Dr Mumbo

The lesser spotted Cannes Lions contenders

It’s that time of year again when the global ad industry comes together for the orgy of creativity that is the Cannes Lions, celebrating some famous, and many less famous, campaigns.

Dr Mumbo has put together a guide to some of the Aussie contenders which have emerged from deep in the advertising wilderness to duel for glory on the Cote d’Azur.

Featured below are some beautiful campaigns which had pretty limited runs, and others that don’t even have a client.

Smart Tooth – Grey Australia

Leading the the pack straight into the judging chambers of the Palais and skating on the back of adland’s infatuation with innovation and technology purely for the sake of it, comes Grey’s Smart Tooth – a set of false choppers doubling as a fitness tracker.

Made for a single player in the National Hockey League in North America, the case study found its way onto YouTube a month ago and onto the Cannes entry list shortly after.

Developed by Grey and Cocreators (which also developed Samsung’s concussion warning headband for Leo Burnett), the Smart Tooth has no backers, manufacturers or release date.

Intriguingly it was ‘tested’ on an NHL All Star, despite Dr Mumbo’s ice hockey playing mates reliably informing him that players take their teeth out before they hit the ice, not put them in, rendering the whole insight behind the concept somewhat questionable.

KFC Zinger Fish Burger – Ogilvy

Test marketing new products is an award-seeking creative director’s dream, and so when KFC decided to trial a Zinger Fish Burger in Hobart, Ogilvy came to the party with some powerful images complete with tiny logos.

KFC has informed Dr Mumbo the work is legit, but evidence suggests only one image, of a steaming pelican, made it into mainstream press with a single run in the Hobart Mercury (twice the circulation of the Rouse Hill Times for those who are interested).

The remainder are said to have been used in stores – enough, it seems to clear the high hurdles set in France. It’s unclear whether the Zinger Fish Burger is going to make it into mainstream circulation either.

KFC Cannes pelicanKFC Cannes penguinKFC Cannes Seal

Pedigree – Clemenger BBDO Melbourne

Another late entry in the Big Art Direction, Small Logo category came from ClemengerBBDO Melbourne which has rolled out a series of ads for Pedigree dog breath fresheners on 30 shopping centre billboards.

Timed nicely for insertion into a courier bag destined for Cannes, and press released to the trade media just this week, the work is having a short run according to sources. Looks good though.

Pedigree Cannes Dog 3Pedigree Cannes dog 2Pedigree Cannes dog 1

But with judges expected to plough through hundreds of case studies in a day Dr Mumbo is not so sure they will have the time to stop and question whether the campaigns they are shortlisting were created with the client in mind rather than just to win awards. And with a record 43,000+ entries (at 500 euros plus each) this year he hopes we don’t see a repeat of the VML Blackspot Beacon saga that played out last year where a campaign without client sign off got entered, and then withdrawn.

That cash should help the burgeoning share price of Cannes Lions parent company Ascential, which floated in February and currently enjoys a market capitalisation of nearly $2bn.

While Dr Mumbo will not be supping rose in the sun and watching celebrities preach about commercial creativity on La Croissette next week, you can rest assured he’ll be keeping an eye on and highlighting some of the other less well circulated winners that emerge.

If you see anything you think needs investigating, feel free to leave a note in the comment section below. It won’t be published, but Dr Mumbo’s colleagues will look into them.

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