Inspiration & brainfood – Glass Lions winners Cannes 2016

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of the campaign winners from the Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity that I personally found interesting. Of course there are hundreds so I’ve tried to pick work that reflect wider trends that emerged out of the festival this year. The trend for creativity for good continues to be awarded and in this post I’m focussing on Glass Lions winners 2016.

The Glass Lion award ran for the first time in 2015 and aims to award work that promotes gender equality imbalance or injustice in marketing. It is clear from the subject matter why this campaign was supported by the judges.

The marriage market takeover for skincare brand SK-II by last year’s Grand Prix Winner’s Forsman & Bodenfors won a prestigious Glass Lion in 2016 as well as a gold Lion for PR corporate social responsibility.

SK-II is a skincare brand looking to grab a larger share of the Chinese market where advertising for cosmetics is often rational and celebrity focused. “ SK-II was looking to do something with an emotional appeal. #changedestiny was a brand campaign designed to inspire women to shape their skin destiny and the idea became to elevate the campaign to include “life destiny”. The Sheng Nu label, meaning “leftover woman”, and the pressure to marry, sometimes at the expense of their careers and independence is big issue in Chinese women’s lives. The objective of this campaign was to change the perception of Sheng Nus and thus challenge the way we view single women all over the world.

An installation was created in Shanghai’s People’s Park,to replace the dating ads with personalized messages from single women, proclaiming that they’re happy being independent, contrary to the image being portrayed by media.  A documentary was created with four single women and their parents and shared on social media with over 25 million views and over 2000 editorial pieces. The SK-II brand’s YouTube subscribers have more than doubled.

The Grand Prix in this category was won by the ‘6 Pack Band’ a transgender pop group for Unilever tea brand Brooke Bond Red Label.

India has an estimated 1.9 million transgender people who are known as hijras, and are stigmatised and alienated. Hijras find it impossible to get conventional jobs because they are ostracized from society. Begging and sex work are the two only ways to make money. In a landmark judgment, the Indian supreme court ruled that transgender people had equal rights under the law, and granted legal status to a third gender in addition to male and female. But despite this, they have restricted access to education, health and public spaces and until recently were even excluded from effectively participating in social and cultural life. Brooke Bond Red Label’s objective was to force India to confront its prejudices and change the way ‘the third gender’ are perceived using the traditional mediums of music and dance.

The campaign garnered over 10 million views of the first 3 songs on YouTube and the campaign has reached over 25 million people with a PR value earned INR 100 million ($1.5m) for the 3 songs launched. The main aim of the campaign was broader acceptance which was achieved according to the brand.

My final pick from these Glass Lions winners Cannes 2016 is for Diageo’s “Never Alone” for Guinness, which was part of the brand’s Rugby World Cup campaign. Rejecting the macho category norms it told how Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas came out to his teammates and shows how inequality and prejudice are not solely women’s issues.

There were 151 entries in this category and apart from the Grand Prix, the jury awarded five Glass Lions. The other two winners were P&G India’s Dads Share the Load’, KAFA’S ‘Legally Bride’ which set out to challenge child marriages in Lebanon and also out of India for Make Love Not Scars a challenging makeup tutorial called ‘Beauty Tips by Reshma’ – an acid attack victim. I’ll be reviewing other categories and winners from Cannes in the next few weeks.

Claire Bridges is a former PR juror at Cannes and part of the Cannes Lions School of Creativity faculty 2016, running the masters of creativity course for the next generation of creative leaders.

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