The Cannes Lions Festival is the biggest event of the year in the advertising world. We asked some the brightest minds in the industry to share which campaigns were so good that they wish they had thought of them. The following transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.
Pedro Earp – Global CMO, Anheuser-Busch InBev: I like a lot, the work that Fernando Machado is doing at Burger King. The Whopper Detour – I think for me it was genius.
Fernando Machado – Global CMO, Burger King: Viva La Vulva – It’s like, I wish I had done that.
I love the New York Times stuff. Just talking about the stuff – David Droga, with Droga5.
David Droga -Founder, Droga5: There’s always enough to remind you that you’re not as good as you think you are – Pick a Nike ad from the last decade or two.
Brad Hiranga – CMO, General Mills: Every marketer here will probably say the same thing around Nike.
Karin Timpone -Global CMO, Marriott International: I think what they did this year – just reaffirming their purpose and their commitment to athletes and the voice of that. As a marketer, just great admiration for what they do.
Jeff Goodby -Co-Chairman, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners: They are so dedicated to the idea of making things for athletes and being authentic.
Rich Silverstein – Co-Chairman, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners: I think the Kaepernick thing I’m jealous of because of this perfect storm coming together. And it’s pretty hard to take a soft drink and do that with, or a chip to do that with.
There was – somebody did something that was larger than advertising, larger than a marketing idea. They did it from their heart and their gut.
Brad Hiranga -CMO, General Mills: A brand that I have a marketer crush on – I’ve had one for a long time – is Red Bull.
It’s not about campaigns specifically, but it’s about how they take a brand and passion points and create new things around it. And starting as an energy drink and moving into basically being like a media creative entertainment entity is like a total reframe of the market.
Raja Rajamannar – Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Mastercard: One of the all-time great campaigns that I have seen – it’s a print ad from 1995 or so. It was a print ad by Harley Davidson’s competitor – it’s a Ducati basically. And they show a guy who looks like a Harley Davidson person in the leather jacket with the beard, the beer belly and the metal studs and all that stuff standing in front of a Ducati motorcycle. And actually he wet his pants and you can see the puddle around his feet. It doesn’t say anything else.
This is absolutely incredible how much they have managed to communicate and in such a brilliant way, leveraging the identity of their competitor.
Alicia Tillman -Global CMO, SAP: There are brands that have tried to really course correct their personal image. If I think about Barbie with Mattel in particular.
To see this campaign where it actually showed a young girl who was in real life situations as a child but running a classroom or running a sports team. And you flashback to this final scene where it actually shows the little girl in her room – that these are the things that she’s imagining about her life.
As we know, this was a brand that found itself under tremendous fire because of the way in which Barbie is shaped. And it not being reflective and sending a good signal to children in terms of how they need to look in order to be successful in our world.
It was probably and still remains my favorite campaign called Imagine the Possibilities.
Tim Ellis -EVP and CMO, NFL: The famous one – the 1984 ad in the Superbowl from Apple. That they just had the courage to do that ad. To know that what your message was was right. And to be that brave to go on such a platform as a Super Bowl to do that ad. For me, that was always just brilliant.
Andrea Mallard – CMO, Pinterest: Reporters Without Borders in Germany – they were realizing there are many countries around the world where there’s not freedom of the press. And they realized that though traditional media was banned in many of these places, apps or platforms like Spotify weren’t banned – you could access music.
They found the local journalists who were publishing the really important content. They found local artists, songwriters and musicians to turn those articles into songs.
It became a very underground movement where people could hear the news of the day through what appeared to be simple music, pop songs.
Julia Goldin -Global CMO, LEGO: I saw the Palau Pledge. And it was a very clever campaign where tourists that are coming to the Palau island, mostly probably to dive. They have to actually sign the pledge and they get a stamp in their passport. And that engages them personally. And I think that’s such a clever way to create personal engagement in something that’s really important.
David Droga -Founder, Droga5: We’re in the middle of the, um, yes, it’s the title. It’s called goals things out and
It’s just some ideas that you’re so relieved that someone’s created and secretly jealous. But the Palau campaign last year I think it was a fantastic one.
Rich Silverstein – Co-Chairman, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners: The art of the success of anything is that it’s in the bloodstream of everybody. Everybody gets it.