Brave and Meaningful Campaigns

Brave. Heartfelt. Innovative. – These are just a few words to describe this year’s Grand Prix Winners of the 2013 Cannes Lions. Beyond its creativity, I was truly in awe with how these brands have moved people’s lives by allowing them to become more empowered and more proactive.

These brands made an impact, not only with their target consumers, but with a variety and a wider scope of audiences. What’s more interesting is that they presented their brands with a purpose –the purpose to improve people’s lives and create more meaningful connections (and not just merely to persuade its target consumers to avail their product or service in order for them to gain or earn more profit).

Indeed, all of them are commendable and each brand has its own appeal. But among the list of winners, I would like to share some of my favorites:

This one’s a give-away. I mean, who could not resist the cuteness of this animated Public Service Announcement (PSA) and their catchy song? When I actually first saw this, I didn’t expect that it was a PSA but it sure did effectively bring across the message: Stay safe and avoid doing dumb things that could kill you.

Smart Telecom proved how smart their technology really is through the implementation of this project called Smart Textbooks. They have addressed a problem in our country concerning educational materials. Bringing heavy books have become a burden to young kids. Some even suffer from deformation of bodies. In other countries (or in some high-end schools in the Philippines), this problem has been addressed by providing the students with tablets. But then, for the common Filipino, providing such an expensive gadget is not even practical. So what Smart did was create sim-card textbooks, so that children could access text on their light, pocket-sized phones.

IBM took a step higher than the traditional advertising poster formats in this campaign. They created a revolutionized poster format that brought relevance to their audience. Some examples of their posters come in the forms of benches, ramps and waiting sheds. It brought across a message that “if cities were smarter, people’s lives would be better.” The people were also involved in contributing ideas in making their city become smarter.

I have admired Dove commercials for they transformed the meaning of beauty in a way that liberates people, especially women, from stereotypes. They even presented women of diverse size, race, color, identities and age. Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches celebrates women’s beauty for who they really are. “You are more beautiful than you think,” was a strong message that delivered empowerment and appreciation to every woman who thinks otherwise.

(Mind you, but you may want to get a tissue or something to wipe off your tears before watching this). This would probably be one of the best campaigns I’ve seen and would probably be my most favorite of all. DELA’s campaign insight was that people always say loving things to their loved ones at funerals when it’s already too late for them to hear it. Although, this was a very sensitive subject, the campaign courageously brought across its message, “Why wait until it’s too late? Say something beautiful today.” It also used different media platforms (both traditional and special media) in order to create meaningful connections between the people and their brand –And voila! It resulted in DELA becoming one of the top 10 best known brands in Netherlands.

From the words of Mr. Paul Frampton, CEO of Havas Media UK, I definitely agree with him that “what makes all of these campaigns great is their success in inspiring people to touch, feel and manipulate their brand in a meaningful, positive way. They use technology where it is relevant and useful but, ultimately, they employ brave creative thinking to weave brands into everyday human interaction (”

I hope to see more of these kind of campaigns –campaigns that are brave and meaningful –campaigns that bring empowerment and inspiration to people –campaigns that provide personal or collective values –campaigns that ignites conversation and action –campaigns that brings meaning and purpose to people’s lives.

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