The Romans’ Viola Hazlerigg: my Top Tips for Cannes

If an advert lands on the box and nobody is there to watch it, does it really make a sound? I don’t think so.

I’m likely biassed, but I think the big gongs this year should go to the campaigns that were truly integrated. The ones that came loaded with a heavy portion of PR and a big old dollop of digital. The ones that were seen by the many, not the few. Spoken about down the pub, spied on a mate’s social and shared in the group chat. Those that drove impact and momentum across multiple channels.

Mastercard’s Touch Card: McCann New York

With that in mind, the first of my selects is ‘Touch Card’ by Mastercard. Bedded in the rich insight that the payment sector and new card innovation overlooks the visually impaired, they created a series of new ones with varying shaped notches. Each designed to help this group differentiate between debit, credit and prepaid cards when pulling out their wallet. To celebrate the launch, they created an ad using audio description only. A simple, effective solve for a societal issue that needed a solution. Very well paid.

Visit Iceland’s Out Horse Your Inbox: SS+K

Next up, Visit Iceland’s ‘Out Horse Your Inbox’. For me, this was a campaign that had everything. Grounded in the truism that we’re all t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e at switching off on holiday, they powered the world’s OOO emails, loading them with a hefty whack of Icelandic wit. The campaign consisted of a sexy ad ft. geysers and greenery that made everyone want to go to Iceland. They also created an OOO generator so punters could genuinely have theirs penned by adorable ponies.

Heinz’ AI Ketchup: Rethink Canada

Finally, it wouldn’t be 2023 if I didn’t nod to the noise of AI. Quick off the mark and a smart continuation of their ‘It Has To Be Heinz’ strategy, was ‘AI Ketchup’. Plugging ‘Ketchup Bottle’ into Dall.e 2 they showed the strength and enormous brand equity of their red sauce. The images became their ads, they created new labels for limited edition bottles, they even showed the result in a Metaverse gallery. It was clever, current, cross-channel, so big kudos to the team. I also, and perhaps separately, really like Ketchup.

Viola Hazlerigg is associate creative director of The Romans, part of the Mother family.

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