Brian Cooper of Oliver: my Top Tips for Cannes

Brian Cooper is chief creative officer of global on-site agency network Oliver Group.


My Top Tips for Cannes

The real sport with Cannes is no longer guessing who is going to win, but guessing who is going to win what.

Cannes’ victors are often decided by the jurors, whether consciously or not, before they even sit down to discuss the creative. To win at Cannes nowadays, you need a full head of steam by the time you reach the Croissette. Those pieces of work that have achieved world fame over the preceding 12 months are the ones juries will most likely vote as the winners. It’s really that simple. With so many entries, who blames them for siding with the global consensus?

Therefore, the jurors’ difficult task lies in deciding if what they’re judging fits the award category it’s been entered into. In a strange paradox you could only find in advertising, the more Cannes creates more categories to extract revenue from agencies, the more agencies enter category-disruptive work in the hope of winning as many gongs as possible. So..who will win what?

Victoria Transport Accident Commission – Meet Graham

First and foremost, we have the greatest use of data and a museum exhibit space ever. Crafted from data, Graham is the perfect human form to withstand a car crash. Arresting, brilliantly original and utterly modern, this has a chance for the Grand Prix in Creative Data, PR, Integrated, Direct and maybe even Titanium.

Gatorade – Match Point with Serena Williams

Equally inventive is Gatorade’s Match Point, an 8-bit video game starring Serena Williams in ESPN’s Snapchat Discover channel. Match Point is the first multi-level video game playable in a Snapchat ad, taking users through 22 levels of tennis – one for each of the 22 Grand Slam singles titles Serena’s won over the course of her 17-year career. A strong contender for Media, Cyber and Mobile.

Mouvement Du Nid – Girls of Paradise

There will be lots of ‘good cause’ advertising for the jurors to see, but none more shocking and poignant than Mouvement Du Nid’s offering. The charity created an escort website where all the women were already dead, victims of violent crime. When potential clients engaged with the website, they were disclosed the story of how the women died, thus confronting them with the consequences of their actions. It changed the law in France, penalising clients of prostitution. A worthy, more than noble contender for the Glass Lion.

Sandy Hook Promise – Evan

Here we have another charity blurring the lines between advertising and branded content. Evan from the Sandy Hook Promise seems like a simple enough high school romance, until the film rewinds, taking you back over what you’ve witnessed to reveal a sinister character lurking in the shadows, ready to mow everyone down with his arsenal of weapons. A striking, bold statement that’s definitely one to look out for in the Entertainment Lions.

Channel 4 – We’re the Superhumans.

Finally, a more conventional ad from Channel 4 with We’re the Superhumans. I already thought the first one was fantastic, but then Channel 4 went and outdid itself…again. I originally watched this on Channel 4 – which is rare these days as I watch everything on catch up – and it just blew me away. It’s the absolute peak, the epitome of excellent craft, creativity and marketing holding hands and making a proper go of it. The last one racked up a Grand Prix. This year’s Film and Film Craft Grands Prix are almost surely guaranteed. Everyone else in these categories should just go home now and spare themselves the embarrassment.

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