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How can brands celebrate culture? // Five behavioural shifts underpinning the winners at Cannes Lions 2019

The 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity brings together some of the world’s most innovative advertisers to recognise the best campaigns from the year. Canvas8 examines the winning campaigns to identify the five key behavioural shifts underpinning this year’s Grand Prix winners and the opportunities they present for brands.

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How can brands celebrate culture? // Five behavioural shifts underpinning the winners at Cannes Lions 2019

  1. 1. HOW CAN BRANDS CELEBRATE CULTURE / The five behavioural shifts underpinning Cannes Lions’ 2019 winning campaigns
  2. 2. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity brings together some of the world’s most innovative advertisers to recognise the best campaigns from the past year. A significant majority of the Grands Prix went to campaigns that overtly demonstrated an understanding of real people, and directly engaged with current issues. Across the board, people’s desire for accessibility, inclusivity, and authenticity took centre stage – whether that was Childish Gambino shining an uncompromising light on structural racism, or Nike building a community basketball court in a church. In this deck, we examine the awards to identify the five key behavioural shifts underpinning the winning campaigns and the opportunities they present for brands.
  3. 3. / The five behavioural shifts underpinning Cannes Lions’ 2019 winning campaigns Reclaiming narratives Reconfiguring the world Come into my world Fearless frontliners Risky business People are asserting control over their own stories People want more inclusive product design People want brands to enter their world in an authentic way People want brands to speak through individual changemakers People want brands to behave ‘badly’ to initiate change
  4. 4. Reclaiming narratives / People are asserting control over their own stories While pop culture may often seem several paces ahead of old-world thinking, historically-skewed narratives still prevail. With people demanding increasingly relatable and inclusive representation, brands are giving people the space to reconsider and reconfigure their own narratives.
  5. 5. The travel platform Black & Abroad spun the racist rhetoric of ‘Go back to Africa’ on its head with Go Back to Africa. Co-opting the phrase, it used AI to gather an extensive pool of imagery that depicts Black travellers enjoying Africa’s vibrant vistas and lively culture. The campaign aims to infuse the internet with positive images of and ideas about African Americans traveling in Africa and show that going ‘back to Africa’ can be an identity- affirming journey. Brand / Black & Abroad Agency / FCB/SIX Toronto Go Back to Africa RECLAIMING NARRATIVES CANNES LIONS 2019
  6. 6. Childish Gambino’s decade-defining video for This is America addresses the representation of Black people in America. Shattering the internet when it was released in May 2018, This is America’s multi-layered barrage of references to institutional racism and the commercialisation of Black culture offers new insights with each viewing. By unpicking dominant stereotypes and offering new takes on age-old injustices, Childish Gambino provides a conscious awakening and aims to empower audiences to do their own research into whitewashed historical narratives. Brand / Childish Gambino Agency / Childish Gambino/ Doomsday Entertainment This is America RECLAIMING NARRATIVES CANNES LIONS 2019
  7. 7. Brand / Gazeta.pl Agency / VMLY&R Poland Gender roles and expectations of women in society were also flipped in fresh, surprising ways. Polish newspaper Gazeta.pl bought out the porn magazine Your Weekend to create The Last Ever Issue. Sounding the death knell for the publication, Gazeta.pl replaced the pornographic content with forward- thinking articles on feminism and diverse representations of womanhood. In sparking a cultural debate, The Last Ever Issue not only questioned the dominant culture of misogyny, gender inequality, and sexism, but also proved to be the magazine’s best-selling copy ever. The Last Ever Issue RECLAIMING NARRATIVES CANNES LIONS 2019
  8. 8. From making sounds around the home visible to adapting game controllers, some of the world’s biggest brands are designing products with accessibility as their priority. The conversation is shifting as people realise it is the world that disables them, rather than they themselves. With this in mind, people want more inclusive product design, not only to make quotidian tasks easier, but to unlock a realm of creativity and entertainment. Reconfiguring the world / People want more inclusive product design
