Cannes Lions

Big winners of Cannes Lions 2017 Grand Prix: Environmental and Social Initiatives!

Since 2013 I’m writing about sustainability and Cannes Lions 🦁, and I’m getting happier and happier 🤗 when I see more environmental and social initiatives promoted through campaigns. Because it means that things are being done! Unless the advertising world just wants to appear to care… Let’s continue to believe in unicorns 🦄 and believe that the world is actually changing. For this year, here are my Top 7 Cannes Lions Grand Prix  selection! Why 7? Because July (7) has come… along with Game of Thrones’ 7th season!

The true cost of your consumption
The Aland Index is a kind of ‘behind the scenes’ of your consumption. It calculates the environmental impact (carbon footprint) of each credit card transaction. Every month, a digital report 📊 is presented along with the monthly bill and suggests local, global or lifestyle call to actions to compensate for the impact caused. Combined with an index that would measure social impact (The True Cost), people consumption might change…? While change is in progress, communication of such initiative has been quite effective since the campaign made by RBK Communication Stockholm for the Bank of Aland 🇫🇮 was one of the winners of the Grand Prix Cyber.

4 for Fearless girl
Fearless Girl not only obtained the 3rd Grand Prix Glass, it has also been awarded with Grand Prix Titanium, PR and Outdoor! Sculpted by Kristen Visbal and commissioned by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) via McCann New York, Fearless Girl depicts a Latina girl looking at the famous Charging Bull 🐃 at Bowling Green in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City 🗽. Installed a day before the International Women’s Day, McCann New York found the perfect setup to advertise SSGA Gender Diversity Index, which, itself, promotes gender diversity across senior leadership within U.S. large-capitalization companies. More and more companies are launching women leaders program. We shall see in the future if such initiatives make known the power of women in leadership.

The unusual aspect
If I say “sport”, “Thailand”, you may think of Muay Thai. If I add “strong supporters”, you might guess… “Soccer ⚽?” In Thailand 🇹🇭, people are quite passionate about it: they like to watch it and play at it. In Khlong Toei community, a highly populated area in Bangkok, building relationships with one another, especially within the young ones, is one of many of their challenges. Sport is always a good way to connect people together. AP THAILAND, a real estate 🏘developer , in collaboration with CJ WORX, a digital agency firm in Thailand came up with the idea of redesigning soccer field through space optimization, and thus illustrating perfectly AP Thailand’s motto: “Space can change one’s life.” For this initiative, The Unusual Football Field Project obtained the Grand Prix Design.

Orange is the new nation
Remember the Refugee Olympic Team at the last Summer Olympics? Although they have not been awarded any medals 🏅, the campaign The Refugee Nation made by the agency Ogilvy NY for Amnesty International was awarded the Grand Prix for Good.

Staying in the Olympics theme, the campaign We are the Superhumans, for Channel 4 by Blink Productions & 4Creative got the Grand Prix Film. The main purpose of the campaign was to change people’s perception and attitude towards disabled people since “67% of British people feel uncomfortable talking to a disabled person”. With a cast of more than 140 people, including both non-athletes and Paralympic stars 🏊, the campaign was a real success “76% of Brits felt the campaign opened their eyes to what disabled people are capable of.”

The power of installation
The Grand Prix Creative Effectiveness was awarded to the campaign Van Gogh’s bedroom for Airbnb created by the agency Leo Burnett Chicago. When I watched the campaign video it reminds me of IKEA and the Red Cross’ temporary showroom of a Syrian house. The 25m² installation aimed to raise awareness about how people live, survive, and how to help.

When pay phones are upcycled into banks
In 2014, GSMA’s real-time tracker put the number of mobile devices 📱at 7.22 billion (!!) in the world. On Earth 🌍 we are now 7.5 billion people. Mobile phone has definitely become a “basic” accessory. Have you ever wondered how we did in the past, back to the old days? If you were outside and needed to have a call, you had to use payphones 📞. Obviously, there is less usage of such devices nowadays. In Colombia 🇨🇴, Tigo-Une, a Telecom firm came up with the idea of turning 13,000 payphones into micro savings systems. An unexpected upcycling idea! People can activate an account at a Une store, then deposit their earnings, which are mostly coins, into the public phone and their own microsavings account. The campaign PAYPHONE BANK made by Grey Colombia got the Grand Prix Product Design.

