This year’s Cannes Lion was a showcase of some incredible originality but it also celebrated campaigns that used a genuine understanding of the target audience to create a connection.
The PR Grand Prix went to Lad Bible for its brilliant Trash Isles campaign which uses Ross Kemp and anti-establishment tactics to get a young, male audience behind the fight against ocean plastics.
While Bodyform’s Blood Normal campaign (which finally abandons the blue liquid used in sanitary product adverts) recognised that female audiences are becoming disengaged with brands that don’t represent them honestly. Bodyform has understood that the women’s brands that get audiences talking positively – like new razor company Billie and Rhianna’s Fenty – are the ones that are breaking away from the mannequin mould and starting to look and behave like the people they’re selling to.
Finally, we can’t not mention KFC’s crisis handling. Plaudits have focused on the FCK ad but the digital comms from the very start of the crisis understood how to engage on the same level as the audience with tweets like ‘A chicken restaurant with no chicken. You couldn’t make it up’. The outcome of this campaign is less about crisis management, which, of course, was excellent, but more about a brand discovering it has a licence to build an authentic connection with its customers.