We recently added over 100 Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions case studies to warc.com, showcasing campaigns from a myriad of sectors and markets.
The Lions' winners and accompanying shortlist always - and rightly - get the most attention. But that's not to say there aren't some really interesting campaigns deeper into the list of entries.
So here is our pick of campaigns - mostly from the longtail of entrants - chosen for their originality and/or plain good thinking in areas such as social good, co-creation and content marketing.
It's not exhaustive, and we'd urge you to explore this great collection of Creative Effectiveness cases yourself - and drop us a comment if you think there are any gems we've missed.
No Rights No Women
A good demonstration of how social media can be used for social good. This campaign, for a Lebanese charity, wanted to raise awareness about (the lack of) women's rights. The campaign started on Facebook, and was based around the simple visual of the moustache: 1,000 influential Lebanese women added moustaches to their profile pictures and changed the gender option on Facebook to male - therefore increasing their legal rights. This built buzz and drove people to an online petition which ultimately contributed to the abolition of the Honor Crimes law.
Honda Internavi: Connecting Lifelines
This case study shows how Honda used its Internavi navigation system to provide help in Japan during the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. The disaster severely damaged many major roads in the country blocking and stopping the traffic completely; Internavi, which recommends routes based on real-time traffic data collected from other Internavi-equipped vehicles, was used to create a publicly available real-time map that showed which of the roads in the devastated areas still functioned, helping the logistics in the disaster relief operation. then made this map available to the public during the disaster.
Singapore Red Cross: Rapid Rescue
Another example of using technology for good. This campaign for the Singapore Red Cross tapped into an underused community of 12,000 certified first aiders on the island who could assist in emergencies. The Rapid rescue mobile app was developed to connect those seeking first aid to the nearest registered first aider with a single tap on their phone. The app maps the nearest route to the victim or automatically calls an ambulance if no first-aider is in the vicinity.
McDonald’s: Make your own burger
This case study describes how McDonald’s Germany created its first crowd-sourced burger. Fans were invited to created their dream burger online and submit it for public voting. The most popular creations and their inventors featured in their own TV, radio and online campaigns, while the burgers were sold at restaurants for five weeks.
Volkswagen China: The People’s Car Project
“We will design a new car. What will this car look like? I have no idea. It is the people who will design this car and make their dreams become a reality”, declared Dr Karl Thomas Neumann, CEO of Volkswagen China. This case study shows how Volkswagen, the automotive company, used co-creation to improve its brand likeability and consideration in China. Volkswagen launched the People’s Car Project, asking Chinese car drivers to submit their ideas for the car design of the future. The best and most unique ideas are adapted into current cars and influence future car development, cumulating in the production of a final concept car.
Games and contests
Hell Pizza: Pizza Roulette
With its two big competitors (Pizza Hut and Dominos) having 80% share of voice, this campaign for Hell Pizza, a premium New Zealand takeaway pizza chain, demonstrates how a challenger brand can increase differentiation and increase sales by engaging consumers in a fun and playful way. Hell pizza did this with an extra-hot sauce that unleashed hell on customers' tastebuds. But the sauce was only put on one slice: eating the pizza therefore became a Russian Roulette-style experience – promoted via TV, a Facebook competition and the pizza packaging itself, which featured funny “disclaimers”. Sales rose 11% year on year.
Canon: Project Imagin8ion
To reach a niche audience of hardcore camera enthusiasts, Canon launched a 5-week, user-generated contest called "Project Imagin8ion", to generate greater brand engagement with its EOS camera range in the U.S. Photographers at all skill levels were challenged to submit their most imaginative photographs to a new Project Imagin8ion community on YouTube where Over 96,000 photos were submitted. This was a big budget campaign, with celebrity support, which included a unique collaboration with Oscar-winning filmmaker, Ron Howard (A.K.A Richie Cunningham from Happy Days, for those of us old enough to remember!)
Chipotle: Cultivate a Better World
This campaign for Chipotle, a high-end US fast-food chain, wanted to emphasise its commitment to sourcing quality, local produce and sustainably-raised meat to differentiate from its rivals and drive customer loyalty. The emotion-led 'Cultivate A Better World' campaign included the non-profit Cultivate Foundation, and a content marketing platform featuring an interactive online game, a music, food and ideas festival, a campaign film and a TV ad (the soundtrack to which subsequently topped the iTunes charts). The ad was viewed over 6.9m times on YouTube and earned over 400m media impressions.
