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Mike Nicholson of Brave: my Top Tips for Cannes


Mike Nicholson is executive creative director of independent London agency Brave.

My Top Tips for Cannes

My first pick is Meet Graham, the only person designed to survive on our roads. Part interactive sculpture, part educational tool and ultimately a catalyst for conversation, Graham shows us how the human body would need to change to survive a car crash. Using decades of road safety data, medical research and creativity a trauma surgeon, a road safety engineer and a world-renowned artist reimagined the human form to deliver evolution underpinned by evidence. I love how this piece combines art, data and science to make us all take note. But most importantly, in the face of a rising road toll, it makes people stop and consider their own vulnerability. I’m sure Graham will win loads of lions and hope he continues to save hundreds of lives.

Next up are the Doctors of the World Christmas Cards. As we know every Christmas, we see romanticised images of the ‘Holy Land’. Everything looks calm and peaceful. Yet today, the Middle East is ravaged by war. Doctors of the World brought this inconvenient reality to the fore with #RealityXmas – a set of Christmas cards designed to spark debate, provoke outrage, get petition signatures and increase donations.

Combining traditional nativity scenes with 2016 editorial war images, the cards spread across the world, gaining an unprecedented response. For me this turns the traditional agency Christmas card brief on it’s head and provides awareness and funding to a deserving cause.

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My final pick is Channel 4’s We’re the Superhumans. With an aim to rectify a shocking statistic that 67% of people in the UK felt uncomfortable talking to a disabled person, this beautifully crafted film focuses on more than just a sporting event. It uses the opportunity to fundamentally change attitudes towards disability.

Every scene does this by celebrating ability in its widest sense – from winning a gold medal, through to something as everyday as brushing one’s teeth. I’m sure this will go on to break records as one of the most awarded ads of all time.

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