I hope you enjoyed the reading 😉 and it helped you to wait until GoT’s new season, especially if like me, you gave up on waiting for the 6th book of A Song of Ice and Fire 😔.


Pour ceux qui ont grandi dans les années 90, ce titre peut être associé au tube du groupe “New Kids On The Block”. Pour les autres, j’imagine qu’il s’agit d’un simple titre. Pourquoi l’ai-je choisi ? Tout simplement parce que quand je travaillais sur ma revue traditionnelle des Grands Prix du dernier Cannes Lions, j’ai remarqué que les différentes campagnes de publicité récompensées se dirigeaient de plus en plus vers des messages axés sur les problématiques de développement durable. Bonne nouvelle, non ? Aussi, mes sincères excuses si vous avez maintenant la chanson pop dans votre tête. Cette année, 5 Grand Prix m’ont marqués du fait de leurs messages qui inspirent. 5 messages que j’ai traduits en étapes (ndlr: step en anglais) à garder à l’esprit. Voici quelques-unes de mes idées !

Étape 1 : Ne pas sortir faire du shopping, mais sortir faire du camping !
C’est les soldes d’été ! Et la tentation de faire du shopping est bien sûr très élevée, surtout avant les vacances. Imaginez cette tentation le jour du Black Friday aux Etats-Unis (ndlr : le Black Friday est le jour suivant la fête de Thanksgiving et la plupart des magasins font des offres promotionnelles très importantes), l’occasion idéale pour acheter tous les cadeaux de Noël pour la famille et les proches moins cher ! Eh bien, la marque de vêtements outdoor REI a fait quelque chose de totalement inattendu : elle a décidé de fermer ses 143 magasins le jour du Black Friday ! Au lieu d’ouvrir leurs portes lors de cette fameuse journée, REI a encouragé les gens à sortir et profiter de la richesse de la nature. La campagne  #OPTOUTSIDE, par Venables Bell & Partners San Francisco, a remporté le Grand Prix Titanium et le Grand Prix Promo & Activation. Et maintenant, que feriez-vous ?

REI – #OptOutside Case Study par Bigumigu

Étape 2 : Gardez à l’esprit que «c’est ce que vous faites dans l’obscurité, qui vous met dans la lumière »
La chance fait partie du succès. Mais en coulisses, le travail est certainement la clé de tout succès. La campagne “Rule yourself” avec le nageur américain le plus décoré de tous les temps, Michael Phelps, a remporté le Grand Prix Film Craft. Cette campagne extraordinaire pour la marque de vêtements de sport Under Armour, par Droga5 / Epoch Films (production), montre comment un travail acharné et l’engagement sont essentiels pour atteindre son objectif. Choses que l’on oublie souvent. L’année dernière déjà, la marque avait remporté le Grand Prix Cyber ​​avec sa campagne “I Will What I Want” avec le top-modèle brésilien Gisele Bündchen.


Étape 3 : Découvrez les nouvelles
La réalité virtuelle (VR, Virtual Reality en anglais) commence à se répandre de plus en plus, et c’est peut être LA solution pour les Parisiens de voir l’été cette année.


Source: Twitter

Plus sérieusement, la campagne The Displaced  par VRSE.Works Los Angeles pour The New York Times a remporté le Grand Prix Entertainment. Le NYT a créé une nouvelle façon d’informer son public : leur permettre de découvrir les histoires qu’ils rapportent. Découvrez The Displaced, et vous découvrirez les histoires de trois enfants, qui sont parmi les 30 millions d’enfants qui ont fui leurs foyers en raison de la guerre. Une nouvelle façon de transmettre des informations en offrant aux gens une certaine réalité de notre monde actuel virtuellement … Cela pourrait être une solution pour montrer d’autres réalités de notre monde moderne, tels que les effets de la pollution dans les océans ?

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

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

Étape 4 : Considérer les aliments bio
La campagne The Organic Effect par FORSMAN & Bodenfors Göteborg Coop a remporté le Grand Prix PR. Il montre simplement l’effet de la consommation d’aliments biologiques par une famille qui est habituée à manger des aliments non biologiques. Envie d’essayer ?

