The most inspirational stuff I’ve seen in Cannes

Adam Ferrier Naked

In this guest post, Naked’s Adam Ferrier shares the things that have excited him at adland’s top festival this week.

I think I’ve got a bit of a man-crush on Nick Worthington, ECD at New Zealand’s Colenso BBDO. Is that ok to say?

He chaired the judging of the Promotion & Activations jury, and apparently left a little card on every juror’s desk saying ‘See the good in everything’. How sweet is that (although it didn’t help the work we had in his categories move from shortlisted to a Lion)?

Mumbrella has asked me to nominate the work at Cannes that I found most inspiring. Nick’s agency produced the work that tops my list. It’s a simple campaign called ‘Donation Glasses’, part of the Pedigree Adoption Drive.

People were asked for money to support the Pedigree Adoption Drive when going to the cinema. If they gave money they received red glasses and saw a film of a dog living happily with adopted parents. If they didn’t give money they were given yellow glasses and saw a film of a dog not being adopted, living an unhappy life, and dying.

Why do I like this? Because it involves an unwitting consumer in the message. It’s like a real life ‘Choose your own adventure’ book (a series of children’s books big in the 1980s) and the poor consumer doesn’t even know they are playing. Ironically however, the consumer has ownership of the story, as they are part of it. Their actions complete the narrative.

Further, even though it’s cause related the work isn’t twee, it has light and dark. There is a bit of an edge to it – ‘If you don’t donate this dog will die’. It will create conversation and a touch of controversy. I like it too as they had to make lots of special things (like red and yellow glasses) and use special technology to make the great idea happen. It’s a genuinely engaging idea that warms my heart, and stimulates my brain.

The four others on my shortlist are (this is without having seen the TV AD category that they keep on insisting they call ‘Film’, even though a) they are ads, b) there is another category called branded content that does indeed include real ‘films’, and c) they are shot on video not film.

2. AFL Player Signatures: Plays to a fan’s passion and wonder, and uses the human body and turns it into (commercialized) art – a collection of autographs were created from player GPS tracking data.

3. AmEx Small Business Saturday: Having the ability to involve the government to such a degree they decree a day of recognition for your brand’s cause.

4. Hilltop Reimagined, for Google: We live in a remix culture, and layering technology onto previously brilliant ideas to transform into new brilliant ideas is… brilliant.

5. Google, Dear Sophie: It’s just beautiful.

It’s a great year for inspiring work.

Adam Ferrier is the global head of behavioural sciences at Naked Communications. For those at Cannes, he and Jon Wilkins global founder and co-chairman are speaking on ‘Insights for action’ at 2.00pm Thursday.



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