18 September 17

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.

Meet Graham

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) decided to bravely create an impactful campaign to tell a unique story on road safety. TAC worked with a leading trauma surgeon, a crash investigation expert and an artist to create ‘Graham’, a lifelike sculpture to highlight human vulnerability on the roads. The team at TAC showed creative bravery by creating a team that could highlight distinct human vulnerability on the roads, through a visualisation that had never been done before. Their eclectic team created a creative campaign that will live long in the memory, and act as a touchstone for road safety across the world, not just in Australia.

In each of the campaigns mentioned above, there was a distinct element of risk. State Street addressed a relevant social issue, and decided that as a brand it wanted to use a creative campaign to provide a timely response. TAC also took considerable risk in their campaign. They formed an eclectic team, from the worlds of art, medicine and safety. To create work as memorable and creatively effective as TAC and State Street, bravery is not negotiable in the creative process, it becomes an essential foundation from which the campaign is built on.