The Top 5 most innovative brand ideas you need to know about right now: Cannes 2019 edition

Whoppers on the down low, a Skittles musical and hard facts from The New York Times are all prominent—and hopeful—in the south of France

Published On
Jun 17, 2019

Editor's Pick

Welcome to our Cannes 2019 rundown of the Top 5 most innovative brand ideas you need to know about right now.

5. Burger King: Whopper Detour, FCB New York
Burger King delivered plenty of delightful surprises all year long, but this was one of the smartest. A campaign from FCB New York promised customer’s one-cent Whoppers. But they could only claim them through the Burger King app, while they were inside or near McDonald’s. It’s already shortlisted for Titanium but is poised to do well in mobile and brand experience too.


4. Adidas: Billie Jean King Your Shoes, TBWA/Chiat/Day New York
Adidas and TBWA/Chiat/Day New York, celebrated Billie Jean King’s contributions to tennis--and to women in sport in general with this remarkable idea that transformed the brand’s own shoes like Stan Smiths and Barricades into the pro’s signature blue-and-white striped kicks. It didn’t stop there--an activation allowed attendees of the U.S. Open to turn their own shoes--whether adidas or not, into BJK trainers. Going into the festival, the campaign’s already in contention for Titanium and Glass Lions.


3. Skittles: The Broadway Musical, DDB Worldwide
At number three is Skittles’ daring Super Bowl move that took the brand away from the game and onto a Broadway stage in a musical starring Michael C. Hall. And if that weren’t enough, its main premise was “Advertising Ruins Everything.” DDB, Smuggler and a host of seasoned theater pros made the seemingly impossible possible on advertising’s biggest day of the year. It was a brave move Skittles practically forced itself into by setting a high bar with its unconventional ideas. Last year, remember, it created a big game ad that only one person was allowed to see. That one gathered Lions aplenty in Cannes, and the musical will likely do too.


2. The New York Times: The Truth Is Worth It, Droga5 New York
The New York Times’ “The Truth Is Worth It” campaign from Droga5 is sure to be one of the festival’s biggest winners. The spots detail step by step the painstaking efforts Times reporters take to go from hunch to their headlines. Each spot is a masterwork of craft, combining, text, sound and image to tell reporters’ harrowing tales. The campaign has already nabbed a number of top honors at other shows, and is sure to grab big Lions in France too.


1. Nike “Just Do It-Dream Crazy”, Wieden & Kennedy Portland
No surprises here—but Nike takes our number one spot. Execs around the world—as well as our own team—are predicting “Dream Crazy,” the brand’s 30th anniversary evolution of the “Just Do It” campaign will collect Lions galore at Cannes. Famously, the campaign from Wieden & Kennedy featured controversial football player Colin Kaepernick and placed Nike at the center of cultural controversy. It’s already taken top nods at D&AD, The One Show and more. It proves that, if done mindfully and in line with its core values, a brand can take a stand and come out winning.


That's it for the Top 5. Make sure to check out more of the best in brand creativity at