It’s Monday of Cannes Lions, and I have found it interesting that purpose is still very much front and center for a lot of the awarded campaigns. I’ve noticed some have taken a new tack - coupling purpose with an underlying element of profit. It is also interesting how many campaigns are very much considering all their stakeholders, and those parties their stakeholders interact with, in their business models. Through all the richness of the creativity, it is evident that they are thinking much broader than just the bottom line now.
The most surprising thing to me about the entries is they're taking on social challenges. All the campaigns seem to about the long term, not around a need to make some money in the short term. For instance, the Womb Spain stories and the case around conception and infant mortality in South America are such wonderful demonstrations of the scale of the thinking around these campaigns, and the ambition of what the agencies have set out to achieve. It is no longer a short-term approach. It's about changing mindsets, changing communities, and sometimes changing government perspectives on things. It is a wonderful example of what has been submitted in this year’s award entries.
Beco’s Steal Our Staff campaign, entered in the Health and Wellness category, was the creative entry that stands out to me personally. It could have fit in any category and the quality of the design work, the ambition of the campaign, and what it achieved are stunning. It hasn't just given a voice to the underrepresented disabled community; it has driven awareness for the brand. It has also driven profitability. It has driven changes in business behavior. And it's all done by a small brand, by a small agency in London – it is an amazing achievement. It's driven by business that is looking to raise actual investment and profitability. I recommend you look at the case study because it really is the high watermark of what we can achieve. Our work is no longer about lead sales clicks, it really needs to be about changing mindsets, and building businesses that grow for the future.
The biggest implication for the industry is that you can't just focus on short term approaches that ignore everyone but the shareholders. That is archaic thinking that needs to be brought up to date. Now is the time to embrace a wider perspective of all your stakeholders, including your staff. Many campaigns embrace everyone in the company coming together to drive the business forward. It isn't about the bottom line anymore. It's about considering the wider context within which you're operating. I think the essence of design-led thinking, and the way that propels the campaign to cut through in a market full of noise, is about how campaigns win and engage and drive value for a business. But fundamentally, in the pandemic era, the best way campaigns can resonate with consumers is by utilizing the emotion, and almost nostalgic emotion that people have forgotten or long for, that touches a human truth and brings that out in the campaign. It’s all in these winning campaigns, it's so wonderful to see, and that’s where campaigns need to go for the future.