It’s the final day for this year’s entirely broadcasted Cannes Lions festival and a day for networks and agencies to count their wins. It is also the time to recognise and celebrate ground-breaking work that marks a new direction for the industry and moves it forward (Titanium Lion) and positively impact ingrained gender inequality, imbalance or injustice (Glass: The Lion for Change).
This year, Cannes did not fail to bring insightful discussions to the forefront and set up agendas for furthering creative thinking, inclusion & diversity and meaningful work. In such troubled times that we live in, a consistent theme appeared: the urgency of always pursuing the truth, even when it hurts. A winner of both prestigious categories, the Grand Prix Titanium and Gold Glass, took home 13 Lions and contributed to elect AMV BBDO the agency of the year is the epitome of Cannes 2021: #wombstories. Bodyform and Libresse (intimate care brands) chose to tell stories about women's health that are silenced in our society, from endometriosis to menopause and the grief of miscarriages. The brands embraced the love and hate behind womb stories and helped to encourage and normalize the dialogue. It is this type of work that has a purpose, tells the truth in a compelling and empathetic way - and shines a light on the pain that is usually felt in silence.
Nicky Bullard (MRM) also focused on chasing the truth to expose a taboo in our industry: ageism. In an open conversation, Nicky explained the gap between the overall population over 50 years old in the US and their representation in the advertising industry. An important question was posed: if ageism is still a taboo in our industry, how are we making sure to reflect life experiences and connect with older consumers through our work?
Finally, it was great to see that, even in futuristic conversations about intergalactic branding (yes, you read it correctly! It’s about making brands ready for the next frontier of space colonization), the festival made us think about brands, agencies and creators fighting for truth, science, sustainability, and empathy on planet Earth. As usual, we are left with a lot to unpack and even more ambition to create meaningful impact for brands and their consumers. Cannes, until we meet again.