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Cannes Lions Content Feature

Agency-client partnership key to great work

Work that wins the hearts and minds of consumers originates from a true client-agency partnership. And this work also wins at Cannes.
Source: © Forbes  The SHEBA Hope Reef from above
Source: © Forbes Forbes The SHEBA Hope Reef from above

This was the overarching insight that came out of the recent Nahana Cannes Lions Discussion virtual event according to a panel of industry experts.

Agency-client collaboration

Tseliso Rangaka, chief creative officer, FCB and Hellocomputer Johannesburg and a Cannes Lions 2022 jury member for the Radio and Audio category notes that none of the work that wins at the level at Cannes is possible without a champion on the partner side.

“It is a complete partnership, and an agency cannot on its own take on that kind of logistical work. It’s hard, and a pain to do; that’s why we can only do this when we have partners on our client side,” he says.

Panel member, Chris Botha, group managing director at Park Advertising says it is critical to recognise the importance of relationships and partnerships. “If you are referring to your partners as vendors then you are in trouble.”

Botha’s “I wish I did that campaign” is the Hope campaign. “Conceptualised in 2019, it only won in 2021. "This shows that commitment and patience from the client.”

He also says it is an example of great work through collaboration between media and creative agencies.

“It shows how a tech partner can be a significant contributor (Google in this case). The other interesting part is that is not a TVC but a deep integration between the medium, the client and the agency.”

Susan Credle, global chair, and CO of FCB says that it is only by partnering with clients that agencies can provide creatively solve their client's business problems.

Credle also touched on purpose marketing. “This is marketing for good, not profit. And it is important to do this as there is so little trust around the world in anything."

Representing the unrepresented

Loyiso Twala, chief creative officer of McCann Joburg, judged the (new) category, Social and Influencer, at Cannes. He says that out of the 300 entries judged it is clear that brands need to be brave to represent the unrepresented.

The Grand Prix in this category, the Unfiltered History Tour of the British Museum is an example of this.

“Brands that represent communities and be cause for good win the minds and audiences. That's when brands are authentic.”

He reiterates that it is only when agency-client relations come together that these stories get told.

Solving real problems through sound

The use of sound and audio to solve real problems in the world was a reoccurring theme in the radio and audio category says Rangaka.

“We saw examples of where audio was used to ease pain, and sound as a way to show protest,” he explains. A fitting example is the Eyedar, from Horizon Therapeutics which won a Gold Lion in the Pharma category.

Doom and gloom fatigue

Elaborating Mike Barnwell, chief creative officer, HelloFCB+ says that purpose marketing works well as it taps into the minds of the consumers and gets them to love your brand.

“But it’s not always about a tear in the eye - it can be humour that connects a consumer to your brand,” he says.

He believes that humour in advertising is making a comeback. “A lot of the work featured at Cannes is cause-related, but there is some fatigue with the doom and gloom, and it is my opinion that humour is making a comeback.”

While this year he says he had to trawl the Awards to find the humour, it is there. “Heinz and Skittles took this position. “It is encouraging to see that there is an attempt to bring humour back.”

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.
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