Cannes Preview: Six Ads The Experts Pick To Win

With Cannes Lions almost here, we rounded up all the previews and predictions we could find to see what’s likely to take the Grand Prix and Gold Lions in the film category.

Here’s what we found. Sources for this were Campaign, AdWeek, AdAge, Contagious, More About Advertising, and Little Black Book.

These are the six most-mentioned film campaigns. Check back after Cannes is over and see which won awards… and what consumers felt about them.


NIKE – “Dream Crazy” (10 mentions)

Nike’s polarising campaign starring Colin Kaepernick was mentioned by almost everyone and at this point the Grand Prix (whether film or more likely Titanium) seems Nike’s to lose.

As we reported last September the spot performed very strongly on Spike (short term impact) but less well on our long-term measure (only 2-Stars). If so then the nine months since release is very well timed for the campaign 

Nike reported a big sales uplift from the spot – its share price since has continued to rise modestly, outpaced by rival Adidas. For awards juries that won’t matter – “Dream Crazy”’s cultural impact and industry influence has been colossal.

Read More: Did Nike Turn Its Back On Customers?


LIBRESSE – “Viva La Vulva” (7 mentions)

We’ve put this in to test before our beach event next week, but it’s a good bet for a major prize. A follow-up of sorts to Bodyform’s Blood Normal, this is more joyful and celebratory but in its way just as subversive. Both ads shatter category conventions and aim for a more honest way of showing and talking about periods and women’s sexual health. Purpose and publicity are the names of the game here, though – it’s a piece of content seeking to move social norms, not reflect them.

Read More: Red Dread Redemption – How Bodyform Busted Taboos


NEW YORK TIMES – “The Truth Is Worth It” (5 mentions).

Text in video ads has become ubiquitous. Often it doesn’t work and feels like telling, not showing. The NYT’s ads do things differently, using text in flux to show how telling happens. There’s a history of worthy liberal media ads winning Lions, but they tend not to score very well with the public as the subject matter is inevitably often bleak. The same may hold true of these beautifully crafted spots.


AMAZON PRIME – “Great Shows Stay With You” (3 mentions)

A great example of a human truth creatively and amusingly expressed, these ads manage to advertise TV shows without showing them, and emerge far more entertaining than the average trailer. The sly humour here certainly makes this…. one to watch. (Sorry, sorry.)


PERNOD RICARD – “The Time We Have Left” (2 mentions)

There was a real vogue a few years ago for these kind of ‘social experiment’ films, in which people are nudged into behaviour change by a brand. Always’ Like A Girl is probably the most famous, and one of the best (it scored 4-Stars in our testing). Pernod Ricard’s Spanish film for its Ruavieja brand is this year’s critic’s favourite – pairs of friends are shocked to realise how little time together they may actually have left to enjoy. It’s clever and elaborate, but these kind of films are often slow paced and fall flat once the “twist” has been executed.


AMAZON ECHO – “Not Everything Makes The Cut” (2 mentions)

One of the big TV trends of the last 12 months has been the high investment of the tech titans in TV advertising. While Apple have seen plenty of awards action before, it’s been the likes of Amazon and Microsoft whose ads have resonated better with the public. This blockbuster Alexa ad scored 4-Stars during the Super Bowl, and was the only Super Bowl ad to be hotly tipped in the previews we read. Microsoft’s Adaptive Controller, which topped our rankings with 5-Stars for its TV spot, is a possible winner in many categories, though.

Read More: Microsoft’s Super Bowl Winner

Whatever picks up the prizes at Cannes, we’ll be here all year round testing the latest ads and giving you the lowdown on what people really feel about them.

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