Cannes Nightcap Day One: Nike, Ikea, Google score early Lions; Cannes Buzzword Bingo; Instagram celebrates Pride
And so it begins.
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity kicked off today in the south of France and, as always, Ad Age has an editorial team on the ground there—Ann-Christine Diaz, Alexandra Jardine, Alfred Maskeroni, I-Hsien Sherwood, Max Sternlicht, Lindsay Rittenhouse, Jack Neff and George Slefo—to offer you exhaustive (and exhausting) coverage.
If you’re on the ground too (in which case, please say hi if you run into any of us), or if you just want/need to experience Cannes vicariously, the best place to start is with some of our preview coverage, including “The official Ad Age map of Cannes” (complete with a Gutter Bar alternative and our favorite iced-coffee spot) and “A Marketer’s Brief guide to Cannes.” The latter features members of the Ad Age team decoding, in podcast form, how the return of Publicis (after its Marcel-driven absence) could change the overall vibe of the festival and what Nike’s “Dream Crazy” ad (already a 2019 Cannes winner—see below) suggests about the state of creativity.
But first, let’s ask the biggest (recurring, eternal) question about Cannes: Does it still matter? One Cannes veteran, Avi Dan, CEO of Avidan Strategies, tells Ad Age Editor Brian Braiker... basically yes. In fact, he says it “matters to clients more than it mattered 10 or 15 years ago. More clients tend to go. They tend to take people, including junior people, to Cannes. The overall objective is: Think of Cannes as a three-day, five-day class outing to discover creativity.”
Does Cannes still matter to you? If you’ve read this far, we’re guessing yes. So, onward with the first 2019 edition of Ad Age’s Cannes Nightcap...
Keeping score at home (or in Cannes)? Then bookmark “Cannes Lions 2019: Grand Prix winners,” our gallery of the brands and agencies making the big hauls. We’ll be updating it throughout the day, every day, this week.
Starting with... a major win for Nike: “Although Nike’s ‘Dream Crazy’ campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick first made big waves on social media,” Ann-Christine Diaz reports that today it scored the top prize in the Outdoor category. “The Grand Prix-winning billboard from the campaign by Wieden & Kennedy Portland featured a black-and-white portrait of Kaepernick and the line ‘Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,’ mirroring Kaepernick and Nike’s now-famous tweet from last fall.” Keep reading here.
#Cannesdont: Speaking of Ann-Christine, she’s the first member of the Ad Age team to experience a de rigueur Cannes-related travel mishap. Her airline made her check her carry-on bag (because of overstuffed overhead bins) and then, of course, promptly sent it off to the wrong city. (The upside: Some of her wardrobe and toiletries got to experience a glamorous side trip to the City of Light.) If you’re in Cannes and need to vent about an unexpected indignity, tweet us @adage with the hashtag #cannesdont and we might quote you in one of this week’s Cannes Nightcaps.
Light show: “Instagram unveiled a colorful, light-bending installation” at Cannes today, I-Hsien Sherwood reports. “‘Where the Rainbow Ends’ uses the light spectrum as a metaphor for diversity—a prism can split white light into an array of colors. The exhibit commemorates Pride Month as well as the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.”
“Google's 'Creatability' platform that brings accessibility to creative tools wins the Design Grand Prix at Cannes” (score one for Google Creative Lab, which was behind the project).
“A blank newspaper wins the Print and Publishing Grand Prix at Cannes” (Impact BBDO, Dubai, worked with Lebanese daily An-Nahar to publish a completely blank edition to make a statement about government gridlock).
“GSK app snags Cannes Grand Prix for disease awareness” (McCann Shanghai worked with GlaxoSmithKline to develop the “Breath of Life” app, which tests for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD).
“Ikea’s 'ThisAbles' wins Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Health and Wellness” (McCann Tel Aviv worked with the retailer to figure out ways to make its furniture more accessible to those with disabilities).
Some good news for Cannes: “Event marketing tech company Bizzabo found in recent research that the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is outpacing its peers in gender diversity,” Lindsay Rittenhouse reports. “In analyzing the gender ratio of more than 60,000 event speakers from 2013 and 2018, Bizzabo found that more than 69 percent of all speakers were male and less than 31 percent, female. At Cannes, 56 percent of the speakers are male and 44 percent are female. It’s a step in the right direction, but of course, there’s a lot to be done to increase diversity on other fronts, especially concerning race and ethnicity.”
Some (possibly) bad news for Cannes: “Extinction Rebellion, the environmental protest group that brought central London to a standstill in April, is heading to the Riviera for activity at Cannes Lions,” Alexandra Jardine reports. (We’ll keep you posted about any potential disruptions.)
And finally... everybody play along! A starter round of Cannes Buzzword Bingo, courtesy of Matt Maher of Media Assembly: