This is not about what I personally liked/loved/hated at Cannes. This isn’t a witch-hunt to winkle out the Cannes cheat or scam entries, or a rant about how it’s all worse or better than previous years. But rather a look at the types of ads and genres that did well.
Try and see through the dazzling visual summersaults and the turn of phrase because I’m going to assume that all the Cannes Lions winners have great craft and so help to identify any trends. Instead if we boil the idea down into Type and Genres, we can look at whether the old testimonial still feels fresh or whether a product demo can still hold our attention.
What if an ad defies all categories, all labels and refuses to be pigeon-holed? Maybe that’s the definition of a real Cannes winner. ‘Like’, ‘love’, ‘hate’, should be words that a consumer uses to describe ads. Hold onto your hats, we’re about to get scientific(ish) here.
The next time you’re asked if you love it or hate it, ask yourself ‘what is it?’ and talk about that. If we start to think that way and have a shared vocabulary when discussing creative work, we can move away from subjective view points, have more tools at our disposal and in the end, help us all know what we are making and maybe, as a by product, win at Cannes.
So, let’s start at the beginning. The trusty old Testimonial. Now I must admit it is rather hard to find a Cannes winning example of a testimonial ad. An embarrassing start to a promising article. But then, over in Brand Expereince & Activation, disguised as a ‘Brand experience’ is a good old fashioned Testimonial from Uber Eats. Nadal and co look like they are actually playing in the Australian Open when they turn round and say to camera “tonight i’ll be eating...” It won Cannes Silver.