Cannes Lions, arguably the ad industry’s most significant global awards festival, has wrapped for another year, and all the Grand Prix winners are listed below. Unlike in recent years there was not one winning campaign that got everyone talking, and instead there is a spread of over 25 pieces of work picking up the top gongs.
This might make 2018 a slightly less memorable year – there is no one project that sums up the year and the state of the industry in the way Fearless Girl did for 2017, say – but the mix of winners does a good job of showing the varied and sprawling ways that brands enter our consciousness these days.
Of the festival itself, this was a leaner year in many ways, with a shorter festival (a neat five days) and much talk of how much quieter it all was this time around. This of course means quiet in relative terms – the Croisette still thronged with ad folks, and the parties, bars and talks certainly had a healthy attendance. Yet some of the opulence and mania of recent years was undoubtedly dimmed. The test for the festival will be in whether this continues into next year, when Publicis will have ended its embargo on awards entries (via its agencies – there was still plenty of Publicis presence among the winners this year, via sideways entries from clients and collaborators) and returned to the party.
But while the festival, the parties and the meetings are now an integral part of the Cannes experience, the measure of the year still comes in the award-winning work. So let’s get on with it: here’s the 2018 Grand Prix winners.
Film Grand Prix – The Talk, P&G; It’s A Tide Ad, Tide
BBDO New York’s powerful film for P&G, which addressed racial bias in the US, shared the top spot with the popular It’s A Tide Ad set of films created by Saatchi & Saatchi New York for the Super Bowl in the Film category.
Titanium Grand Prix, Sustainable Development Goals and Direct Grand Prix – The Palau Pledge, Palau Legacy Project
Host/Havas and Red Agency followed their recent D&AD Black Pencil for The Palau Pledge, which asks visitors to Palau to sign an agreement in their passports not to damage the island’s resources, with three Grand Prix awards, in Titanium, Sustainable Development Goals and Direct.
Glass – Blood Normal, Libresse/Bodyform
AMV BBDO’s Blood Normal spot for Libresse/Bodyform, the first ad for period products to feature red blood rather than blue, won the Glass Lion: The Lion for Change Grand Prix.
Social & Influencer Grand Prix – Nothing Beats A Londoner, Nike
Wieden + Kennedy London’s storming ad for Nike (and in many ways the city of London itself) picked up the lone Grand Prix in Social & Influencer.
Innovation Grand Prix – My Line, powered by Google
The top award in Innovation went to My Line, Powered by Google by Mullenlowe SSP3 Bogota, a landline telephone number that people without an internet connection can use to access Google Assistant and get answers to their questions.
Product Design – Kingo
The Product Design Grand Prix went to Ogilvy Colombia for its work with King, a startup that supplies prepaid solar energy kits to communities that have no access to mains electricity.
Creative Data – JFK Unsilenced, The Times
In Creative Data, Rothco (Accenture) won for its JFK Unsilenced project for The Times, which recreated a ‘lost’ John F Kennedy speech using AI.
Entertainment Grand Prix – EVERT_45, KPN
N=5 Amsterdam won the Grand Prix in Entertainment for EVERT_45, for mobile phone company KPN. Each year on May 4 and 5, the Dutch commemorate those who died in the Second World War. This year, in order to connect to young people, N=5 created a fictional vlogger, EVERT_45, to use Instagram and YouTube to tell stories about his experiences as a young boy during the war.
Entertainment Lions for Music – Welcome Home, Apple; Smile, Jay-Z
There were two Entertainment Lions Grand Prix, for Apple’s charming film Welcome Home, directed by Spike Jonze and starring FKA twigs, and Jay-Z’s video for Smile, directed by Miles Jay.
Creative eCommerce – The Fanchise Model, Xbox
The Grand Prix for Creative eCommerce went to McCann London’s Xbox Design Lab Originals: The Fanchise Model, a store where gaming fans could customise their Xbox controllers.
