It will surely be an epic festival for Volvo Trucks. But who else will go Lion hunting in Cannes this year?
Adweek again partnered with Leo Burnett for this preview of front-runners for next week's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. "Epic Split" may be the No. 1 seed, but plenty of work showed impressive flexibility and ingenuity over the past 18 months. Below are 25 campaigns from 11 countries that could soon be the talk of the Croisette and beyond.
Burnett identified four key themes this year: the reemergence of the classic product demo (e.g., "Epic Split"); technology with a purpose (Nike SB app; Samsung's Smart Bike); visceral moments of connection (Honda's Ayrton Senna installation; Adidas' D Rose Jump Store); and longform and documentary-style content (Guinness; Skype). Much of this work, though, defies categorization, taking lessons from the past and producing something entirely new— signposts to the future.
Visit adweek.com/cannes all next week for real-time reports from the festival, including video interviews, analysis, winners' galleries and more.
Chipotle, ‘The Scarecrow’
• CAA Marketing, Los Angeles
CAA enlisted Fiona Apple and Moonbot Studios for this gorgeous, haunting animation, a dystopian fantasy in which a scarecrow flees an industrial food company run by evil crows and opens his own restaurant in the countryside.
Terre des Hommes, ‘Sweetie’
• Lemz, Amsterdam
To track down pedophiles engaging in webcam child sex tourism, Lemz created "Sweetie," a computerized version of a 10-year-old Filipino girl, who was sent into online forums and ended up catching some 1,000 predators from 71 countries.
HBO Go, ‘Awkward Family Viewing’
• SS+K, New York
Watching sex scenes with your parents just isn't that fun, this ad reminds us. HBO Go lets you watch its notoriously racy shows far from the family room.
Samsung, ‘Maestros Academy: Smart Bike’
• Leo Burnett, Milan
Samsung created the first digital conservatory, Maestros Academy, to foster the next generation of Italian artisans. One of its first productions: a digitally connected smart bicycle designed by a student and a master bike frame builder.
• AMV BBDO, London
The "Made of More" campaign profiled the Society of Elegant Persons of the Congo, or "Sapeurs," who dedicate their off hours to effortless savoir faire.
Inakadate Village, ‘Rice-Code’
• Hakuhodo, Tokyo
Hakuhodo created giant artworks in fields of grain. They became tourist attractions and were scannable, so people could order rice on their phones.
Harvey Nichols, ‘Sorry, I Spent It on Myself’
• Adam&EveDDB, London
The department store played Grinch, advertising ultra-cheap gag gifts so you could spend more on yourself.
Nike, ‘The Nike SB App’
• R/GA, New York
The skateboarding app offered immersive tools to learn the hardest tricks, monitor and share progress, play games and build community.
Google and Warner Bros., ‘A Journey Through Middle-earth’
• North Kingdom, Skellefteå, Sweden
This immersive Web experience featured locations and characters from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Intel, ‘Project Daniel’
• Venables Bell, San Francisco
• Not Impossible Labs/The Ebeling Group, Venice, Calif.
In South Sudan, a look at the world's first 3-D prosthetic printing and training facility, helping those, including Daniel, who've lost limbs to warfare.
Old Spice, ‘Momsong’
• Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Old Spice makes you smell like a man and ladies treat you like a man, which makes your mom cry. And cry mothers did in this creepy, crazy musical ad.
Mimi Foundation, ‘If Only for a Second’
• Leo Burnett, Paris
Outlandish makeovers enabled cancer patients to forget their disease, "if only for a second."
Skype, ‘The Born Friends Family Portrait’
• Pereira & O'Dell, San Francisco
Emotional spot tells the story of girls from Indiana and New Zealand who finally meet after years of Skyping.
ABTO, ‘Bentley Burial’
• Leo Burnett Tailor Made, São Paulo
A billionaire threatened to bury a $500,000 Bentley. It was a hoax—a plea for people to donate priceless organs, not be buried with them.
Southern Comfort, ‘Karate’
• Wieden + Kennedy, New York
This ad starred the year's most strangely compelling pitchman—a silent, mustached man in too-tight jeans and coloring foils showing off his karate chops at a beauty salon.
Adidas, ‘D Rose Jump Store’
• TBWA, London
The year's best pop-up store gave fans a chance to jump with Derrick Rose to get a pair of the Chicago Bulls point guard's signature Adidas sneakers.
Volkswagen, ‘Bedroom,’ ‘Living Room’
• AlmapBBDO, São Paulo
Drivers can appear out of nowhere if they're in your blind spot. These darkly comic ads took that idea and gave it a fun horror-movie spin.
British Airways, ‘Magic of Flying’
• Ogilvy 12th Floor, London
Digital billboards were programmed to show boys and girls pointing at actual BA flights as they passed overhead, including each plane's flight number and origin or destination.
Newcastle Brown Ale, ‘If We Made It’
• Droga5, New York
The only Super Bowl campaign on this list is a faux Super Bowl effort, in which Newcastle divulged what it would have done had it bought time in the game (including an ad with Anna Kendrick, who was angry it didn't happen).
Honda, ‘Ayrton Senna 1989’
• Dentsu, Tokyo
In 1989, Ayrton Senna drove what was then the fastest-ever Formula 1 qualifying lap. His driving data was recorded by pioneering Honda technology, and the lap was reproduced last year in a stunning installation of light and sound.
Volvo Trucks, ‘Epic Split’
• Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg and Stockholm, Sweden
Jean-Claude Van Damme doing "the most epic of splits" between two reversing Volvo Globetrotters. Odd, audacious, hypnotic—and yes, epic.
Colombian Ministry of Defense, ‘You Are My Son’
• Lowe SSP3, Bogota, Colombia
This propaganda campaign, aimed at getting FARC guerrillas to demobilize, included posters featuring baby pictures of the fighters with their mothers. "Before being a guerrilla, you are my son," the ads read.
NZ Transport Agency, ‘Blazed’
• Clemenger BBDO, Wellington, New Zealand
Precocious Maori children argued about whose dad is more irresponsible in this curiously amusing spot about the dangers of driving while stoned—one of the year's most unconventional yet compelling PSAs.
350 Action, ‘Climate Name Change’
• Barton F. Graf 9000, New York
"If you value your life, please seek shelter from Michele Bachmann." This roguish environmental campaign snarkily suggested naming extreme storms after climate-change deniers.
• Wieden + Kennedy, London
This captivating spot put the automaker's entire 65-year history in a single engineer's hands, as he inspects miniature versions of everything from sports cars to leaf blowers to inflatable boats and, of course, Asimo the robot.