Havana Club: Nothing compares to Havana
This big budget, fully integrated global campaign for Havana Club repositioned the Cuban rum as a "hot" brand in order to increase sales volumes and market share. To market itself as a Cuban cultural icon, it aligned its brand with Cuban music via a feature film and art projects. Experiential components included the launch of The Havana Club Mojito Embassy, a pop up bar where people experience making their own authentic Cuban mojito. Branded content included a feature movie: a collaboration between the brand and movie producers to create "7 days in Havana", in which 7 famous directors tell their own story about Havana.
Heineken: Reach the Sunrise
This global campaign for Heineken, the beer brand, is a good illustration of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and use of branded content – this time to promote moderate alcohol consumption as an aspirational behaviour among young adults. The campaign concept – "sunrise belongs to moderate drinkers" – included a film launched in 27 markets around Christmas time showing a Heineken "Man of the World" enjoying a great night until sunrise, as well as experiential elements such as the distribution of free bottles of “Sunrise Water” to partygoers.
Read how automaker, Nissan, sought to create highly-viral car content to appeal to both consumers and trade media, build a long-term Facebook community, increase its share of voice in earned media and increase consideration. It created Nissan RUMBLE, a "reality rally" literally fuelled by Facebook. Teams from Denmark, Finland Norway and Sweden competed in a real seven-day race across the region for which they needed Facebook Likes to progress, which they achieved by posting videos, photos and other content on Nissan’s Facebook page.
This campaign, for Steinlager, a New Zealand lager brand, demonstrates how an emotional and nostalgic marketing strategy, combined with a guerrilla spirit helped the brand defend its market position (and win Gold at Cannes). The brand leveraged its home country’s hosting of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) – despite not being a sponsor – to engage drinkers and grow its equity. It did so by reintroducing its can design from 1987 – the last time NZ’s under-achieving national team won the RWC. This packaging-led idea played centre stage across all touchpoints.
El Bocón: Empty Pages
A brief but interesting case study in which the Peruvian edition of El Bocón, a South American sports newspaper, published an issue without any soccer news to campaign against the problems of violence associated with the sport. Its simple message was this: if violence carries on, soccer will disappear. This strategy was effective: 150,000 copies of the soccer-less issue were sold, with earned media extending the campaign’s reach to more than 1 million people. This contributed to sports clubs and the Peruvian Football Federation signing an agreement to ensure that security measures in stadiums were enhanced.
SF SPCA: Puppy Mill campaign
SF SPCA, a San Francisco-based animal charity, wanted to highlight the deceptive websites of potentially cruel dog breeders. So it set up a fake dog breeder microsite that mimicked some of the online deceptions used by unscrupulous breeders. This featured a video that revealed that the nice-looking conditions the puppies lived in were actually far harsher than they initially appeared. A message then appeared directing people to the SF SPCA to learn more about puppy cruelty.
Personalisation, heritage, storytelling
o.b. Tampons: A Personal Apology (Just For You)
This Canadian campaign for Johnson & Johnson’s feminine hygiene brand, o.b. tampons, demonstrates the power of personalisation for apologising to consumers and creating buzz. Due to distribution problems, the brand became unobtainable for several months. To repair the brand's image and regain lost share, 65,000 women in the o.b customer database were sent a personalised email with a coupon offer - and a link to a humorous 'Apology' video. Over 1.2m coupons were downloaded and earned media drove 47m visitors to the 'Apology' website and the brand's value share increased 2.6%.
Monteith's Crushed Cider: Sorry about the twigs, folks
Monteith's Cider, a New Zealand Cider, communicated its key quality differentiator – the use of freshly-crushed apples and pears, not fruit syrup - by putting twigs in its 12-pack boxes. The twigs symbolised the authenticity of the apple picking process, and they were placed in boxes of cider as it rolled off the line. This ignited a conversation on social media, after which Monteith's launched a nationwide "apology" for the twigs – which was repeated on billboards and stickers on packs with a fake warning that the boxes may still contain twigs.
Prudential: Day One - Painting a real picture of retirement in America
A good example of a big budget campaign that used emotional marketing and storytelling tactics to tell the stories of recent retirees. This was done via TV, out-of-home and radio. Longer documentaries on retirees were also presented online at DayOneStories.com, an interactive content destination that also served as a call-to-action for others to submit their own Day One photos and stories.