Brand Experience and Activation – Today at Apple, Apple
Today at Apple won the Grand Prix in Brand Experience and Activation. Based in Apple Stores around the world, it offers a whole range of educational and inspirational sessions.
Industry Craft – First Steps, Kiwi Shoe Care
In the Industry Craft category, Ogilvy Chicago won for its copywriting on the First Steps campaign for SC Johnson’s Kiwi shoe polish brand, looking at the impact made by six important figures including Muhammad Ali.
Film Craft – Hope, Red Cross
The Film Craft Grand Prix went to Hope, a film for the Red Cross by Blur Films Madrid telling the harrowing story of a father’s attempt to get his daughter to a hospital in a war zone.
Digital Craft – Aeronaut VR, Billy Corgan
The Digital Craft Grand Prix went to Aeronaut VR by Isobar New York, a three-and-a-half-minute room-scale experience designed for Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan’s single, Aeronaut.
Design and PR – Trash Isles, Plastic Oceans/LADbible
LadBible and AMVBBDO’s Trash Isles campaign won the Grand Prix in both the Design and PR Lions. As we reported here, the campaign for The Plastic Oceans Foundation applied to the United Nations to have a mountain of trash in the North Pacific Ocean recognised as an official country, with Al Gore as its first citizen.
Mobile – Corruption Detector, ReclameAQUI
The Grand Prix in Mobile went to Corruption Detector by Grey Brasil for ReclameAQUI, which we reported on here. The face recognition app allows voters to check whether politicians have been implicated in Brazil’s corruption scandal ahead of its election.
Outdoor – Next Exit, McDonald’s; The Daily Show Presents: The Donald J Trump Presidental Twitter Library, Comedy Central
Cosette’s wayfinding campaign for McDonald’s Canada (which we wrote about here) took one of two Grand Prix in Outdoor.
The other went to Comedy Central New York for The Daily Show Presents: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library, an installation displaying both printed and live feeds of Presidential tweets. A virtual tour is available at www.thedailyshow.com/trumplibrary
Print & Publishing – Tagwords, Budweiser
Print & Publishing saw the Grand Prix go to Tagwords by Africa Sao Paulo for Budweiser/In Bev. In order to promote Budweiser to music fans and emphasise its heritage in that area, posters featured search terms that when entered into Google would bring up photographs of musicians holding the beer. So, for example, typing in ‘1978 ballroom holding Budweiser’ brings up a photo of Johnny Rotten and Malcolm McLaren clutching beers.
Radio – Soccer Song For Change, Carling Black Label/Anti Women Abuse Initiative
Ogilvy Cape Town’s Soccer Song For Change, which adapted the lyrics of a popular football song in South Africa to tell the story of a woman who is beaten by her husband after his team loses a match took the Radio Grand Prix.
Media – Tesco, Food Love Stories
Mediacom London and BBH London picked up the Media Grand Prix for its series of ‘food love stories’ films for supermarket chain Tesco.
Health & Wellness – Corazón, Montefiore Hospital
Grand Prix in the Health & Wellness Lions went to Corazón, from John X Hannes for the Montefiore Hospital. The 48-minute film and interactive campaign aims to boost the number of organ donors in New York using the story of one patient, Elena Ramirez.
Health Grand Prix for Good – Blink To Speak, Asha Ek Hope Foundation/NeuroGen Brain & Spine Institute
Blink to Speak from TBWA India for the Asha Ek Hope Foundation and NeuroGen Brain & Spine Institute claims to be the “world’s first eye language”. It aims to help paralysed patients to communicate by using 50 simple eye movements to convey what research told them were the most commonly-needed messages. It won the Health Grand Prix for Good.
Creative Effectiveness – Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks, ITC
Ogilvy Mumbai won the Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix for its project Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks, which aims to make education around handwashing fun.
Read more insights from the advertising industry and our Cannes Lions coverage here