THE ORGANIC EFFECT Cannes Lions 2016 Winners par Brand Buffet

Étape 5 : Changer de perception
Depuis l’année dernière, le Grand Prix Glass a pour but d’honorer le travail qui remet en question les stéréotypes de genre. Ce prix encourage les marques et les agences à (re)penser leurs campagnes en considérant l’aspect des stéréotypes de genre pour promouvoir leur produit. Cette année, le Grand Prix Glass a été attribué à la campagne 6 pack band par Mindshare Mumbai pour le thé Brooke Bond (Hindustan Unilever). Avec leur projet, ils ont réussi à changer la perception des gens envers la population transgenre. La campagne est même allée au-delà : le groupe est devenu très populaire !

Unilever Hindustan – 6 Pack Band par Hype5ch

La dernière étape est liée à un groupe et sa chanson, et donc sans transition je vais citer quelques paroles de la chanson « Step by Step » du groupe New Kids On The Block, qui je pense conclue parfaitement les tendances des prochaines campagnes de communication surfant sur les problématiques de développement durable : « I really think it’s just a matter of time »*.

New Kids On The Block – Step By Step par Stella78

* « Je pense vraiment que c’est juste une question de temps ».


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


Like all magazines specialized in MarCom, brands and advertising, I had to wait until the end of Cannes Lions to write my article, as the cover issue is: Cannes Lions, aka THE event of the year for the ad world. Creativity and originality are usually the perfect mix of most Grand Prix winners. But this year… it felt different…

When I saw the 2015 Grand Prix winners, here were my first thoughts: “This one again?” Then I thought that maybe – without noticing it – I used Doc’s machine and like Marty McFly, I was back to the future. Although Marty is supposed to come on 21 October 2015, it felt like he came, or I went and I came back, but he is anyway coming just before winter. This impression of “déjà vu” was so strong when I saw that Volvo trucks with JCVD, #LikeAGirl or the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge were awarded with Grand Prix Creative Effectiveness, Grand Prix PR and Grand Prix for Good. These campaigns were already quite covered last year in the media… Does it mean that since these campaigns were released no challenger managed to present sufficient originality and creativity? Or maybe this overconsumption of media made me feel that these campaigns were “old” but actually not that much. I should find Doc…


Source: Marty McFly and “Doc” from Back to the Future – or my expression when I felt this “déjà vu”

Anyway, anyhow, anywho, after seeing the Grand Prix winners’ campaigns, it was like in Inside Out movie: Joy and Sadness were mixing up. Observation Joy: Women appeared to be the main topic of the Grand Prix’ winners. Observation Sadness: There is still a huge need of highlighting some issues about women.

Pitch winner: break the stereotypes
Among the 2015 Grand Prix winners I noticed that the new Glass Lion was not the only one rewarding campaigns capable of breaking stereotypes and promote gender equality. #LikeAGirl, This Girl Can and I Will What I Want campaigns won respectively the Grand Prix PR, the Grand Prix Health and the Grand Prix Cyber. Their common message aimed at breaking stereotypes we all have about girls and women. To sum up, we can all do what we want and we should not care about what is said around. Easy to say, hard to apply, but challenge yourself and just try! (Yes it rhymes :))

Since neither spell nor potion exist to make things change faster, we would need to invent something by pouring a pinch of courage, another one of creativity in a cauldron of common sense, topped with hard work. This is what some agencies came out with. Intimate Words and Touch The Pickle campaigns were rewarded with the Grand Prix Health and Wellness and the new Grand Prix Glass. The first one created words to help women describe their symptoms in their tabooed-body-regions; an area that is so taboo that no word (!) existed to talk about it. The second campaign tells women to end the menstruations taboo by living every day as usual.

Amazing Turkey
Vodafone Red Light Application won the Grand Prix Media. A campaign that was nicely executed – especially when you know that Turkish people are among the less discrete people in the world – for an awful subject: domestic violence. Yet, ironically, now that this campaign got rewarded at an international level, what was supposed to be a secret is now known at a global scale…

When a step is made, a race is won backward. How come? Well, when you have great campaigns promoting the end of stereotypes, you also have a movie that breaks records – Jurassic World – in which women stereotypes are cultivated (the hot brainless nanny, the anti-family-no-heart business woman capable of running through a muddy forest with high heels, and the wining mother); it is like if we were living in a continuous Back to the Future… of the Past. We shall see if next year’s topics will be the same…

2015 07 lions dino

Source: Lions Vs. Dinosaurs