Cannes Lions Diary: Great British Bake-off of Creativity

Cannes Lions

Cannes Lions Diary: Great British Bake-off of Creativity

The Lions Grand Prix winner in this year’s Titanium category was REI’s #OptOutside. Earlier in the week the campaign also won the Promo & Activation Grand Prix.

San Francisco-based independent agency Venables Bell & Partners led on #OptOutside, which centered on the retailer’s decision to close all 143 locations on Black Friday in 2015 and pay its 12,000 employees “so they can do what they love most – be outside.”

Did VBP win this in isolation?  No, Mediavest/Spark, Tool of North America, North Kingdom and Edelman also worked on the campaign.

The other Titanium Lion winners were Burger King’s “McWhopper” by Y&R New Zealand, Heineken’s “Brewtroleum” by Colenso BBDO, Sherwin Williams’ “The First Ever Pinterest Yard Sale” by Deutsch New York and “The Swedish Number,” created for the Swedish Tourist Association by Stockholm-based agency Ingo.

Creativity and collaboration go hand in hand and good ideas must be executed to exhaustive measures. #OptOutside could have been poorly done, in a way that put consumers off, but a combination of left brain and right brain communications skills meant they handled it really well.

According to BuzzSumo, 75% of content is not seen or shared, so the value of what brand builders do is not always appreciated by the audience we speak to. The awareness and value of advertising is: awareness that leads to action.

I was struck by another comment made by John Heggarty when he said: ”How do we move the value of advertising and communications forward in a way that audiences genuinely look forward to and respond to?”

Let’s look at the REI campaign, which began last October with a pair of videos explaining the concept, the first starred company CEO and president Jerry Stritzke. The hashtag #OptOutside and its attendant “meme generator,” which encouraged fans to share their outdoor experiences on social media, led to exponentially greater engagement and earned media attention as most major print and broadcast media covered the campaign.

Awards are simply the cherry on the cake and Cannes is the Great British Bakeoff of Creativity.

Mark Terry-Lush