3 July 2015

Well done to all the winning agencies for flying the SA flag in Cannes. Apart from the Lions South Africa hauled home this year, three of our Creative Circle Exco members also brought back some valuable insights from their various juries. We asked them to share some of their experiences from the judges chambers to the Croisette as we explore the place where creativity and effectiveness intersects. See their thoughts and the SA winners below.

Justin Gomes, Creative Circle Chairperson


Graham Lang, Creative Circle Exco Member and Chief Creative Officer at Y&R South Africa

Graham2 Ja, but did it work? Did it drive sales? Did it create awareness? Did it really create a movement? Important questions, all of them. As long you are not being cynical they are great questions. But if your mind has been made up already that Cannes is about the industry talking to the industry then you really are missing out on some pretty amazing stuff. I have attended Cannes in many different capacities. As a Junior Art Director, from the UK, as a CCO and now as a Jury member. And the one thing that I always question is, did it work. You’d be silly not to.

Let’s a look at some of the big winners. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Did it work? Yes. Geico’s Unskippable Ad. Did it work? A pre-roll ad with millions of views and shares. Domino’s Emoji Ordering. Does it work? Yes, you can order pizza with a firkin EMOJI!!! The iPhone 6 Billboards? Worked in a big way. Ok, you get the point. There are many more campaigns that are there to stand testament to the notion that creativity and effectiveness share the same DNA. You either get it or you remain cynical. Let’s move on.

The thing that is threatening Cannes the most are people that are not there to look at the work. Let’s start with the tech companies. I stumbled in on a Facebook event that was taking place in the hotel that I was staying in. It was a briefing session to all FB reps in Cannes. They were being given some very direct guidance on how to ‘interact” and “engage” with the advertising community. They are in Cannes to take your attention off the work. By inviting you to their free beach with their free smoothies, free yoga sessions, free massages and onto what ever it is they want to sell you, all so that you use their platform in order for them to get closer to your clients so that they can work closer with your clients. You can connect the dots.

Then there’s the Rose set. Most of them belong to the film production industry. It’s lunches here, dinners there, boat trips to anywhere. Tempting an fun but again it takes you attention off the work.

Then there are the Cynics. Many of them are journalist. They cannot seem to realize that they have been given the most incredible opportunity to celebrate the industry and the good that it does. But instead they look to sensationalise the industry by looking for scandal or a misleading rumor from the gutter bar. That becomes the headline news and in turn the topic of conversation. Again, taking your attention off the work.

For me Cannes has always been about the work. Looking at the work. Talking about the work. I think the distractions in Cannes will grow and therefore the work will become harder to spend time with. So my advice is to see beyond the hype. Navigate the obvious floors. Find the magic and take home the inspiration because there is no better place to see how our industry can push brands and organizations to places we never thought possible.


Pepe Marais, Creative Circle Exco Member and Chief Creative Officer at Joe Public

Pepe2An incredibly inspiring two weeks that has changed my view in so many ways and a show that I will not miss easy in future. On the panel that I represented South Africa on, there was an absolute drive towards seeking and rewarding work that was real with measurable impact and results. And with results not just meaning media impressions, but actual sales. Work such as Volvo’s Interception.

That said, we couldn’t overlook pure outstanding ideas when even done on a small scale for brands such as Nivea and Burger King. These are the kind of ideas that drives our industry forward, no matter how small. They are on the fringe, but isn’t that how Malcolm Gladwell’s marketing tipping point works? Start with the trailblazer?

And then the Ice Bucket Challenge. Irrefutable when considered that it actually raised R3 billion for the cause. It must be the most spectacular result in the history of fundraising.

And yes, across the board a move towards brands doing good and a fair share of emotional connection. And yes too, as some syndical observers mentioned, “shouldn’t we just sell fucking toilet paper sometimes?” But shouldn’t we leave the hard sell up to the 99% other stuff that we do? Let’s face it, Cannes is the top 1% that’s out there in the world.

In the end, I return inspired to do greater work, whether it makes you cry with tears of sorrow or laughter.


Ahmed Tilly, Creative Circle Exco Member and ECD at Black River FC

Ahmed2Cannes was different for me. As a first-time judge, I found inspiration in more ways than usual. The people I served a judging panel with were incredible. To have access to some of the greatest creative minds in the world was an absolute gift. It was also reassuring that they are all striving for the very same end result we in South Africa are: magic. 