  9. 9. Brand / IKEA Agency / McCann Tel Aviv IKEA Israel invited people with disabilities to identify barriers when using products in their portfolio, resulting in a series of add- ons such as larger lightswitch pads and hooks for cupboard handles. Intended to remove physical inhibitors to people’s daily lives, products in the ThisAbles range can even be printed independently on a 3D printer. And as part of a new form of altruism that has brands open-sourcing their data to improve society, IKEA made the blueprints for their ThisAbles campaigns available to other players in the industry. ThisAbles RECONFIGURING THE WORLD CANNES LIONS 2019
  10. 10. Brand / Microsoft Agency / McCann New York New innovations are also opening up a world of creative expression to the 61 million adults in the US that live with a disability. Responding to a burgeoning gaming culture – global gamers are expected to jump to 2.7 billion by 2021 – Microsoft’s Changing the Game campaign centres on the design and provision of adaptive controllers. Levelling the playing field for those with full and limited mobility, this responds to the growing consumer leisure and entertainment demands that so often play second fiddle to functional inconveniences among people with disabilities. Changing the Game RECONFIGURING THE WORLD CANNES LIONS 2019
  11. 11. Brand / Volvo Agency / Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg Volvo’s E.V.A. Initiative highlights the car industry’s historical use of male crash-test dummies – which means women are more likely to be injured in a collision. Also open-sourcing their data to improve society, Volvo is reshaping the car industry by publishing a more inclusive central digital library of crash data that includes men, women, and children. The E.V.A Initiative RECONFIGURING THE WORLD CANNES LIONS 2019
  12. 12. Come into my world / People want brands to enter their world in an authentic way Brands can no longer rely on traditional advertising to get people’s attention. People will skip ads, switch channels, or use ad blockers to get around promotional content they find invasive and unappealing. However, people are much more willing to listen to brands that meet them where they are and show a clear understanding of their world.
  13. 13. Brand / Wendy’s Agency / VMLY&R Kansas City Brand trust plays a significant role in purchasing decisions, so winning consumer confidence is crucial – it’s one of the reasons nano-influencers have become so popular. By interacting with Fortnite gamers as a peer, Wendy’s Keeping Fortnite Fresh mission eradicated the alternate world’s frozen burgers and underscored the fast food brand’s commitment to quality ingredients. Keeping Fortnite Fresh COME INTO MY WORLD CANNES LIONS 2019
  14. 14. Brand / Carlings Agency / Virtue Copenhagen With an acute knowledge of its audience, Norwegian clothing retailer Carlings launched a digital fashion collection that allows social-first shoppers to purchase unique items they can share in their virtual lives. In a world still hooked on fast fashion, Carlings’ adDRESS The Future ticks the box for sustainability, while appealing to the 10% of shoppers who buy clothes just to be photographed in them. adDress THE Future COME INTO MY WORLD CANNES LIONS 2019
  15. 15. Brand / Nike Chicago Agency / Momentum Worldwide But it’s not just through digital spaces that brands are finding ways to level their conversation with consumers – Nike’s Just Do It HQ at the Church tapped into people’s desire to bond and build community with a basketball court at Chicago’s Church of the Epiphany. Not only does the church provide a haven from an often unsafe urban environment, but the space is largely devoid of brand messaging, showing that doing good and selling merch don’t always have to be mutually exclusive. Just Do It: HQ at the Church COME INTO MY WORLD CANNES LIONS 2019
  16. 16. Fearless frontliners / People want brands to speak through individual changemakers Whether placing a zoom focus on the process of uncovering news stories or charting one man’s decision to take a stand against police brutality, brands are seeing the value in connecting deeply with personal stories. As people want brands to actively engage in important conversations, aligning with changemakers not only shows their commitment to a cause, but spotlights those individuals who might slip under the radar.
  17. 17. Brand / Nike Agency / Wieden + Kennedy Portland Dream Crazy FEARLESS FRONTLINERS CANNES LIONS 2019 Nike’s Dream Crazy follows the journey of athletes who, throughout their lives, have had to deal with constant criticism for pursuing their dreams. The campaign explores the challenges and disbelief athletes often encounter, whether they’re just starting their career or they’re an established pro. Narrated by Colin Kaepernick – who ‘dreamt crazy’ with his controversial decision to take a stance against police brutality – Nike empowers athletes to share their journey of ‘dreaming crazy’ in their own words.
