Cannes Lions Festival: Trends to watch out for in 2017

It’s that time of year again: Cannes Lions Festival season. Ahhh the sun, the sea, Provence rosé by the magnum, or for most of us: a laptop, a good pair of headphones and rosé in a plastic cup in an unairconditioned office a long way from the French Riviera. But the magic is just the same.

Here at OMD, we certainly like our pale pink Provence rosé, but it’s creativity that makes the third week of June our favourite time of year.

In fact, we are so excited that we couldn’t wait until next week to start writing about it. While the rosé chills, we thought we would look at what the key trends were last year and predict those that will really take off in 2017.

Before I dive in, I will talk briefly about the more macro trends that are driving the campaign trends I will go on to talk about.


Increased category competition, a power shift from brands to consumers in this digital age, and a growing consumer demand for transparency are all contributors to the recent trends towards brands making ‘doing good’ a core part of their brand strategy.


We are seeing news-headline-grabbing generating, conversation sparking campaigns move out of being exclusively the PR agencies or PR category, into every type of agency and category. Brands are realising that in an increasingly competitive environment, not only does this type of campaign gain extra reach but getting people talking means that you’re gaining share of life.


Campaigning brands and ‘purpose brands’ have become buzz words in the last few years. It’s not a new trick for brands but it’s certainly having a resurface in recent years. It’s about brands championing a cause, moving the agenda forward on a key societal issue. It is an effective way to build brand, drive affinity and create an emotional bond, and it’s great at generating publicity.

Here are some of the best examples of campaigning brands from Cannes Lions 2016 Winners.

With two laundry detergents and a fem care brand leading the way, the scope for you to blame lack of creativity on a low interest category is officially zero!

  1. #Daddo, Pantene
  2. Free the Kids, Persil
  3. Share the Load, Ariel,
  4. Spare Chair Sunday, Premier Foods
  5. Opt Outside, REI
  6. Girl Emojis, P&G


So the saying goes: actions speak louder than words – and the all-common communications principle ‘do don’t say’. There is a noticeable shift in recent years towards brand led organisations. Companies are now realising that who consumers perceive them to be is based, not on what they tell consumers, but on how they behave. Last year saw a great many brands ‘do’ something that directly solved an audience problem, and in almost all cases, also made the world a better place.

  1. House of clicks, Hemnet,
  2. Brewtrolium, Heineken New Zealand
  3. Edible Six Pack Rings, Saltwater Brewery
  4. Sugar Detox, Intermache
  5. Cracker Cutter, Mondelez


>>> Click here if you want to hear our top pick for media trend in 2017


About Author

Claire Dean

Claire is Deputy Head of Strategy at OMD UK. She has a great passion for connecting brands with people and limitless curiosity to dig for rich consumer and cultural insights.

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