Creativity triumphs at Cannes Lions

Creativity triumphs at Cannes Lions

Sarah Cantavalle Published on 7/3/2018

The 65th edition of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, an annual event dedicated to the world of advertising, design and marketing, has just drawn to a close. This year, over 32,000 projects from 90 countries competed for a Lion award in dozens of categories, subdivided into 9 main themes.

The major innovation of 2018 was the introduction of two new Lions: Creative eCommerce, an award dedicated to e-commerce platforms and online payment systems, and The Sustainable Development Goals, aimed at companies and organisations that, through their work, have contributed towards achieving the objectives set by the United Nations in the 2030 Agenda for Global Sustainable Development.

This year also saw the launch of three revamped versions of previous Lion awards: Social & Influencer, for the world of social marketing, Industry Craft, dedicated to the most successful advertising campaigns, and Brand Experience & Activation, aimed at companies which have successfully engaged consumers through compelling and immersive experiences.

Here are some of the winning campaigns for the Design, Outdoor and Print & Publishing categories.

Design category
Italy was awarded three Lions in the Design category, two of which were won by the Florence-based agency Auge Design for the project “Mutti Special Edition for Fico Eataly World”.

When Mutti was chosen as the brand ambassador for its sector by FICO Eataly World, the biggest agri-food park in the world, the firm asked Auge Design to redesign its packaging for tomato passata and tinned tomatoes.

The result was a stunning blend of modernity and tradition, a packaging with overlaid golden lettering and bold red colours over a glossy ivory background, all screen-printed onto natural materials.

Mutti Limited Edition for Fico
The packaging created by Auge Design for Mutti. Credits:

The Grand Prix, as well as silver and bronze lions in the same category, was scooped by British agency AMV BBDO for the “Trash Isles” campaign, devised for the Plastic Oceans foundation and LadBible to raise awareness among citizens and international organisations about the serious problem caused by plastic pollution in the oceans.

The creatives at AMV BBDO decided to invent a nation called Trash Isles, printing a flag, stamps, banknotes and passports containing information about the damage caused by this type of pollution. The items were then sent to influencers and media outlets around the world to gain visibility and media coverage.

The petition launched as part of the initiative collected 200,000 signatures, and the campaign achieved international resonance thanks to articles and reports published in various magazines and blogs.

Trash Isles campaign
The material created by AMV BBDO for the “Trash Isles” campaign. Credits:

Outdoor category
Publicis Italy and Publicis New York picked up a bronze in the Design category and a gold in the Outdoor category for the brilliant “Go with the fake” campaign for Diesel. The fashion label decided to open a store with a sign that read “DEISEL” on Canal Street, the place to buy counterfeit clothes in New York. But because it was selling original garments, this store was deliberately selling fake fakes, if you will.

The campaign’s video went viral, generating 400 million views around the world and 55 million views on social media alone. “Go with the fake” was nominated for Lions in numerous other categories, and left the festival with a substantial prize haul.

Italian agency Dude won two silver Lions for the “Black Future Social Club” campaign it produced for Netflix for the launch of the fourth season of the Black Mirror series, while DDB Group Italy received two bronzes for its “The Room” campaign against domestic violence created for IKEA.

The jury awarded one of the Grand Prix to McDonald’s which, together with Canadian agency Cossette, deconstructed the chain’s iconic logo for the “Follow the Arches” campaign that pointed people in the direction of the nearest McDonald’s restaurant.

Follow the Arches campaign
One of the billboards created by the Cossette agency for the McDonald’s “Follow the Arches” campaign. Credits:

Print & Publishing category
Triumphant in the Print & Publishing category was Brazilian agency Africa, awarded the Grand Prix and gold Lion for the “Tagwords” campaign created for Budweiser.

The creatives at Africa cleverly combined print with digital to celebrate the brand’s historic links with the world of music. Ads and billboards carried text-only visuals encouraging the public to do their own Internet search using the keywords suggested. This led users to a vast stock of photos documenting defining moments in music history where Budweiser is visibly present.

Budweiser Tagwords campaign
One of the ad pages created by the Africa agency for Budweiser’s “Tagwords” campaign. Credits:

If you’re interested in the other ad campaigns entered at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, you can view them by signing up on the event’s official website.