July 26, 2021

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Adam&eveDDB’s Mike Sutherland and Ant Nelson’s top tips for Cannes

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The Cannes Lions are already being chosen but here’s some last minute guidance for the judges from adam&eveDDB ECDs Mike Sutherland and Ant Nelson.

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So, what is going to be the virtual toast of Cannes this year? That’s a tough one, as there’s two years’ worth of brilliant work battling it out for the limelight.

What also adds to the excitement, is that Cannes has always been a bit of a lottery. Whereas local award shows are slightly more predictable with everyone knowing the work and the juries inside out, Cannes is different. It’s an international melting pot of all things creative from around the globe. Sometimes the dead certs are nowhere to be seen and the last-minute underdogs rise to claim glory.

Whatever happens, there’s no shortage of amazing work on the table. One could even argue that the work produced during Covid is some of the best the industry has seen.

So here are just a few predictions of the work that we think will walk away with a prized Lion.

Bodyform’s Womb Stories is a no brainier, it’s cleaned up at all the other award shows and we suspect Cannes will be no different. It’s brilliant in every department. But let’s not forget Lacoste’s blockbuster ‘Life is a beautiful sport’. It’s simply stunning from the very first frame. The idea, the direction, the casting, the music, the special effects are all breathtaking. The crocodile will be devouring lions left, right and centre this year.

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If Lacoste is big, bold and brave then Facebook’s Covid support film is the total opposite. It’s an intimate, beautiful and moving portrait of the struggles of life in lockdown. It emerged just a few weeks after the global pandemic hit, but it still remains one of the best bits of work to emerge from it.

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If history is anything to go by, Cannes juries love a bit of lateral thinking. A way of finding a loophole in something and exploiting it for good. Anyone remember The Trash Isles, which turned a floating island of plastic into an official country, so that it became the United Nations responsibility to clean up? Well, apart from cleaning up the ocean, it also cleaned up at Cannes. The Uncensored Library is from the same school of right-brain thinking. Using the game Minecraft as a loophole to bypass censorship, it allowed millions of young people across the globe to access uncensored journalism. So simple. So good. So many Lions to be collected.

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Burger King’s ‘Stevenage Challenge’ is another great example of this type of work. One of the biggest fast-food retailers in the world decided to sponsor one of the smallest football clubs in England. Why? Because this unsuspecting, unheard of team would appear alongside the world’s biggest teams in FIFA20. They then encourage gamers to put the world’s most famous football players in the Burger King branded Stevenage shirt. If they scored a goal and tweeted it, they were rewarded with free burgers. As you can guess, gamers and fast-food fans loved it, as will the juries we suspect.

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One lesser-known piece of work that we think will pick up is ‘Donation Dollar.’

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With physical currency being used less and less, charitable donations in Australia have plummeted to unprecedented levels. The solution to this was to introduce a new currency that couldn’t be spent, just donated. 25 Million ‘Donation Dollar’ coins were put into circulation, reminding people to donate every time they put their hands in their pockets. A smart idea that we’d put money on picking up Lions of every colour.

So there we have it, just a few pieces of work that we think will do well. Not to mention Burger King’s Moldy Whopper, Beats You Love Me, Burberry Festive, Apple Bounce, Sandy Hook’s Back To School Essentials, Nike’s You Can’t Stop Us, and of course The New York Times latest offering, Life Needs Truth.

With so much great work the juries are going to have a tough time deciding on the Grand Prix’s. Rather them than us.

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