Mayor of London Ogilvy UK

Cannes Lions 2023

Creative Strategy Lions: Cannes 2023 Decoded

Publicis Conseil scoops Grand Prix while Ogilvy UK picks up two Lions

By creative salon

Ogilvy UK picked up a Silver Lion for ‘Have a word with yourself, then your mates’.

The campaign for the Mayor of London sought to address sexist attitudes and inappropriate male behaviour that has led to the epidemic of misogyny and male violence against women and girls nationwide.

The film, directed by Molly Burdett, features a group of young men on the streets after a night out. One of the men thinks it’s funny to hassle a woman he sees waiting for a cab on her own. His behaviour becomes increasingly threatening, highlighting how easily misogynistic behaviour escalates to more violent acts. His friend, standing by watching, is confronted with his subconscious self, via a mirror conversation, who challenges his harmful behaviour and encourages him to speak out and stop his friend going any further. The aim of the film is to get men to ‘Have a word with yourself, then your mates' and help root out sexism and misogyny from society.

Publicis Conseil won the Grand Prix for its 'Plug In' campaign for Renault.

Addressing one of the major barriers to electric vehicle usage, the fear about recharging, the automaker worked with Publicis Conseil and Publicis Sapient to create 'Plug Inn', an app that connects drivers with people who own private charging points in locations throughout France.

Drivers were able to use the app to locate, reserve and pay for the charging points,

Havas London won a Gold Lion for 'Me, My Autism and I' for Reckitt Vanish and Ambitious About Autism. The campaign aims to nurture a conversation to broaden public understanding of autism – particularly in girls, who are three times less likely to receive a diagnosis than boys.

Ogilvy UK also won a `Bronze for 'Reverse Selfie' for Unilever's Dove brand, created to improve female self-esteem.

‘Reverse Selfie’ begins with an image that a young woman has posted of herself on social media. The action then rewinds, reversing all the tweaks and staging that have gone into creating that image, and revealing the shockingly young girl behind the picture.

In total there were 25 Lions awarded in this category.

The Judges said....

Amrita Randhawa, CEO, Publicis Groupe, Singapore & Southeast Asia, and juror, gave us her thoughts:

  • What were the key trends/reflections in this Lions category?

We saw a shift from ‘Point of View’ to ‘Point of Do’. In the past, we’ve seen a lot of brands taking a stand on an issue. Today, they are not just standing for something but taking action. From solving an overlooked infrastructural challenge to delivering solutions for health challenges, brands have moved on from simply taking stands to delivering Impact where it matters.

Many brands are also doubling down on their own authentic brand voice to engage with people. They are happy to laugh at themselves, or to use humor to amplify their voice, and are comfortable meaningfully connecting with narrow audiences instead of going wide and trying to appeal to everyone.

Lastly, we saw tangible proof that great creative strategy can deliver financial value to a company. We could take any of our winners to any CFO and be confident that they’d be hard-pressed to disagree that creative strategy delivers ROI.

  • What advice would you give to marketers wanting to win in this category next year?

As a jury, we really wanted to redefine the future of creative strategy and its ability to transform brand and business thinking by rewarding ideas that open entirely new revenue models for brands, deliver real value for consumers, redefine the category, solve infrastructural problems or are globally scalable – our Grand Prix winner achieves all of these.

So as an entrant, you need to understand that juries are going deep on everything: they will interrogate your statistics and results, they will visit your website or test your customer experience, they will ask questions about the context – and ambiguity will get you nowhere. Written explanations are as important if not more important than case films. And please don’t recycle last year’s case study or entries from other categories. Your entry will need to be rewritten specifically for the Creative Strategy criteria. Finally, link back the results to the objective you set out to solve for – that’s also the hallmark of great creative strategy – clarity from objectives to results.


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