Laurence Green: my Top Tip for Cannes – and how to make better use of the festival

Top Tip for Cannes

I blame ‘Fearless Girl.’ An awards show-stopper that ushered in, or at least lent added momentum to, the era of purpose-led activation: the ‘beautiful distraction’, as it’s been called, from using our creativity to actually engineer true business change for our clients. A worthy winner – literally – from, er, who was it again? (No Googling.)

Like most people, I don’t know what’s going to win at Cannes next week – there’s no obvious Awards monster this year, good as ‘Last Photo’ and ‘The Greatest’ are – but I do have one hope and one, related tip for awards-watchers nonetheless.

The hope is that this year’s mix of winners is a truer reflection of the day-to-day work that we do for our clients, and of the work that we know works best. In short: creative communication commissioned for commercial, not just altruistic motives, related as they sometimes are. Stuff that constitutes part of a longer campaign, which is where the big wins live; where creative and media truly align. Work like ‘Skinny’ (already tipped by my peers) and work like this, also from New Zealand:

Special New Zealand ‘Last Performance’

My tip is a more general one: don’t just stare at the Grand Prix winners and the Golds. Roam more widely in the hinterland of silvers and bronzes. Here you will find great work that divided opinion. Great work that lacks novelty value. Great work, perhaps, where recognition at Cannes was a plausible outcome, but not the objective.

Laurence Green is the newly-appointed director of effectiveness at UK trade body the IPA. He is a co-founder of two UK agencies: Fallon and 101.

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