Love, Lions and Luxury

microsoft partyOur Review of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, June 2015

Ah, Cannes. What a beaut. The star-studded piece of heaven on the Cote d’Azur; home to the world’s biggest festivals, including of course the Lions Festival of Creativity. Every year the hard-working admen and women flock to the beautiful coastal spot from every corner of the globe to bask in the sunshine, attend insightful talks, sip rose outside The Carlton, and maybe bag a little Lion statuette of their own.

Now it’s over and the Love team are back in their London hometown, here’s our recap of what the industry is talking about, our favourite award-winning ads, and our favourite moments:


(Even Kim KW said it)

Obviously there was a heavy focus on digital at this year’s festival, with a sub-festival of it’s own dedicated to data, tech and innovation. It’s no news mobile and social are taking over, so what does this changing landscape mean for brands?

With everyone clambering to set up their Instagram accounts and share 140 characters of witty/engaging/insightful content the space is a noisy one. Does this mean brands need to try harder to stand out? Not necessarily. To quote Marilyn Manson, who was flown in by agency Grey “It makes the best rise to the top… If everyone can make music they’d make better music.”

The answer is AUTHENTICITY.


“Pride yourself in your individuality, that’s what makes you who you are.” – Pharrell Williams

Brands need to first and foremost take a self-assessment and identify their strongest assets. (This may not even come from within, most of the time it will come from your audience anyway.) Recognise these key traits of your brand, and stick to them. Otherwise you definitely will get lost in the hashtagged masses!


This year saw the introduction of a new award: the Glass Lion, which recognises work that shatters gender stereotyping in advertising. Winners in this category include:

‘Like A Girl’ for Always (P&G), by Leo Burnett

Various people are brought in front of the camera and are asked to do things ‘like a girl’. When young girls are asked to do the same, they throw with all their might, run as fast as they can and fight with all the power they can muster. The documentary maker’s ambition with this movement is to redefine ‘like a girl’ into a positive affirmation.

Screen shot 2015-06-30 at 10.01.40

‘This Girl Can’ for Sports England by FCB Inferno

A similarly positive affirmation from London’s FCB Inferno for women, this time focusing on women in sports. Constantly judged on women’s appearances, the campaign discourages women to worry about how they look when they exercise, instead empowering them to train harder, run faster and throw further.

this girl can

‘Touch The Pickle’ for Whisper Sanitary Napkin by BBDO Proximity India

One of the best things about the Cannes Festival is its truly internationality, judging the best advertising work from all over the globe. This one comes from India, where the rest of the world learns an old superstition from the country: girls and women are not allowed to touch the pickle jar while menstruating, for fear of spoiling the gherkins. This ad humorously ridicules the old superstition, encouraging girls to do what they normally would at that time of month – be it wearing white, going outdoors to play, or even touch the pickle jar!

touch the pickle


Two advertising campaigns that were awarded equally for their creativity as for the brilliantly innovative products were:

Hammerhead navigation by R\GA (the most awarded agency at Cannes 2015)

Hammerhead navigation takes the idea used in pilot navigation in planes, guiding cyclists using lights on a comfortably shaped ‘hammerhead’ that sits on the handle bars.


Lifepaint from Volvo by Grey London

Invisible by day, Volvo’s incredible Lifepaint glares in headlights. The product can be sprayed on any surface, making cyclists more visible to drivers, especially at night.

vovlo lifepaint


“I had a great time in Cannes! I loved the reception and how well Flirt Soho went down, Flirt being our pre-production offer which glues together our artists, animators, language services, which was well received – especially by international clients.” – Chris Rusher, Client Services DirecPierstor

“I got to meet ‘Mr Marmite’ and fellow Gooner, Piers Morgan, at the CHI&Partners boat party. We had a long chat about running a top football team and the upcoming US presidential election campaign.” – David Brogden, Client Services Director

“Getting to meet the industry’s coolest and cleverest people! Also kudos to that couple, truly living the motto YOLO!” – Stephanie Melodia, New Business & Marketing Manager

“A two-day taxi strike against Uber, forcing us to overstay a Director’s villa party – then get home with Uber.” – Elliot Polak, Director & founder of Newsroom Elliot best bit

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