3 brilliant not-for-profit PR Gold Winners from Cannes Lions & Spikes Asia

I had the privilege of working with a great group of people from comms and fundraising at Save The Children last week and it got me thinking about what great creative work looks like in that sector. As part of the PR judging panel at Cannes Lions 2014 we saw thousands of entries and some of the stand-out and award-winning work was for charities. Partly I am sure this is because the work stands up creatively but in addition gives everyone a feel-good factor as the work is for-good, a big trend continually playing out across disciplines. That is brands giving something back and spending their marketing budgets on CSR and that work for everyone. These campaigns are not brand-led but are intrinsically for-good as non-profit organisations. Below are 3 award-winning campaigns that I personally love and thought worth sharing that you might have missed in the information overload following Cannes including a campaign that cleaned up at Spikes Asia the creativity festival in Singapore (sister to Cannes Lions) that ran last week.

Autocomplete Truth UN Women
There was a lot of debate about earned, paid and owned media in the jury room at Cannes given that we were judging PR. The UN Women campaign started with an ad but soon spread virally as people so it delivered on talkabilility and subsequent media coverage which was global and raised a key issue.  It was based on a powerful and simple observation for which someone should get a pay rise! For me that is the beauty of creativity – someone spotted a creative opportunity in a real-world issue that another person may have overlooked. I’m writing a dissertation at the moment and am reminded of that looking at this work – there’s no right or wrong answer – just a stand you can take and argue your corner and that’s what this campaign does.
Cartoons from all over the world went bald, sending out the message that a child with cancer deserves to be seen just like any other child. This campaign is a personal favourite from the work we saw this year. It is visual, engaging, simple and genius! You ‘get it’ the minute you know what the idea is and for me that is part of the art of creativity.
The ‘I Touch Myself’ campaign for Breast Cancer Prevention
This cleaned up at Spikes Asia this week. Last year, Australian rock diva and lead singer of the The Divinyl’s, Chrissy Amphlett died from breast cancer. ‘I Touch Myself’ was their biggest hit and touched millions of fans around the globe. The project transformed a song about female sexuality into an anthem for breast cancer, to inspire a new generation of women to touch themselves.
If you’re looking for inspiration – what principles can you extrapolate from these campaigns?
1. Make your campaign work for a greater good – what P&G refers to as a brand’s higher purpose (think Pampers and Golden Sleep, transcending the rational messaging from a dry weave top sheet).
2. Think about what emotion you’re trying to elicit from your audience.
3. Make it visual.

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