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The Or’s Metz ti Bryan: my top tips for Cannes

By Metz ti Bryan, production partner at The Or London

Well, here we are again. Cannes Lions is imminent, and whisperings over potential winners are rife. There are the campaigns that will inevitably score gongs – Orange France’s ‘la Compil des Bleues‘ for example – and then there is the work that will become more niche creative references for the next decade of agency decks. There is no doubt that Cannes still sets up the creative mark for the year to come.

There’s a lot to talk about this year. The new humour category for one. It will be interesting to see how humour cuts through in the array of international entries and to see which content tickles the jury’s funny bones. Then there’s a greater focus on creators, with the release of the Creator pass, indicating a growing emphasis on how these individuals contribute and fit into this world.

And of course, AI. I’m not sure if the world needs more AI or not, but last year saw several AI-centered entries, and we’ll likely be gifted with a whole lot more in 2024. Now that AI seems to be here to stay, how it develops and evolves will be something I am sure we will all be watching closely and I’ll be very curious to see who will be leading the way.

And now onto my ones to watch.

CeraVe | Michael CeraVe

The battle of the Super Bowl ads is always fun to watch play out, but for me, there’s one clear winner, and that is Michael CeraVe. Built up weeks before the big game with hilarious PR stunts, this spot stood out amongst a sea of celebrity-filled Super Bowl ads in its pure unexpected silliness. And audiences clearly agreed, with the ad being one of the most praised and discussed on social.

We love a celebrity who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, and this was a hilarious take on beauty ad tropes. Ridiculously reliant on Michael Cera saying ‘yes’, the spot is bound to do well in the new humour category. It is a weird brand collaboration that makes perfect sense. More puns like this, please.

Stok’d | Next to Stok’d

One of my favourite parts about Cannes Lions is seeing the array of international campaigns that I may have otherwise missed. So, in a nod to my home country, I wanted to shout out ‘Next to Stok’d’; a campaign that demonstrates how creativity can permit the circumvention of advertising regulations in the most imaginative of ways.

To avoid Canada’s cannabis advertising rules, cannabis chain Stok’d created an ad campaign based around the neighbouring businesses of four of its stores that featured not-so-subtle nods to its address and weed-based wares. Laden with stoner innuendo, it’s not only funny but also shines a light on neighbouring small businesses. A win-win situation that encapsulates the culture and character of the brand and cements Stok’d as a part of the community.

Channel 4 | Idents 2023

There are always campaigns that are guaranteed to do pretty well at Cannes, and Channel 4’s Idents is one of those. And rightfully so! The Idents film is craft at its best. I am sure that I wasn’t the only one in the industry who wished they had been a part of a campaign like this. Truly poetry in motion, it connects 25 scenes with varying styles, looping them together in a seamless dimension; a real visual spectacle and production masterpiece.

With 17 different directors, photographers, makers and artists, employing a mixture of live action, animation and full CG, over John Joseph Holt’s poem about modern Britain, it is also collaboration at its best and a definite showstopper. Hugely deserving of the many gongs I am sure it will receive.

Metz ti Bryan, production partner at The Or London

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