic problem specific to their hometown—gridlock caused by three major drawbridges around the city. It alerted commuters to the real-time jams related to the bridge activity. The idea filled a gap not addressed by other traffic assistants like Waze and Google Maps, which don’t accurately predict bridge-related delays.
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