  18. 18. Brand / An-Nahar Agency / Impact BBDO Dubai With 73% of people worried about the use of fake news globally and 33% of Britons reading less news because they believe it’s biased, media brands are leveraging their value, in both the political and personal spheres. The Lebanese newspaper An- Nahar, which was founded in 1933, responded to the country’s political deadlock by putting eight blank pages in its print edition and linkless white boxes on its online site, both with headlines but without news items. The Blank Edition encouraged Lebanese citizens to use the whitespace to lobby politicians – resulting in a new national unity government – which brought nine months of wrangling to an end. The Blank Edition FEARLESS FRONTLINERS CANNES LIONS 2019
  19. 19. Brand / Johnson & Johnson Agency / UM Studios Spotlighting those who were once on the frontline of history, Johnson & Johnson’s documentary, 5B, tells the story of nurses at San Francisco General who established an AIDS ward in the early 1980s. The 50-minute film, directed by Oscar-nominated director Dan Krauss, gives nurses the chance to talk about their experiences and explores their heroic efforts during the US HIV/AIDS crisis. 5B FEARLESS FRONTLINERS CANNES LIONS 2019
  20. 20. Risky business / People want brands to behave ‘badly’ to initiate change In an era of ‘woke-washing’, where people are becoming more cynical of branded gestures towards equality, they still expect brands to take a stand. As people around the world realise that companies can exert more influence than their own individual actions, they’re expecting brands to break the rules and then make new ones.
  21. 21. Brand / Nike Agency / Momentum Worldwide NY Flying in the face of the São Paulo Governor’s punitive measures against street art, Nike’s collaboration with the city’s street artists saw artworks being transformed into shoppable destinations for the hypebeasts of Brazil. Tapping into how 68% of Gen Yers say that creating positive change is a goal they actively pursue, Nike’s campaign used insider understanding to resonate with young Brazilians. The Air Max Graffiti stores responded to Paulistanos’ desire to preserve their city’s creative essence, drawing attention to existing murals as they became geo-tagged sneaker-drop locations. Air Max Graffiti Stores RISKY BUSINESS CANNES LIONS 2019
  22. 22. Brand / Carrefour Agency / Marcel Paris Taking a stand against the European Parliament’s ruling that outlawed the sale of all but 3% of fruit and vegetable varieties, French grocery chain Carrefour’s Black Supermarkets sold produce from the illegal 97%. In their tradition of supporting biodiversity, the chain encouraged people to openly break the law, creating a memorable call to action, which resulted in a change to EU agricultural policy. Black Supermarkets RISKY BUSINESS CANNES LIONS 2019
  23. 23. Brand / The Female Company Agency / Scholz & Friends Berlin In Germany, tampons – considered non- essential by the government – are taxed at a higher rate than books, which are classed as a necessity. Cleverly manipulating legislation, The Female Company’s Tampon Book sidesteps the pink tax by packaging tampons within a book. The anti-establishment gesture spurred political dialogue on menstrual equity worldwide – 10% of women can’t afford feminine hygiene products in the UK, for example – whilst allowing women to stock up on tampons without prohibitive taxation. Tampon Book RISKY BUSINESS CANNES LIONS 2019
  24. 24. Want more? Download the full analysis by clicking here James Cunningham Head of new business james@canvas8.com (+44) (0)20 7377 8585 London Canvas8 142 Central Street EC1V 8AR United Kingdom If you’d like to see how we can help your business apply culture intelligence say hello@canvas8.com. Get in touch Deniece Dreyer Head of new business deniece@canvas8.com (+1) 602 770 1771 Los Angeles Canvas8 Inc. 1601 Vine Street 90028 United States Samantha Amoroso Head of new business samantha@canvas8.com (+1) 347 991 8882 New York Canvas8 Inc. 81 Prospect St. NY 11201 United States

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