We Are Social has updated our Cannesogram, an interactive cartogram based on Cannes Lions wins over the last decade, to include the 2016 results. Our Cannesogram skews country sizes and colours based on Lions success over the last decade – so the bigger and darker the country, the more successful it has been.
Overall, the clear winner for 2016 is the United States, which scooped 1 Grand Prix, 43 Golds, 87 Silvers and 88 bronze awards. Running second is Brazil, which scored 19 Golds, 24 Silvers and 74 bronze awards, and third is the UK with one Grand Prix, 15 gold, 42 silver and 48 bronze awards.
So how did the results play out by category?
In the Cyber category the US emerged victorious, scooping awards for a wide number of consumer goods and tech companies including Airbnb, Spotify, Paypal and Pinterest. Cause-related campaigns swept the board for the US, with UNICEF’s Malak and the Boat winning three Gold awards. Other cause-related campaigns from the US did well, with REI’s anti-Black Friday campaign #OptOutside winning gold, along with the Ad Council’s beautifully simple anti-bullying campaign I Am A Witness - the first ever emoji created for a social cause which has so far created over one billion, billion impressions. Another gold went to Norton’s ‘Most Dangerous Town On the Internet’ documentary about a hacker town in Bulgaria.
Grand Prix awards went to the Netherlands for the ING Next Rembrandt campaign, an ambitious project that claims to bring Dutch master Rembrandt "back to life" via a 3D-printed painting. Spain also won a Grand Prix for the Justino Christmas Lottery ad, a tear-jerker about Justino, who works the graveyard shift at a factory but finds ways to connect with his colleagues by using the factory’s mannequins.
The US is the clear winner for this category, with 9 bronze, 7 silver and 5 golds. Scooping Gold was the Pantene Dad-Do campaign, a series of short ads featuring NFL football players doing their daughters’ hair. The series uses the impact that quality time between fathers and daughters can positively impact on girls’ self-esteem.
The Grand Prix went to Sweden Tourist Board’s Swedish Number campaign, which involved creating a telephone number which would put the caller through to a ‘random Swede’ who would answer their questions about, well, anything, from meatballs to northern lights to feminism.
Again, the US swept the board, with 14 bronze, 12 silver and 5 gold awards. Seven of those were for insurance firm Geico, with its ridiculous ‘It’s what you do’ series including Spy, Reunion and Countdown.
The UK won its one and only Grand Prix for Harvey Nichols’ app ad. The ad, which uses cartoon faces on real life CCTV footage of shoplifters, warns shoppers who ‘love freebies’ they can get them legally by downloading their app.
The US won 9 bronze and 8 silver awards, but Australia won the most golds, and New Zealand scooped the Grand Prix with Y&R NZ Australia’s McWopper campaign for Burger King. For anyone who by some miracle missed this campaign, Burger King publically challenged McDonald’s to join forces to create the ultimate burger to celebrate Peace Day. When McDonald’s declined, Burger King teamed up with a host of other burger competitors for a pop-up burger shop combining all their finest processed meat.
OutdoorBrazil emerged victorious with 38 bronze, 8 silver and 3 golds. The Golds were won by AlmapBDDO Sao Paolo for the Getty Images outdoor campaign which created the faces of Prince Charles, Angela Merkel and the Dalai Lama from hundreds of existing shots in the Getty Images library.
The Grand Prix went to New Zealand’s Brewtroleum campaign, which positioned Heineken’s DB Export lager as the solution to the world’s problems, thanks to its biofuel processing plant.
The USA also did well in this category with 5 bronze, 6 silver and 2 golds. Netflix’s creation of a new year countdown to play before children went to bed scooped a gold, along with Saltwater Brewery’s environmentally-friendly Edible Six Pack rings campaign. The Grand Prix went to Sweden, for Coop’s The Organic Effect. This short and simple ad featured a Swedish family who had never eaten organic food, and analysed their urine for chemicals before and after a two week organic-only trial.
Again, the US emerged a clear winner with 14 bronze, 13 silver, 9 golds and the grand prix for REI’s #OptOutside campaign. Another interesting winner was Airbnb’s Van Gogh BNB, in which the Art Institute of Chicago recreated the bedroom immortalised in the Bedroom in Arles painting and allowed people to book to stay there through Airbnb.
Print & Publishing
New Zealand won the grand prix for the McWopper campaign full page ad, which took the form of an open letter to McDonald’s.
The print and publishing category, formerly known as press, was dominated by Brazil which scooped 13 bronze, 10 silver and 13 gold awards for campaigns including Getty, Freddo chocolates and the Leica Gallery.
South Africa emerged victorious for this category with three grand prix, 6 golds, 13 silver and 12 bronze awards. The Grand Prix went to the Everyman Meal – Coloured Weights, a KFC ad which accepts every kind of man as a true man - even men who speedwalk, enjoy synchronised swimming and use the coloured weights section in the gym. The series won several other gold awards.
The bottom line
This year’s Lions have revealed the world’s huge capacity for creative talent. Striking, meaningful, memorable and funny campaigns that make a real impact have been the ones to take home the prizes. In previous years, the Lions have been very cause focused, with huge numbers of awards going to charity and NGO campaigns. This year we saw a shift, with the majority of winners, outside of the Cybers at least, being far less cause driven, and much more commercial and brand focused.
Cannes has committed for several years to make the awards more strategic and take into account business impact as well as creative vision. Changes have been made, but slowly. In uncertain times, nervous marketeers will need to justify advertising spend perhaps more than ever before. Hopefully, the country that rules the Lions next year will be the one not just with the biggest creative ideas, but the best strategic thinking, too.