Live from Cannes: 5 things I learned in Cannes

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Our Get Me Canned Winner, Becci, reflects on her five favourite pieces of work from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and what she has learned from them.

It’s kind of impossible to whittle down everything I learned in Cannes to a top 5, so I have decided to present my five favourite pieces of work from the media short-list and hero what key learnings I have taken out of each.

The scale of amazing work was just insane, and while PHD’s Oreo entry is obviously my number 1, I have looked outside of the agency to see how other countries and brands have approached briefs to create work which has changed how I view media and hopefully how I approach campaigns moving forward.

PERSONALISATION ISN’T SO EXCLUSIVE TO DIGITAL.

O&M Hong Kong were challenged to tackle the littering epidemic, with 16,000 tonnes of litter being dropped every day and no real way to deter or identify perpetrators.

This seemingly anonymous act of crime was turned into the most personalised execution I’ve ever seen with DNA being collected off the litter and a facial fit being constructed. Any missing features which can’t be determined through DNA were then completed through sources such as demographic data of the area. The finished faces were then set live on digital screens at the scene of the crime to identify the person.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be re-targeted with a pair of shoes in an MPU than so publicly named and shamed for perpetrating a crime which impacts my community.

THE BEST WAY TO MAKE YOUR CLAIM BELIEVABLE, IS TO PHYSICALLY EVIDENCE IT.

This is not the first time 3M have used OOH to prove their product – we’ve all seen the glass 6 sheets filled with money to showcase its strength. Their latest evidential campaign used chopped apples in zipper bags to showcase the date they were sealed and allowing consumers to experience how fresh they’re kept.

I would presume the frequency on this was pretty huge as I know I’d keep going back to check on it; I think there’s a part of people who want to prove brands wrong and catch them out. But the evidence 3M have provided in a way flips this round and challenges the consumer to defy what they’re seeing – why would you go for a competitor after this?

I absolutely love it.

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SOCIAL SHOULD BE SIMPLE – THEN YOU CAN MIRROR HOW CONSUMERS ARE USING THE PLATFORM

As I mentioned in my Marilyn Manson blog post, I am a pretty renowned pale person. My main challenge in Cannes was a tie between finding the correct rooms in the Palais for the talks I wanted and not burning / evaporating. @PalePeopleProblems followed PHDers after the documentation of my ghostly challenges went on Twitter.

As such, this simple campaign to raise awareness of melanoma really struck a chord with me. An Instagram account was set up to access conversation through hash tags such as #sun #beach #sunbathing to simply “like” the image, thus stating “melanoma likes this”.

The sheer simplicity of this I think increases the impact. It’s pretty scary when you think of diseases as “characters” (I think Cancer Research are another charity who do this well via their ‘we’re coming to get you’ line).

Younger people are perhaps less concerned with sun protection in the eternal hunt for a tan so using this platform and targeting tools is a perfect way to start the conversation with those who aren’t as primed.

I survived the sun, by the way, even if my Factor 50+ did get confiscated at the airport.

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MAKE YOUR AD USEFUL

I have worked on campaigns where ads have had a role beyond communicating a message so knew the basic point already. However, this campaign by Post It not only makes the ad useful, it makes the technology behind it useful too.

They built display banners where people could write reminders on digital Post It notes to then get retargeted with their own lists.

Not only does this work for the consumer, it gave Post It a role in the digital space. As someone who owns a Filofax (with a Post It section might I add) I am not one for logging all notes and reminders on my iPhone but I am definitely the minority. This allows people to remember the role of a good old Post It and reinforced their role as a useful tool in more ways than just note taking.

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DON’T BE AFRAID TO USE YOUR COMPETITORS PROPERTIES AGAINST THEM

I loved this piece from Samsung showing how targeting competitors consumer can and should go beyond reacting to campaigns – why not access competitor properties to big up what you can do better?

This piece for Samsung Galaxy S4 used iPhones weakness in its product – their poor battery life – as the platform to communicate the strength in theirs. But whereas typically a brand would simply call this out within their execution, Samsung physically hijacked iPhones through charging stations to speak to people who are struggling with the products battery life. Probably pretty low hanging fruit to be swayed to at least consider a product which could do better.

By providing iPhone charging stations they were ensuring their audience were all people who would agree with their attack on the product. Once the phones were plugged in, a message would appear on the lock screen promoting the Samsung battery product.

This one blew my mind. Although I might have been slightly swayed by my own battery rage as I went from charging station to charging station in attempts to get out of the red all week.

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