Our Favorite Campaigns from Cannes Lions 2019

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, an event honoring the best creative communications and advertising campaigns from around the world, was held last week. The five-day festival honored campaigns of all sorts, from targeted data hijinks to new product launches, there were plenty of exciting PR highlights from the year. Here are some of our favorites.  

Burger King: ‘Whopper Detour’

Burger King’s ‘Whopper Detour’ campaign by FCB New York earned the ‘Direct Grand Prix’ award and two ‘Gold Lion’ awards, for its playful take on luring customers away from one of its major competitors, McDonald’s. 

FCB New York started by geofencing 14,000 McDonald’s locations in the U.S. When a Burger King mobile app user came within 600 feet of a McDonald’s, the app generated an offer for a one cent Whopper and directions to the nearest Burger King location. 

By way of poking fun at their biggest competitor and diverting potential customers to their own restaurants, Burger King managed to successfully promote their app through data and targeting, and create serious media buzz. 

The Female Company: ‘The Tampon Book’

The Female Company, a German feminine hygiene brand, brought home the ‘PR Grand Prix’ award for a campaign by Scholz & Friends, an agency out of Berlin, called ‘The Tampon Book: a book against tax discrimination.’ The book packaged tampons, evading the heavy tax imposed on female sanitary products in the country, and prompted German citizens to sign a petition to eliminate the tax. 

In addition to the packaged products, the book was filled with 45 pages of illustrations and empowering stories about menstruation and feminism, and promoted a petition to urge German parliament to discuss the abolition of the tampon tax. 

Due to the impact of the campaign, Scholz & Friends managed to reach feminist influencers without any money dedicated to outreach, and half of the feminist influencers the team contacted agreed to share the call-to-action for free.

Through a powerful message and the added flair of rebellion, this campaign managed to successfully spread the word about an important issue and sell a product simultaneously.

HBO: ‘Westworld: The Maze’

‘Westworld: The Maze,’ is an immersive, choose-your-own-adventure gaming experience by Kilter Films and 360i that won the ‘Grand Prix’ in Radio and Audio at Cannes. Introduced to promote the season finale of the popular HBO show, the game recreates the fictional universe, in which the show is set and allows Amazon Alexa users to play along and put their knowledge of survival to the test on a quest.

HBO’s innovation through capitalizing on voice is an exciting venture into the next frontier of interactive storytelling. By combining the storytelling aspect of television or radio with the immersive aspect of gaming, HBO created a revolutionary new style of content in the process of promoting their show.