I judged the outdoor category, which was the largest category in Cannes with over 5100 entries this year. The days of judging were intense but the result very satisfying. Winners in the category, which by the way is quite varied, included everything from simple posters to technologically advanced outdoor activations and executions. 

The Grand Prix in our category was awarded to the Apple’s “shot on an i-phone 6” integrated campaign. Interestingly, one of the reasons it was favoured was because it was a big, well-seen, campaign that found a human interaction for one of the world’s most advanced piece of technology. 

The Golds were all superb, my favourites being the Samsung Safety Truck, “the Marathon Walker” for Water for Africa, the “Look at Me” billboard for Women’s Aid and “Security Moms” for Recife Football Club. I must be honest though, I had quite a few favourites that landed Silver and Bronzes instead of Golds. The lesson I learnt first-hand is that at Cannes, a short-list is very valuable and not to be dismissed. 

I left Cannes jealous of some of the work on show. I left feeling really good about what we are able to do as creative people. I left feeling a little sad too, that creativity doesn’t get the respect it deserves in our country and perhaps the world. I left Cannes feeling like I have to do better work. And I did feel that as South Africans we need to dig deeper if we want to make the rest of the world stand up and be jealous of our work. 

Individual Agency Cannes Results

TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris JHB211231
Y&R SA121021
Ogilvy & Mather JHB12215
Joe Public3312
DDB SA1510
Ogilvy & Mather CT169
FoxP2 CT147
KingJames CT147
Ireland Davenport125
Publicis Machine CT114
Gloo@Ogilvy CT13
Grid Worldwide Branding & Design22
Hardy Boys22
Hellocomputer CT22

Group Agency Cannes Results

TBWA SA (Jhb/CT/Dbn/Grid)211433
Ogilvy & Mather SA (Jhb/CT/Dbn/Gloo)14827
Y&R SA (Jhb/CT)121021
Joe Public3312
BBDO SA (140/Net#Work)1110
DDB SA1510
FoxP2 (Jhb/CT)147
KingJames Group (CT/Jhb/)147
Ireland Davenport125
Publicis Machine (Jhb/CT)114
FCB SA (Jhb/CT/Hellocomputer)44
JWT SA (Hardy Boys)22

