Cannes Lions

Twitter Crowned King of Outdoor Advertising at Cannes Lions

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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump peer out of a billboard from the Twitter campaign that won a Grand Prix at Cannes on Monday.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump peer out of a billboard from the Twitter campaign that won a Grand Prix at Cannes on Monday. Credit: Twitter

Bruno Bertelli, president of the Cannes Lions jury for outdoor advertising, has a simple explanation for what drives award-winning campaigns in the category. "Would I look up?" said the global chief creative officer of Publicis Worldwide. "Would I give a shit?"

Twitter passed the test this year with Bertelli's jury, which awarded the social media platform the Grand Prix for traditional outdoor. Its campaign, created in-house, included a series of billboards featuring no copy, just hashtags and Twitter logos alongside images from news and pop culture. One board showed Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's eyes staring out over New York City.

It's notable that Twitter, which makes its living by selling digital ad formats like promoted tweets, won with an in-house effort using an the old-school ad tactic of billboard advertising. Twitter CMO Leslie Berland earlier this year described ther approach this way: "Twitter is where you go to see what's happening everywhere in the world right now." The company just rolled out a new TV commercial starring Chance the Rapper with the hashtag #SeeEverySide, part of an argument that Twitter can help users break out of their social-media bubbles.

WHY IT WON: "It's a beautiful campaign" that is "clean, simple and engaging," Bertelli said. He also praised it for covering an incredible number of topics.

CONTROVERSY OR CLEAR WINNER? The jury, which also gave a Grand Prix for nontraditional outdoor to McCann's "Fearless Girl," came to a quick decision.

INTERESTING TRENDS: The number of outdoor entries declined this year, especially for classical outdoor campaigns, Bertelli said.

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