Cannes Lions is just around the corner. As the most prestigious award for the creative and marketing communications industry, Cannes Lions honors the most innovative and creative campaigns of the year. In a world where metrics and big data continue to monopolize much of the industry’s attention, these awards serve as an important reminder that creativity and human insight remain the bedrock of any successful campaign.
With that in mind, we wanted to take a quick look back at some of the most creative and innovative campaigns from recent Cannes Lions festivals and how they connected with Twitter’s audience. We hope these award-winning examples can offer inspiration for your next campaign and serve as a guide for how you can use Twitter to spread your message.
State Street Global Advisors’ Cannes Lions-winning Fearless Girl statue was incredibly timely, considering it predated both the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, as well as a record-breaking number of US women running for office. By co-opting a traditionally male space and turning it into a symbol of female empowerment, this statute of a defiant little girl made a powerful statement and got a huge reaction on Twitter. Within the first 12 hours of being placed, #FearlessGirl generated over 1 billion views. Five weeks later, Tweets about #FearlessGirl had reached 3.3 billion views, and finally 4.6 billion at the 12-week mark. Clearly this 50-inch bronze statue — now famous across the globe — tapped into something real.
Droga5 received a Cyber Grand Prix for its ingenious MailChimp campaign that capitalized on what seemed like a weakness: the fact that many people had never heard of MailChimp. Droga5 created nine ads with word pairings that rhyme with MailChimp: #MaleCrimp, #JailBlimp, #KaleLimp, etc. For example, one ad promoted a fake movie called #MailShrimp about a mailboy and his singing shrimp sandwich. When people googled #MailShrimp or any of the other word pairings, they were redirected to MailChimp. People on Twitter enjoyed the fun, high-quality assets that accompanied each word pairing and were excited to talk about the brand on Twitter and elsewhere.
REI won nine Cannes Lions for its innovative and high-stakes campaign based on a surprising insight: many people were getting tired of the Black Friday consumerism frenzy. REI tapped into its customers’ passion for the great outdoors by closing every REI store on Black Friday, paying all of their employees to take the day off and encouraging people to spend the day outside instead of in shopping lines. This action was easily translated to Twitter, where REI’s customers (and soon-to-be customers) declared their support with the #OptOutside hashtag. #OptOutside sparked a movement on Twitter that both challenged perceptions of what consumers want on Black Friday and deepened REI’s customers’ connection to the brand through shared values. Over the past three years, more than 15 million people and 700 organizations have participated in #OptOutside.
Each of these brands achieved huge success by connecting with its audience on a human level. By moving these powerful ideas onto Twitter with high-quality assets and creative hashtags, the brands were able to spark reactions, conversation, and sharing, thereby spreading their message far beyond the confines of traditional media.
When designing your next campaign, remember that forging a human connection is the key to reaching millions. Learn more about what goes into a winning campaign, straight from a Cannes judge, and take a closer look at other standout campaigns.