Dove, Libresse, Travis Scott win 2021 Craft Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions
Ads from Dove’s “Courage Is Beautiful” campaign, Travis Scott’s “Astronomical” tour in “Fortnite” and Libresse’s “#WombStories” earned the top prizes in Craft today at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
In the category of Industry Craft, which honors the talent and skill necessary to deliver a beautifully executed solution to a brand’s problems, executions from Dove’s pandemic-themed “Courage Is Beautiful” campaign took the Grand Prix. Created out of Ogilvy Toronto and London, the out-of-home ads, “Patricia,” “Amanda” and “Patrick,” depicted the faces of healthcare workers, scarred and bruised by personal protective equipment. Earlier this week the campaign earned the Print and Publishing Grand Prix.
During a Cannes Lions de-brief, Industry Craft juror Carol Lambert, creative director at Publicis Dublin, noted that the jury was looking for something fresh in each aspect of the craft. “What new thing did you bring to illustration or photography that would set a new bar or standard?” she said.
The Dove campaign was largely photography-driven. Juliana Paracencio, Global Creative Director at Ogilvy U.K., said that posed a huge challenge given the pandemic and the subjects of the ads, which were pulled together in the span of 72 hours. “We didn’t have any casting agents, we approached real doctors and nurses, found them on Instagram and Facebook and asked them for permission to use their photos,” she said. “As you can imagine they were busy saving lives. Thanks to a team at Ogilvy and the client who all helped us reach out, we managed to get their permission and invited them to participate.”
Those selfies then appeared as large out of home posters that were strategically placed in areas near hospitals, where healthcare workers would be sure to see them on their commutes to or from work.
President of the Industry Craft jury Jayanta Jenkins, EVP-head of content marketing for Disney Branded Television and National Geographic at Disney General Entertainment, noted that what factored into the Grand Prix decision was not just craft and originality but also thought leadership and consistency. He noted that the real test for brands today is where they go “in terms of consistency and extending the conversation.” The Dove campaign was a pandemic-themed take on its larger, long-running initiative around “Real Beauty,” which has brought diversity and visibility to women who haven’t fit the conventional mold of “beautiful.”
“It’s moving to think about how these workers felt seen,” Jenkins says. “There was a theme of togetherness. We all looked at it and felt a sense of ‘We’re in this together.’”
In Digital Craft, Travis Scott’s “Astronomical” musical tour, reconceived for the pandemic to live in the world of Epic Games' Fortnite, earned the Grand Prix. Over five days in April 2020, Scott, in the form of a massive digital avatar that transformed from cyborg to spaceman, performed 15-minutes sets on a virtual island before massive audiences of Fortnite players. The experience drew 12.3 million simultaneous views on its first day, and more than 27 million unique players over its five-day run.
Digital Craft Jury President Jax Ostle-Evans, managing director of Stink Studios U.K, noted that the Grand Prix campaign represented the best of what digital work demands these days. “What became really clear [to the jury] was that if we are going to show up in this space, we need to be hyper-relevant and we need to be remarkable,” she said in another Lions de-brief session.
In terms of deciding the Grand Prix, “We were clear we didn’t want to award anything that felt gimmicky.” The campaign checked a lot of boxes, including the personalization aspect that is critical for digital messages. “This piece of work encompassed that really nicely,” Ostle-Evans said. It created this world that you know the audience is going to want to spend time with. It’s clear that brands who understand what consumers are doing are the ones who are going to succeed.”
In Film Craft, the Cannes jury once again honored Libresse for its “#WombStories” ad, part of the “#WombPainStories” integrated push that on Monday earned the Health Grand Prix for Good. Created out of AMV BBDO and directed by Nisha Ganatra of Chelsea films along with a group of all-female animators and illustrators, the multimedia film illustrated the women’s rich and varied experiences of strength, pain and pleasure centered in the universe of the uterus.
Film Craft Jury President Kerstin Emhoff, co-founder of production company Prettybird, noted that the jury had a visceral reaction to the film. "As a woman, as a mother, it took my breath away. They did not shy away from miscarraige, endometriosis, even sneezing. But also this piece really affected a lot of the men in our jury." As for what made it the top winner, "the idea is obviously part of it, but in terms of craft, it showed up at the top of judging in every category, from the seamless way the director blends animations live action, to the editing. All of that made it a Grand Prix."