Cannes Winners

GOLD LIONBBDO AfricaGuinness 'Made of Black'Film
GOLD LIONOgilvy & Mather JhbSuntory 'Night Before the Project'Radio - Non Alcoholic Drink
GOLD LIONTBWA\Hunt\Lascaris JhbTiger Brands/Doom 'Lance the Bedbug/The O'Flannegan Cockroaches/Cheryl the Moth'Radio - Household
GOLD LIONTBWA\Hunt\Lascaris JhbTiger Brands/Doom 'Lance the Bedbug/The O'Flannegan Cockroaches/Cheryl the Moth'Radio - Scriptwriting
SILVER LIONDDB SAWrigley 'Country/Opera/Disney'Radio - Campaign
SILVER LIONTBWA\Hunt\Lascaris JhbFlight Centre 'Music Fest/Beer Fest'Radio - Campaign
SILVER LIONY&R SAJaguar Land Rover SA 'Crocodile/Eagle/Lion'Film
BRONZE LIONBBDO AfricaGuinness 'Made of Black'Film Craft
BRONZE LIONFoxP2National Geographic Kids Magazine 'Bear/Snake/Ice Caps/Bees/Fish'Press
BRONZE LIONIreland-DavenportNational Museum of Military History 'Cup of Life'Direct - Dimensional Mailing
BRONZE LIONJoe PublicDial Direct 'The Notebook'Film
BRONZE LIONJoe PublicPopulation Services International 'Fine Line'Outdoor - Illustration
BRONZE LIONJoe PublicCinemark /Experience App 'Vote SA'Promo/Activation
BRONZE LIONKingJames CTSanlam 'One Rand Man'Branded Content - On Line Series
BRONZE LIONOgilvy & Mather JhbSuntory 'Team Building Weekend/Lacing Up your High Tops'Radio - Campaign
BRONZE LIONOgilvy & Mather JhbSuntory 'Team Building Weekend/Lacing Up your High Tops'Radio - Scriptwriting
BRONZE LIONOgilvy & Mather CTVolkswagen SA 'Terminal Velocity'Outdoor
BRONZE LIONPublicis Machine CTHasbro 'Cookies'Outdoor
BRONZE LIONY&R SAJaguar Land Rover SA 'Spider/Scorpion/Leech'Outdoor
BRONZE LIONY&R SAX-News 'Goat/Starve/Hell'Press
SHORTLISTDDB SAWrigley 'Country/Opera/Disney'Radio - Performance
SHORTLISTFCB CTBMW Motorrad/BMW S1000RR 'Couch'Press
SHORTLISTFCB CTCape Union Mart/K-Way Tents 'Prime Property'Press
SHORTLISTGrid Worldwide Branding & DesignAnti-Est '#Unlearn'Design - Print
SHORTLISTGrid Worldwide Branding & DesignAnti-Est '#Unlearn'Design - Poster
SHORTLISTHellocomputer CTPeninsula School Feeding Association 'Social Feed'Cyber
SHORTLISTHellocomputer CTPeninsula School Feeding Association 'Social Feed'Media - Use of Social Platform
SHORTLISTIreland DavenportSalvation Army '#The Dress'Media - Public Awareness
SHORTLISTIreland-DavenportNational Museum of Military History 'Cup of Life'Direct - Branding
SHORTLISTJoe PublicPopulation Services International 'Lovers & Condoms'Outdoor - Toiletries
SHORTLISTJoe PublicCinemark/Experience App 'Vote SA'Media - Use of Screens
SHORTLISTJoe PublicDial Direct 'A Lifetime a Minute'Radio
SHORTLISTKingJames CTSanlam 'One Rand Man'Promo & Activation
SHORTLISTKingJames CTSanlam 'One Rand Man'Branded Content/Entertainment-Integrated Camp.
SHORTLISTKingJames CTSanlam 'One Rand Man'PR
SHORTLISTKingJames CTComair 'Rugby Windows'Radio
SHORTLISTOgilvy CTVolkswagen SA 'Balcony/Driveway/Wheelchair Ramp'Press-Service
SHORTLISTOgilvy CTVolkswagen SA/Golf R 'Terminal Velocity'Press
SHORTLISTOgilvy CTAudi SA 'First Love/Judgy Mom'Radio
SHORTLISTPublicis Machine CTAdidas 'Contortionist'Radio
SHORTLISTTBWA\Hunt\Lascaris JhbFlight Centre/Student Flights 'Grandpa'Film
SHORTLISTTBWA\Hunt\Lascaris JhbFlight Centre/Student Flights 'Grandpa'Outdoor
SHORTLISTTBWA\Hunt\Lascaris JhbMedecins Sans Frontiers/Awareness Donations 'Tough Decisions'Direct
SHORTLISTTBWA\Hunt\Lascaris JhbFlight Centre/Student Flights 'Grandpa'Press
SHORTLISTTBWA\Hunt\LascarisFlight Centre 'Music Fest/Beer Fest/Beach Party'Radio - Scriptwriting
SHORTLISTThe Hardy BoysUnilver/Omo 'Clean Never Discovered Anything/Clean Never has Adventures'Press
SHORTLISTY&R SATravel Shoppe/Travel Agency 'Architect/Mushrooms'Press
SHORTLISTY&R SAJaguar Landrover SA/Landrover 'Leech'Press
SHORTLISTY&R SAJHB Zoo 'Night Tour'Promo & Activation

Please note:

1. The HEALTH & PHARMA Lions is not an official category in The Cannes Lions Festival. It is a totally separate event & is held before the official Cannes Festival begins. Cannes Lions do not include this category in their rankings/Agency of the Year or towards network points or upload this category on their Winners/Shortlist website results. Therefore the Creative Circle cannot endorse this category & award points to the agencies who did receive a Lion or was listed on the Shortlist.

2. To avoid double counting of creativity points, the highest score only is recorded, i.e. If an ad wins a Lion – the shortlist is omitted.

3. To calculate Creative Circle Points – if a Lion has been won for a campaign – the one ad will get the Gold/Silver/Bronze points, and the remainder get finalist points.