3 Cannes Lion Award-Winning Campaigns To Learn From

It's the ultimate accolade for anyone in the creative communications industry - a Cannes Lion Award. Being judged by your peers and against your peers from across the world is the ultimate test for anyone working in the creative industries.But it's natural to be a little sceptical as a client - creating campaigns to win creative awards is different to creating campaigns that are effective, isn't it? Not necessarily because, as the IPA will tell you, creativity translates into commercial returns via cut through and word of mouth. That's why we look to Cannes Lions every year for learnings that we can use in our clients' campaigns.Here are our 3 favourites from 2014:Sorry, I Spent It On Myself - Harvey NicholsSorry_I_Spent_it_on_myselfHow do you outperform rivals who can outspend you in the all important run up to Christmas? You do something totally unexpected and reap the rewards in PR and social buzz.While rivals were paying lip service to the 'spirit of giving' during the Christmas shopping season, leading luxury fashion retailer Harvey Nichols cut through with a humorous campaign that turned that traditional approach on its head - 'Sorry, I Spent it On Myself'.A special range of 'Sorry, I Spent It On Myself' products were created - including an elastic band gift set, a bath plug, a bag of gravel and Christmas lunch in a tin - and sold both online and in store. The range was promoted via print ads, a promotional video which was seeded online and a cinema and video ad.The full range of 20,000 promotional products were sold in less than 3 days and Harvey Nichols enjoyed one of its best Christmases to date.The success of 'Sorry, I Spent It On Myself' demonstrates that to generate buzz you have to do something unexpected - in this case, taking the very different approach to Christmas advertising than rivals.It also shows the humour - and particularly showing consumers that as a brand you're prepared to make fun of yourself - can go a long way.Finally, it demonstrates the success of a truly 360 approach to campaign planning. This campaign combined not only paid and earned media but other elements of the mix - in this case, product. So many campaigns don't stretch much beyond the advertising department. By taking an integrated approach and appraising how all channels, and all elements of the mix, could support the campaign, Harvey Nichols reaped the rewards.7 Days of Rain - Geoxgeox-amphibiox-2There's product content and then there's content that brands create to entertain their customers, right? The '7 Days of Rain' campaign, created by Geox to promote their new Amphibiox range of waterproof shoes, shows the 2 concepts can be successfully combined.The campaign consisted of the 'Geox Guy' being subjected to 7 days of continuous 'rainfall' to test the waterproof qualities of the shoes in an urban environment. Of course, even in the UK, 7 days of rainfall can't be guaranteed, so numerous 'rain machines' were created, complete with their own portable cloud which accompanied the shoes, and the chap wearing them.An interactive documentary was created which included 'behind the scenes' footage as well as content that showed how the various Amphibiox shoes were performing.The campaign generated significant amounts of social buzz and showed that if you're going to demonstrate your product's key features, thinking about the most extreme test they can undergo is the best way to generate word of mouth.Real Beauty Sketches - Dovedove-real-beauty-sketchesDove’s ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ has been running in various formats since 2004. It was based on the insight that only 2% of women throught they were beautiful and it aimed to inspire them to have the confidence to be comfortable with themselves.For the campaign, Dove hired an FBI sketch artist to illustrate real women. The artist produced two portrait drawings of the women without seeing their faces - one as described by the subject of the portrait and another as described by an acquaintance.The differences in the 2 drawings were striking. Whilst the women focused on their physical flaws, their acquaintances saw and described the beauty in them.To date, over 114 million people have watched the video which went viral on social media outlets.t's interesting that Dove's return to its 'Real Beauty' campaign should deliver such impressive results. There's the temptation for marketers to try something new every year (or every 6 months in fashion) but this clearly shows that if you have a theme that resonates with your audience, you should stick with it.'Real Beauty Sketches' also showed that Dove really cared about the issues that affected their customers and was prepared to invest in content that helped to change their perceptions of how they looked.It also demonstrated that earned media can be a good testing ground for paid media. The viral video became an online video ad, which became the most viewed online ad of all time within a month of launching.