CS Mini Cannes — The Highlights

Creative Social
Aug 17, 2016 · 5 min read

Oh hey, it’s that time again: Cannes happened. And of course, we invited our finest and favourites to come and talk about it in London, hosted at SapientNitro, just for those of you who were far too busy to be dancing and chancing around in France. Here’s some of this year’s best bits, and what we can learn from them.

Digital Craft is too big for its box

Digital Craft may be the baby amongst Cannes categories, but it’s walking on its own four legs faster than a newborn pony. The wide variety of digital craft was spectacular, says the category’s Cannes jury president and founder of Mediamonks Wesley ter Haar. He says UX and UI will be the next Very Big Things, and he can’t wait for more and better cases. In the meantime, VR “was like a bull in a china shop, like Bojo on a junior rugby field” — well, that’s impressive.

The Grand Prix however went to the delightfully artsy interactive music experience for music label Because by French agency 84.Paris. Ter Haar called it “wildly uncompromising” and the journey that prompts users to slide, wiggle and click things to interact with the music pays playful tribute to the innate silliness of grassroots internet culture.

Go on, have a play

Creative takeaway: the label shows an extraordinary amount of balls in a world of record labels in decline, and it understands that in order to get listeners to engage with your music, you need true creativity.


Thank you Wesley, for pointing out one of the most cringe-worthy marketing efforts ever released onto humankind. In Singing Nature, “plants are reborn as experiential musical devices that can turn all of nature in the world into advertising media”. JWT Japan has perfectly illustrated that digital innovation and marketing can go horribly, horribly wrong. On the up side, they’ve just given me a new idea for a dystopian horror novel.

Creative takeaway: No, for heaven’s sake no, LEAVE THE POOR PLANTS ALONE.

Golden praise for smellcoming boys to manhood

The Old Spice “Smellcome to Manhood” campaign if anything, is proof that being outrageously silly and creative can lead to a Cannes Gold for Creative Effectiveness. Judge Naomi Troni (global chief growth officer at Mullen Lowe Group) says the Wieden+Kennedy Portland campaign is “an example of fresh insight and real understanding of your audience”. It relies on mums to do the talking “because boys are inarticulate”, she says with affection.

Spraying goodbye to boyhood is more than a funny song with weird creepy mums, there’s also this brilliant video to educate men not to overspray. Now, they already had me with the witty headlines, but this obvious ingenious nudge to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy just made this my very favourite thing of the year.

Creative Takeaway: “It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problem just with potatoes.” — Douglas Adams

A golden victory for common sense and sea turtles.

Giving us the lowdown of the new-ish and interesting Cannes PR Lions Candace Kuss highlights the brilliance of a new product that has real purpose and makes perfect sense: a six-pack holder made of edible and biodegradable material for microbrewery Saltwater. Because sadly, most plastic packaging ends up in the oceans, cruelly killing marine life as it floats along. The campaign successfully appeals to the craft beer makers’ target audience: surfers and fishermen — people with a lot of marine affection.

More proof that absurdity really resonates.

McCann Australia propelled budget airline into portentous profits with their Infrequent Flyers Club campaign that gives customers nothing but a giggle.It won a Creative Effectiveness lion for absolutely nothing.

Creative Takeway: It pays off when brands have the guts to be blatantly honest and have a sense of humour. Let’s inspire more of this.

Innovation, but not just for the sake of it.

Razorfish and SapientNitro’s chief creative officer Nick Turner says there’s a 0.07% chance of winning a Grand Prix. Also, innovation is a bit rubbish if it’s only done for the sake of it.

The Next Rembrandt beat the odds and won two Grand Prix Lions for Cyber and Creative Data. It’s an ambitious project for innovation-driving and art loving Dutch bank ING, created by JWT in collaboration with Microsoft, Rembrandthuis Museum and Delft Technology University. They created a programme that uses data to paint a brand new 3D Rembrandt painting that’s virtually indistinguishable from an original. You may argue it’s a very good fake, or a truly ingenious way to keep the Dutch Master alive.

Moving on to AI and machine learning, London start-up “you don’t even need musical talent” Jukedeck grabbed itself a Silver Lion. A seriously market-disrupting idea and no doubt the wet dream of many a director, Jukedeck creates unique, cheap, royalty free tunes for advertising at a click, with the use of a nifty AI. This is not innovation for the sake of it, this is innovation that reduces the value of human creativity to absolutely zero. Welcome to a world where composers and then creative directors, designers and copywriters are artificial, and the output they generate is inspiring, at best, to an audience of machines.

Creative Takeway: We can use technological innovation to make the world more human and more alive, and we can use it to crush human creativity and make a world designed for machines. You choose.

Diversity, but not just for the sake of it.

“The worst thing for creativity is a bunch of like-minded people in a room,” says M&C Saatchi creative director Sam Ball. Thus began the experiment Misfits&Madmen: ten people from outside the creative industries with completely different professional backgrounds got to be ad men and women for the day. The result was true diversity of thought — outrageously different from anything a conventional creative team would come up with.

Creative Takeaway: If you ask a bunch of tomatoes to make a sauce, they’re going to make tomato sauce. So let’s mix up the ingredients.

Written by Isabel Serval

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