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Brand Experience & Activation Lions: Cannes 2022 Decoded

'The Unfiltered History Tour' wins second Grand Prix, FCB Inferno London awarded Bronze

By Ian Darby

Dentsu Creative's entry for Vice Media, 'The Unfiltered History Tour', won its second Grand Prix of Cannes 2022 in the Brand Experience & Activation Lions, following its success in the Radio & Audio Lions earlier this week.

Created by Dentsu Creative in Bengaluru and Mumbai, the campaign features an interactive mobile site and podcast series that presents artefacts in the British Museum from the perspective of their homeland communities.

There were a total of 57 awards made in the category, and FCB Inferno London was among the winners, with a Bronze Lion for its 'Dyslexic Thinking' entry for Virgin Group.

The campaign supported #DyslexicThinking, a movement spearheaded by global charity Made by Dyslexia. On the eve of its fifth birthday, the charity collaborated with global partners LinkedIn and Dictionary.com to popularise and celebrate the term. Virgin's Sir Richard Branson joined the movement in a film that invited others with dyslexia to join him in adding the skill to their LinkedIn profiles.

Creative Salon spoke to Anaïs Hayes, head of brand innovation at Google, and a judge in the category, for her thoughts.

What were the key trends/reflections in the category?

Brand Experience and Activation is one of the largest categories in the festival - we had thousands of initial submissions and over 30 sub-categories to review and award, according to the strength of the work.

This year we saw clear themes around:

Empowerment: Girls Who Code - 'Dojacode', Political Shakti/Times of India - 'The Nominate Me Selfie', Grupo Estrategigo Ge Pae - 'Morning After Island', Mercado Livre - 'New Iconic Kisses', and Mi Banco - 'The Emancipation Loan'.

Market disruption: FNAC - 'Algorithm', Back Market - 'Hack Market'.

The (welcome) return of humour: Burger King - 'Burger Glitch', Skittles - 'Apologize the Rainbow'.

What advice would you give to marketers wanting to win a Lions in the category next year?

I would say understand and tap into culture in a credible, transformative way. Be true to your brand, to the brand tone and how this expresses itself. Also, consider your category! Be very intentional about your case submission, consider everything the jury may need to know and ensure your submission reflects the criteria each category will be looking for.

In Experience and Activation we were very conscious of awarding not just a great idea, but also the strategic activation of the idea and how it enabled a true experience.

What was your favourite work in this category?

I'm fortunate in that my jury was quite aligned on our favourites in this category: 'The Unfiltered History Tour' was a clear standout, in terms of the idea, the experience and its impact. I also loved the cross-platform integration and creativity of Burger King's 'Burger Glitch', the innovation and impact of AB InBev's 'Plastic Fishing Tournament', the freshness and inspiration of 'Dojacode' and the irreverent humour of Brahma Beer's 'Foamy Haircut'.

Why did the Grand Prix winner win?

We awarded our Grand Prix to 'The Unfiltered History Tour' because of the innovation of the idea, the strength of the activation and the depth of the customer experience. We spent over two hours debating our Grand Prix and the power of this idea, combined with its potential to impact multiple audiences on a global scale, made it a clear winner for us.

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