The Best Advertising Ideas in The World, Recapping The 2018 Cannes Winners

Cannes was last week. The 2018 festival was different from previous years–shorter and (reportedly) a little less of a party atmosphere. Quartz had the best coverage with a nightly email that rolled through the best presentations, big award winners and interesting things overheard from attendees.

The Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity is an annual celebration of the best creative advertising ideas in the world. While there was no shortage of great ads this year, as a whole, the portfolio of winning ideas was perhaps “smaller” than previous years. There was no “Dumb Ways To Die” or “Fearless Girl” or “Old Spice Guy” or “LikeAGirl” that the industry will reference for years with universal awareness and understanding. Despite this, there were amazingly clever creative executions that, no doubt, pushed boundaries and moved brands forward.

For easy reference and quick appreciation, here are some of the Grand Prix winners across some of the biggest categories which particularly caught our eye.

Overall, the biggest Cannes winner was “The Palau Pledge” taking three Grand Prix across the Direct, Sustainable and Titanium categories. Agency: HostHavas/Australia.

In the Film category, Tide’s funny and insightful Super Bowl “It’s A Tide Ad” shared the Grand Prix with P&G’s powerful and important, “The Talk“. Agencies were Saatchi/NY and BBDO/NY, respectively.

Many people had a hunch that Nike’s “Nothing Beats a Londoner” would win big, and it did, taking the Grand Prix for Social & Influence award for W+K/London.

The Innovation Grand Prix went to “My Line” for Google which allows anyone, anywhere with any type of phone (legacy or feature) to call in and ‘search’ Google. Agency was Mullenlowe SSP3/Bogota.

In Creative Data the Grand Prix went to Accenture (yes, the consulting firm) for “JKF Unsilenced” which cleverly uses AI to piece together the speech that President John F. Kennedy would have said on that day in Dallas in 1963.

The Entertainment category saw Apple’s HomePod ad win (surprising no one), as well as Jay-Z’s “Smile“.

Apple also won the Brand Experience category for their “Today At Apple” in-store activities.

Industry Craft went to a print ad by Ogilvy/Chicago for Kiwi shoe polish–showing that long copy can still win out. (Note: Last year this agency/client team won at Cannes for something highly innovative.)

Both the Design and PR Grand Prix’s went to the “Trash Isles” which, sadly, attempts to make a country out of a huge floating ‘island’ of trash in the pacific. AMVBBDO is the agency for the social awareness effort.

Print and Publishing was won by “Tagwords” from Budweiser which allowed music fans to type in a phrase seen on a poster or ad that would bring up images of musicians holding Budweiser. Agencies: LadBible and AMVBBDO.

There were many more winners; check around the Cannes site and discover the best advertising ideas that speak to you.