While many of the winners of the Creative Strategy Lions, Cannes Lions’ newest awards, were examples of product development rather than traditional campaign work, the Grand Prix and Gold-winning campaigns demonstrated the value of a more long-term approach to advertising, according to a new report from Cannes Lions.

The 2019 Global Creativity Report from Cannes Lions, with input from WARC, provides in-depth analysis and insight across the nine Festival Tracks and the winning work in each.

The Reach Track features the Creative Strategy Lions and jury member Ian Davidson, Executive Director, Strategy & Insights at VMLY&R, explains: “We were laser focused on the input rather than the execution, which is what makes this category uniquely special”.

Using data for the common good

In the case of Volvo’s EVA Initiative, the Grand Prix winner, this involved taking 50 years of accident research data and turning it into something people could more easily relate to: a video highlighted how women experience accidents differently, with a dancer demonstrating the most common crash injuries among women via choreography.

Alongside this very different tone from the usual car ad – albeit one that sits perfectly well with Volvo’s long-standing safety positioning (and safety/trust are likely to become more prevalent issues with the advent of autonomous vehicles) – the data was also made publicly available and has since been downloaded more than 17,000 times.

“Volvo’s campaign has the ability to impact the world more in five or ten years from now than it does today,” Davidson observes.

The value of the agency-client relationship

A different side of long-term brand building was evident in the work of Essity’s Gold-winning Viva la Vulva campaign, which, says jury member Amanda Feve, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Anomaly Amsterdam, was only possible because of the nature of the agency-client relationship.

“We’re moving from having decades-long relationships, where an agency sometimes knows more about a brand and its business than the client, to a situation where work is more project based and transactional,” she points out.

“It was only by doing a succession of amazing work in feminine care that the brand was able to do this product extension into intimate care,” she says. “They’d built trust with the client so that everybody was willing to take a brave leap.”

Sourced from Cannes Lions