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Lunch and Learn Series: Cannes

By: Tom, Dick & Harry

Last Friday, the TDH office got together for lunch to discuss the winners of this year’s Cannes Lions awards. Wish our sandwiches were as good as the work... Out of many great candidates, we narrowed them down to our top three:

Art Institute of Chicago — Van Gogh BnB (Leo Burnett Chicago)

The Van Gogh BnB was a simple solution that made a big impact for the Art Institute of Chicago. Let’s be honest—it’s difficult for art museums to target the layperson. The Institute needed to draw sales for its new exhibit, which featured Vincent van Gogh’s three Bedroom in Arles (1888) pieces. So they crafted a recreation of the paintings into a real bedroom, which they listed on AirBnB for $10 a night.

This relatively cheap endeavor generated nationwide buzz that resulted in the most ticket sales in 15 years. We loved the unorthodox creative approach the Van Gogh BnB took, which showed that anything can be used as a media platform. Most of all, we appreciated the level of craft that went into making the bedroom look exactly like the ones in the paintings, down to the brushstrokes on the walls.

LOTERÍAS Y APUESTAS DEL ESTADO — “Justino” (Leo Burnett Madrid)

It’s hard to get sentimental over something as materialistic as the lottery. But in its Justino campaign, Spain’s state lottery brings the waterworks. The original Christmas commercial features the life of an animated night watchman for a mannequin factory, and his indirect relationship with his non-nocturnal coworkers.

The creatives for this ad took a big risk; putting emotion where it (supposedly) shouldn’t be is treading into the dangerous territory of schema incongruence and potential for low public engagement. But by tactfully attaching the brand to this touching story, this ad, we think, is the best for a lottery that we’ve seen in a while.

Under Armour — Michael (Droga5)

“It’s the last goodbye, I swear,” for the most decorated Olympian of all time in this Under Armour spot. After coming out of retirement and qualifying for Rio 2016, Michael Phelps is representing America in the Olympics one last time. But at 31 years old, conditioning one’s body to keep up with young, international athletes is no easy task.

America recognizes Phelps for his demigod-like talents and physique (and diet), but hasn’t recognized the journey he’s taken to accomplish them. Borrowing from film-noir, this spot carefully uses dark elements to paint Phelps in a vulnerable, grueling light — a stark contrast from the winner’s podium we’re accustomed to seeing him on. The content of the spot is a candid montage of Phelps’s regimen, which is quite frankly inhuman.

The goal of this ad is simple; it’s a carefully crafted short that shows Under Armour’s empathy with the daily toil that athletes endure 99 percent of their time for the 1 percent that they compete in. The spot concludes with a beautiful tagline: “It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.” 

To the winners, congrats on beautifully crafted work. To our readers, weigh in and tell us about your favorite Cannes campaigns in the comments.

07.20.16   The Biz

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