FleishmanHillard Round-Up of virtual Cannes Lions 2021 - Day 2

Welcome to day two of your daily debrief from this year’s (virtual) Cannes Lions.

Read on for a curated round-up of the best content and campaigns that wowed from the Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

Rachel “Rom” O’Malley, senior creative.


The Bread Exam

In Lebanon, breast cancer is often diagnosed too late to treat because women are not taught to do self-exams, nor do they talk about breast cancer – it’s taboo. But bread making is common.

By using bread dough, they taught women how to give themselves an exam. Simple, educational, behaviour changing. When you butt up against cultural barriers, lean into cultural traditions to find a way to get your message across.

Sperm Positive: The World’s First HIV-Positive Sperm Bank

This idea blew me away.

To end decades of stigma, they set out to prove that HIV is safe in a most audacious way. And it wasn’t just a stunt. This past January, the first baby conceived with sperm from the bank was born. Not just a life-changing idea, but one that creates life.

Please arrest me, Rit Foundation/Ogilvy Singapore

In India, rape inside a marriage is not a crime. To fight the law, RIT Foundation needed to raise awareness. So it got an activist to turn himself into the police, pretending he raped his wife. Within minutes, he was freed.

RIT Foundation captured the whole process – from him interviewing lawyers, victims, and women on the street, to him going into the police station with hidden cameras and the authorities saying that raping your wife is not a crime.

The film was launched online to fierce reactions from both camps.

This campaign was reportedly incredibly hard to pull off because nobody wanted to work on it or be involved as it was too risky. It was touch and go for a long time.

The campaign was effective because it shifted focus away from a woman asking for justice, and instead focused on a man asking to be arrested for committing a crime. It was so successful that a case to change marital rape law will be heard this year at the Deli High Court. 

Saylists, Creative Data Lions Data-driven Consumer Product

Similarly to yesterday’s winning campaign, Sick Beats, there is a theme in leveraging audio platforms to create innovative ideas in therapeutics.

Using patterns in music as a means for kids with speech impediments to practice problematic sounds and words they reinvented speech therapy taking it from boring to fun and engaging.

The idea also continues the theme of harnessing platforms native to the target audience (in this case Apple Music) to get more meaningful engagement.

Your plastic diet, WWF/Grey  

The biggest barrier to people engaging with the climate crisis is that seals trapped in fishing nets and fish stuffed to the gills with plastic is just so…far away from our day-to-day lives.

WWF wanted to raise awareness, but they realised it wasn’t enough. There are loads of good awareness campaigns out there already. What the world needed was an action campaign that got people to think about plastic differently.

Instead, Grey deep-dived into data. Like, really deep-dived into it. They trawled through stats and stats and stats to find The One that would make plastic devastation tangible to everyday consumers.

And with over 22 million credit cards in circulation around the world, they found an everyday object that resonated as a global headline.

Eating a credit card’s worth of plastic each week was a single-minded headline that carried the whole campaign. Not only did it grab headlines, but it also entered culture and it still pops up every week – so much so the team said the campaign is doing the work for them now. 

Pantene, #hairwego, P&G/Party Tokyo

The judges (and your humble scribe) loved this campaign as it was based on a very strong cultural insight, and tapped into a cultural tension between a conformist society and school children’s desire to both define who they are, whilst being allowed to be themselves.

In Japan, school children with brown hair have been forced to die it black so they conform with the other children, quite literally preventing them from being themselves.

P&G launched a billboard campaign to change this which was so successful the Minister of Education responded and the rules on hair colour in schools were changed.

The campaign tapped into culture and drove positive lasting change, and the sales of Pantene increased for the first time in 5 years.

Salla 2032, Africa Sao Paulo

If you haven’t seen this – where have you been?!

In 2021, Finland’s coldest town launched a bid to host the Summer 2032 Olympics.

When asked what made it gold (it had me at the reindeer mascot called ”Summer”), the judges said that the campaign took the greatest existential crisis of our time and made it human, light, and meaningful.

There’s a bit of a theme at Cannes this year around subverting environmental campaigns to get cut through and Save Salla completely turned climate change on its head. If we Save Salla, we save the planet. 

See you tomorrow for day 3 of your Cannes Lions round-up!

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