After sorting through the Cannes 2012 body of work, it seems as though the unlikely are catching up to – if not already surpassing – the countries we generally look to for the best work the world has to offer.
Yes, the ideas are remarkable on every level. But further examination reveals many more small market countries are presenting the world with some of the most fresh and outstanding communications.
Maybe it’s because these countries are kind of liberated – with nothing to lean on and not as much confined by standards, or variations on the latest trends. They are freer to pursue what is simply stunning, or the most impactful, or truly revolutionary as an approach.
Now, winning anything at Cannes is an extraordinary achievement. Here the best of the best pit their wits against the year’s, and world’s best ideas. And anyone who took a coveted Lion home should be immensely proud of their talents.
Canada had a respectable tally of its own, bagging 19 metal felines.
But perhaps we just look to one of the Golds to see what we may be missing as marketers in this country. The app for Sick Kids took the crowded world of apps to yet another ‘next level.’ Health care that allows kids with serious illnesses to help themselves to recover, to track their healing progress and, hopefully, to ultimately get better.
It’s an example of courage, albeit not near the same kind these children were able to muster. The marketers’ fortitude? There is no comparison or precedent for such an idea. There’s nothing to liken it to. Nothing that would provide the agency or its client the comfort that it would work. But they executed it nonetheless. And were rewarded with extremely commendable results – better lives for sick children. That’s why it’s worthy of Gold.
Perhaps that’s also a reason behind the propensity of cause marketing among this year’s Lions, reflecting a world in which people are talking to each other more and more.
It’s this kind of bravery that we should all look to when assessing our own work. Of course, most of our initiatives won’t have the profoundness of saving a child’s life.
But take a look at the actual award-winning ideas (air conditioners were sold through an insight that dads look terrible in briefs) the art direction (Chipotle Film Grand Prix), or simply the audacity (Benetton Press Grand Prix) and then ask yourselves if we have the same amount of courage.