Creative Strategy Lions: Cannes 2022 Decoded

BBDO Belgium scoop up the Grand Prix for the Creative Strategy Lions category

By Creative Salon

BBDO Belgium took home the prized Grand Prix award for its moving work for Decathlon.

The Breakaway is an initiative linking prisoners behind bars to the outside world through virtually cycling. Acting as a means of reintegration, the campaign serves a reminder of the emotional benefit to sport and how it can liberate us both physically and mentally. The spot also scooped up one Silver Lions award.

FCB Inferno's work for Virgin, Dyslexic Thinking, was the only UK Lions to win in this category. Inspiring new ways of thinking and talking about dyslexia in technology, the campaign was awarded a Silver Lions.

Creative Salon spoke to Anna Vogt, chief strategy officer of VMLY&R and member of the Creative Strategy Lions Steering Committee as well as a juror at this year's awards, to shed some light on the judging process.

What were the key trends/reflections in the Creative Strategy Lions category?

  1. A real focus on purposeful work for profit. Such as the Grand Prix Winner Decathlon

  2. Driving real inclusion: whether that was reflected in celebrating age (Replens, Xbox and Wendy’s), including people who are neurodiverse (Cox Communications)

  3. Signs of more work celebrating age such as Replens, Xbox and Wendy’s Boomerbook work

What advice would you give to marketers wanting to win a Creative Strategy Lion next year?

Make sure you are really clear about what role strategy plays in creating work. Most categories celebrate the output, the craft, the results. This is all about celebrating the input and how that led to a better creative opportunity.

What was your favourite work in this category?

Visit Sweden. A razor sharp insight that acknowledged that more people had been to Ikea than to Sweden. They took misappropriated pieces of culture by Ikea (naming all of their products after places in Sweden; famously a toilet brush after a beautiful lake) and using the scale and fame of Ikea to champion their own cause: showing people how beautiful the country really is. It’s super clever to piggy back off a cultural phenomenon to turn the attention on yourself and it drove real commercial impact.

Why did the winner win?

We believe that the work we elevate to a Grand Prix sends a signal about the values that our industry should hold, and therefore the Decathlon Sports for Prisoners (Belgium) represents the brave and socially conscious moves that are possible when the strategy, media, and retail activations flow directly from the core brand purpose. Decathlon Sports did the seemingly unthinkable; it extended its purpose of making sports accessible to all by founding the first eCycling team for prisoners. This was not only a dramatic demonstration of how sports can liberate people. It opens a wider debate regarding our attitudes towards prisoners, and the importance of shifting from a punitive approach to one of rehabilitation of the most marginalized community.

Great work should move the people to think differently, to do better, and we hope that this work gets the attention it deserves, inviting a broader consideration about the power of sport to broaden how think about accessibility and inclusion of all communities.


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