Cannes Lions

'The Trash Isles' wins another Grand Prix at Cannes

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'The Trash Isles.'
'The Trash Isles.' Credit: LADbible/Plastic Oceans

A pledge to preserve Palau, love stories about food and a battle against plastic pollution took home top honors in their categories as the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity continued presenting its awards on Thursday night.

"The Trash Isles," which won the Grand Prix for PR, was meant to force a conversation about plastic in the oceans by encouraging young people to lobby the United Nations to deem it a country of its own. The Plastic Oceans Foundation and publisher LADBible worked with AMV BBDO in London to create the effort.

The jury didn't spend a lot of time debating what truly comprises PR, according to Jury President Stuart Smith, global CEO at Ogilvy PR. It focused instead on the ideas at the center of each entry. The industry needs ideas, Smith said, wherever they come from.

"The Trash Isles" gave a voice to a problem that has persisted for a long time but "doesn't actually have a voice," Smith added.

The campaign received the Grand Prix for Design on Tuesday.

Humanity in direct marketing

It took four full days of discussions for jurors in the Direct category to select the Direct Grand Prix winner, "Palau Pledge," from Host/Havas for Palau Legacy Project.

When it comes to direct marketing, said Jury President Susan Credle, global chief creative officer at FCB, "We had to look at it in a very open and modern way." Direct marketing has become more creative, she said.

While the jurors loved all of the work they selected for Gold Lions, they kept going back to one piece of work, Credle added. While direct marketing can sometimes tend toward "the functional and rational," Credle said, "Palau Pledge" was "human" and made the committee feel something.

The campaign required visitors to Palau, the 13th-smallest nation in the world, to sign a pledge to act in an ecologically responsible way while there. The pledge was written with help of the country's children.

Media craft at risk

The Media Grand Prix winner, Tesco's "Food Love Stories," demonstrated outstanding trade craft in a multitude of areas, said Jury President Tim Castree, global CEO at Wavemaker. In contrast to the Direct jury's lengthy deliberations, Media jurors unanimously selected their the Grand Prix winner in the first round of voting.

The goal of the campaign, created by Mediacom London/Bartle Bogle Hegarty London, was to highlight the quality of Tesco's food offerings by sharing customers' own favorite recipes, such as "David's hot or not chicken curry." In that spot, David shares how he has been hiding from his wife that he has been putting a dollop of yogurt into the curry because it is too spicy.

The Media Grand Prix winner may have been apolitical, but the category was filled with work involving corporate social responsibility, Castree said. And there was a shift from familiar purpose-driven marketing to corporate activism in which brands took sides on issues like women's and LGBTQ rights, he said.

It was also the year of gifs, with hundreds and hundreds of entries, Castree said, though only a few of them stood out.

One of the things that emerged in the judging process, Castree said, is that "media trade craft is being commoditized to the expense of marketers and outcomes."

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