For the ones who grew up in the 90’s, this title may be associated with the “New Kids On the Block”. For others, well I guess it is just a mere title. Why did I pick it up? Simply because when I was working on my traditional review of the Grand Prix awards at the last Cannes Lions, I noted that campaigns are heading to more sustainability-oriented messages. Good news, right? Also, my sincere apologies if you now have the pop song in your head. This year 5 campaigns caught up my eye with their  inspiring messages. 5 messages I translated into steps to keep in mind. Here are some of my insights! 

Step 1: Don’t shop, stay out!
This is summer sales season and temptation to go shopping is very high, as you hoped for getting this pair of shorts on sale before vacation. Imagine the temptation on Black Friday in the USA (note: Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day and most major retailers offer promotional sales), the perfect opportunity to get all family Christmas gifts cheaper! Well, the outdoor clothing brand REI did something totally unexpected: it decided to close its 143 shops on Black Friday! Instead of opening their doors on this famous day, REI encouraged people to go outdoor and enjoy the wealth of nature. The campaign #OPTOUTSIDE, by Venables Bell & Partners San Francisco, won the Grand Prix Titanium and the Grand Prix Promo & Activation. And now, what would you opt for?

REI – #OptOutside Case Study by Bigumigu

Step 2: Keep in mind that “It’s what you do in the dark, that puts you in the light”
Luck is part of success. But behind the scenes, work is definitely the main key. The “Rule yourself” campaign starring the most decorated Olympian of all time Michael Phelps, won the Grand Prix Film Craft. This amazing campaign for the sportswear brand Under Armour by Droga5 / Epoch Films (production) shows how hard work and commitment are essential to reach success. Things that we often forget. Last year already, the brand won the Grand Prix Cyber with its campaign “I Will What I Want” campaign with model Gisele Bündchen.


Step 3: Experience the news
Virtual Reality (VR) starts to spread more and more, and this may be a solution for Parisians to experience summer this year.


Source: Twitter

More seriously, the campaign The Displaced by VRSE.Works Los Angeles for The New York Times won the Grand Prix Entertainment. The NYT has created a new way of bringing news to its audience by allowing them to experience the stories they are reporting. Discover The Displaced, and you will discover the stories of three children, who are among the 30 million children driven from their homes because of war. A new way to convey news by providing people some reality of our current world virtually… It could be a solution to show other realities of our modern world, such as effects of pollution in oceans?

‘The Displaced’ by for The New York Times by adobomagazine

The Displaced | 360 VR Video | The New York Times by The New York Times

Step 4: Consider organic food
The campaign The Organic Effect by FORSMAN & BODENFORS Gothenburg for Coop won the Grand Prix PR. It simply shows the effect of consuming organic food by a family who is used to eating non-organic food. Feel to try it?

THE ORGANIC EFFECT Cannes Lions 2016 Winners by Brand Buffet

Step 5: Change perception
Since last year, the Grand Prix Glass aims to honor work that challenges gender stereotypes. Such award encourages brands and agencies to think their campaigns by considering the aspect of gender stereotypes to promote their product. This year, the Grand Prix Glass was attributed to the campaign 6 pack band by Mindshare Mumbai for Brooke Bond tea (Hindustan Unilever). With their project, they managed to change the perception of people towards transgender population. The campaign even went beyond: the band has become very popular!

Unilever Hindustan – 6 Pack Band by Hype5ch

Ending on a step related to a band and its song, I would then quote one of the lyrics of the New Kids On The Block’s “Step by Step”:  “I really think it’s just a matter of time”.

New Kids On The Block – Step By Step by Stella78