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Advertising shows it Can(nes) have a real impact

30 June, 2023

Exploring the Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity, the lesser-known cousin of the renowned Cannes Film Festival, provides a first glimpse of how brands responded to the year’s issues, as well as a window onto the power of creativity.

And this year, campaigns with a social or environmental message claimed the spotlight. Dove emerged as a standout, receiving widespread recognition and the coveted top prize in the media category for #TurnYourBack. Also notable was Microsoft’s campaign on cultural preservation which earned a gold Lion for creative business transformation. We’re talking mainstream prizes here, nothing with an ostensibly sustainability related label, which is exactly as it should be.

That said the dedicated sustainability-focused categories shone a light on some great examples of how to combine creativity with impact. The Glass Lion was awarded to the Knock Knock campaign, raising awareness of a new domestic abuse helpline in South Korea; and the Grand Prix for Good recognized a campaign dedicated to raising awareness about autism; while other awards celebrated campaigns aligned with sustainable development goals.

The festival itself has a sustainability agenda too, and this year it introduced non-compulsory sustainability reporting to the awards entry process. Using AdNet Zero’s five-point Action Plan, entrants are encouraged to disclose the CO2 emissions associated with their submitted work.

But the most exciting element for us is seeing recognition going to those using their craft to champion sustainability on a global scale. Don’t fast-forward through that.

By Marie Guérinet

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