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18 September 17

Fortune favours the brave – creative lessons from Cannes

Last month we hosted an insights session in our office on the recent Cannes Lions, giving us an opportunity to welcome our network across Sydney to discuss creative lessons from the Côte d’Azur.

At their best, a Cannes Lion award represents creatively outstanding work that provides value for the consumer and client. As ever, the competition is steep and creative agencies across the world are setting the bar even higher in terms of what can be achieved for their brands.

A painter synonymous with the French Riviera Henri Matisse once said “creativity takes courage” when describing his process in painting. Similarly, the award winning campaigns at Cannes this year showed consistent bravery that ultimately delivered results for the brands in question.

Fearless Girl

“Fearless Girl” the iconic statue that was installed in New York’s Wall Street, by asset manager State Street highlighted a lack of diversity in boardrooms across America. The statue became more than a symbol, the Boston based company followed through on its pledge to vote against companies that don’t have women on their boards of directors. There was considerable bravery involved creating a memorable statue in a city that had only a handful of female statues. There were detractors, not only in the media, but also within Wall Street, but by using “Fearless Girl”, State Street were able to create a strong brand promise on diversity within a traditionally male dominated industry.

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4 September 17

What can an amateur football club teach professional clubs about fan engagement?

There’s a UK-based football club that attracts over 1 million views for its YouTube videos and has hundreds of thousands of followers across social media. That’s pretty impressive for a club that was founded in 2016 but even more impressive given it’s a club made up of amateurs, not professional players.

The club is called Hashtag United and was set up by football YouTuber Spencer Owen. With an online reach that rivals many of the major UK professional football teams, the club’s online success shines a light on the changing expectations of sports fans.

One of the reasons the videos posted Hashtag United are so engaging is because they follow the journey of everyday amateur players. Players that have a passion for the sport but also juggle full-time jobs and family life. That’s a far cry from many of the UK football stars – some of whom fill social media with posts from glamorous parties and holidays.

Although it’s too early to tell whether the glamorous lives of professional football players has caused everyday fans to become disengaged with the game in a significant way, major brands aren’t willing to place all their focus on the big end of town. Coca-Cola and Umbro are just some of the names that have sponsored Hashtag United.

In many ways, the online success of Hashtag United shouldn’t be a surprise. We know people like connecting to and engaging with people that are like them or do the same things as them. The latter certainly explains why celeb gossip sites are filled with famous faces filling their cars with petrol and shopping in the supermarket.

Maybe there’s a lesson there for more professional football players. While images of fast cars and houses might get the eye-balls online perhaps what fans really want from their players is content they can relate to. Content that shows a passion for sport, their banter with team mates and anything else that shows deep down the players are not that different to the fans that follow them.

Fuel tweets