These Standout U.S. Campaigns Are Up for One of Cannes’ Most Coveted Lions

See America's Titanium shortlist entries

The Cannes Lions Titanium award is among the more coveted for work that delightfully blurs the category lines. This year’s shortlist shows a wide range of breakthrough work that retains the spirit of last year’s winners including the highly-awarded Fearless Girl for State Street Global Advisors, My Mutant Brain for perfume brand Kenzo, Refugee Nation for Amnesty International and Boost Your Voice for Boost Mobile. Previous winners, showing the breadth of ambition and creative smarts include REI’s #OptOutside and McWhopper for Burger King.

25 entries made the final cut with U.S. agencies in pole position represented by 15 agencies, and in-house brands (Apple, Intel and Spotify), followed by the U.K. with three, Australia with two and Germany, Spain, Mexico, India and Dubai clocking in with one each.

Colleen DeCourcy, Cannes Lions Titanium jury president and chief creative officer at Wieden+Kennedy is hopeful that these great ideas can, as she put it, “break the mold for advertising, with creative ideas that excite [the jury] about what great advertising can do for brands.”

Below are the 15 U.S. entries up for the Titanium gongs in the South of France (see the Adweek’s winners predictions from other campaigns from around the world).

Apple, “Today at Apple”
Agency: In-house

Super-tactile with its products and local culture, Apple’s “Today at Apple” campaign brought together experts to lead educational sessions ranging from photo and video to music, coding, art and design and more. There was ample star power as well, with performances by Dua Lipa in London, Sigrid in Paris, Leon Bridges and Charlie Puth at the Union Square store in New York—and a masterclass on the art of beatmaking by hip-hop legend RZA in Brooklyn.

RZA at Apple event in NYC
Credit: Apple

Tourism Australia, “Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home”
Agency: Droga5

It’s safe to say that just about everyone was hoping this campaign, starring Danny McBride, Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, Isla Fisher, Ruby Rose and other Aussie stars, with a cameo from Paul Hogan, was a real film. But this broke the mold for tourism marketing with a considerable content play. Now please go make this movie!

Tide, “It’s a Tide Ad”
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi N.Y.

Meta ads referencing other ads are nothing new, but Saatchi N.Y. flawlessly executed the extreme version of this approach with its 2018 Super Bowl campaign. Perfectly cast with Stranger Things’ David Harbour, the effort won a Black Pencil at D&AD and stands to claim more hardware at Cannes (with client P&G picking up the entry fees during parent Publicis’ fallow year).

HBO, Westworld
Agency: Giant Spoon

For those at SXSW, Giant Spoon’s activation recreating Sweetwater for HBO’s Westworld was the hot ticket. 444 pages of scripts for 60 actors populating the impressive recreation of the town outside of Austin was but one of the many touches that made this extension from Hollywood to the real world so unique.

KFC, “11 Herbs and Spices”
Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland

It’s nice when people pay attention. And, sometimes, that attention can go into the stratosphere. An enterprising Twitter follower noticed that KFC followed 11 people (an homage to the chain’s 11 herbs and spices) and they were: five Spice Girls and six men named Herb. The fun was planted a month before its discovery and proof that clever still matters.

Procter & Gamble, “The Talk”
Agency: BBDO New York

In one of the boldest pieces of U.S. advertising in 2017, P&G illustrated the emotional heartbreaking conversations many black parents have had with their children across several generations, trying to help them understand the inexplicable: Why the world will treat them unfairly simply because of their skin color.

@zanger Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.