FleishmanHillard Round-Up of virtual Cannes Lions 2021 - Day 1

Welcome to day one 0f your daily debrief from this year’s (virtual) Cannes Lions.

For the next four days, I’ll be sharing a round-up of the best content and campaigns that wowed from the Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

Rachel “Rom” O’Malley, senior creative.


#wombstories (Grand Prix, Health and Wellness)

Libresse of Blood Normal fame is back with another exceptional idea.

Based on the insight that women’s experiences are doubted and silenced they simply asked women how they felt.

They brought the stories of life stages, medical conditions, pleasure and pain to life.

It gave permission for other women to share their stories which created a watershed of executions to follow.

From dropping those personal stories back into culture, to using them to create a Pain Dictionary that gives women a visual language outside of the typical 1-10 pain scale to explain what is happening in their bodies.

The dictionary then gave way to The Pain Report and an exhibition. All-in-all leading to doctors being able to provide better medical indications and shorter diagnosis times.

Courage is Beautiful (Gold, Outdoor)

There has been a lot of talk over the past year about what work from the pandemic is award-worthy.

This is a perfect example of when a brand knows who they are, they know what to say.

In the OOH category, Dove sourced the real and raw photos of front-line workers – faces worn with bruises and sores from the PPE they wore nonstop fighting Covid-19.

What made it even more powerful, is each OOH execution was placed near the hospital the nurse/doctor worked and with the simple line, “Courage is beauty”. Goosebump inducing.

#BacktheBars (Grand Prix, Outdoor)

And speaking of Covid, I loved Heinekens Shutter Ads where they redirected their media dollars and put it in the hands of bar owners whose businesses were shuttered.

They placed their billboards on the closed shutters of bars around the world and paid them for the space. Kind. Smart. And true to their brand. It also led to 40% more media value than traditional OOH and put $7.5 euros in the hands of bar owners.


Sick Beats (Grand Prix/Gold Pharma) 

Coming under more scrutiny because of the events of the past year, Pharma was hailed as 2021s ‘big discovery’.

The judges (headed up by our own Anne de Schweinitz) praised the overall category for its elevated storytelling, perfectly crafted narratives, innovative fusions with technology, and the resulting empathetic campaigns.

Sick Beats was the category’s overall winner. A collaboration between Woojer and Area 23, this Spotify powered vest helps kids with Cystic Fibrosis keep their lungs healthy by vibrating on their chests to loosen mucus build-up.

Although the vests already existed, they hadn’t changed in years and so the experience of those that use them hadn’t improved.

Area 23 knew the vest had to deliver vibrations at 40Hz to be effective, so they partnered with Spotify to identify songs on the platform that delivered this kind of bass.

When the kids turned Spotify on the vest was activated, delivering the treatment they needed via a sensory experience they loved.  

This campaign was five years in the making, as Area 23 thought of the solution first and then had to find the right kind of partner to work with.

What they produced is more than just a campaign, it’s a fusion of pharma, technology and humanity that will change the lives of the people who use it forever. 

StealOurStaff Beco (Grand Prix, Health and Wellness) 

If anyone hasn’t heard of Beco then please do go and seek it out. This social enterprise makes environmentally-friendly toiletries with an 80% visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged workforce.  

#StealOurStaff, by TBWALondon, was created to challenge outdated attitudes towards employing people with disabilities, as well as generate awareness of the Disability Employment Gap.  

TBWA printed the CVs of Beco workers on product packaging, supported with an OOH campaign that highlighted Beco’s talent and invited other businesses to headhunt them.  

The absolute best thing about this campaign’s creation was that rather than devise and script the campaign and then try to cast it, TBWA spent time with Beco employees and got to know them first.

Because of this time investment they were able to tackle a difficult subject in a way that uses humour authentically, lets people’s personalities shine though, and results in a beautifully empathetic campaign.

See you tomorrow for day 2’s round-up!

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