Daniel Bonner, global CCO Wunderman Thompson: my Top Tips for Cannes

Fighting Talk: A winning prediction or three for Cannes Lions 2023

Yes, 2023 will be a year like all others as agencies will return eager to claim the most revered prizes in advertising as they come ready to fight it out once again for top honours at the world championship of creativity and innovation. The festival, more diverse than ever, is celebrating the best work across even more categories with new opportunities for Gaming and Metaverse-aligned work, as well as recent inclusions such as the Creative Business Transformation and Creative B2B Lions. While these new additions give us more opportunities to celebrate the best work, it makes predicting the work that will trouble the judges all the more difficult to pin-point.

However, the one thing that is sure to persist (the trend that is always worthy of merit and the behaviour that never ceases to command respect in those Palais jury rooms), is the fight. Not the punch-up kind of nonsense – I’m talking about those inspiring acts of creativity that fight for better. The inspired act or solution, created on behalf of a worthy problem. The uprising against the “well, that’s how it’s always been”. The fight and obvious struggle to even make it happen as competing teams took up combat with complexity, inertia, complacency and ‘the easy option’.

In my opinion, these three entrants fought like Lions… and therefore deserve one or two in return:

Calm/ The Last Photo
In the UK alone 125 people take their own lives each week (suicide is the biggest killer of young men under 35) and this simple but powerful campaign from the UK is a fight to end the social stigma and make people aware that talking is the best antidote. The campaign leads with the claim “Suicidal doesn’t always look suicidal” highlighting the invisible symptoms and dramatizing that truth with The Last Photo – a series of seemingly normal every day, photographs, and portraits until it is revealed that these are the last photos taken of people that all died by suicide.

Honest Egg Co’s FitChix
Proving that a purposeful approach (in this case, on behalf of ethical and sustainable farming) can be a guilt-free, uplifting fight for true “Free Range” farming, the Honesty Egg Co’s FitChix project is wonderfully simple. By creating an ergonomic, chicken-friendly fitness tracker, every Honesty Egg Co chicken could prove just how much space it was farmed in as the bird’s steps were monitored and then printed on every egg they laid. Qualifying that an Honesty Egg Co. chicken is fighting fit… and a healthy chicken means even better tasting eggs.

FCAS – The Blue Square Project – The fight against antisemitic hate
While only 2.4% of the American population is Jewish, this community are the victims of 55% of all religious based hate crimes. In a fight against hate, the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS) launched a campaign to mobilise all American people to #StandUpToJewishHate with one unifying, universal, digital, and physical symbol – a small but mighty symbol of solidarity to combat the most defiant and divisive of enemies, hate. The Blue Square showed up as 2.4% of media formats everywhere, fighting to be seen and visualising a problem that the people of America couldn’t always see even if it was happening all around them.

Daniel Bonner is global chief creative officer, Wunderman Thompson.

This is an amended version of an earlier article.

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