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True partnership = win-win in modernising media

This week we look at a 5th trend out of the jam packed Cannes 2021 Creativity Report:

MODERNISING MEDIA and glean inspired insights from the work that won in 2020/2021 with experiences from Heineken, VW, Telenor and S-group as examples.


To access the full Cannes 2021 Creative Report and case studies - visit lovethework.com with your Cannes Lions subscription.



Here we summarise the top 4 insights from the Cannes 2020-2021 winning work,

on how to take media to the max:



1. Partner for success


Certainly not a new concept to South African agencies, brands and publishers - that partnering on the messaging and the medium is a win-win. Not only is the message fit for format and best suited for the customer experience - it saves time, energy and money when true partnership is in play - preferably right from the start for #positiveforwardmomentum


The Cannes Lion 2020-2021 Creativity Report addresses this finding in one of their top 8 trends: Modernising Media with several 2020-2021 winners demonstrating how creative and media can work seamlessly together to make creative ideas even more impactful, and advancing the more conventional approach of considering the creative first, then selecting the appropriate channel.


"In the 90's, we saw the great unbundling, where the industry separated creative agencies from the media and data side of the business. Twenty-Five years later, that's still how the industry is structured, although it doesn't make sense any more." ALEX COLLMER Founder and CEO VidMob


Delivering on their brand's mission: matter in culture, Michelob ULTRA managed to keep fans close to the game during lockdown by teaming up with Microsoft in an original way. When COVID-19 suspended the 2019–2020 NBA season, sponsorship wavered and athletes and coaches were worried that, without live fans, the game would feel as empty as the stands themselves. Michelob ULTRA saw an opportunity to innovate and bring joy back to the game, and its consumers’ lives along the way and transported fans digitally to the stands across 124 games and provided scan-to-win seats off bottle for the some lucky winners.

“Blurring the lines between physical and digital was really fun and unique. It played beautifully into Michelob ULTRA's brand purpose, which is bringing joy to the world of performance, and to the symbiotic relationship between fans and athletes. " GABRIEL SCHMITT Co-Chief Creative Officer | FCB New York Winner | Gold Media Lion

13 million impressions and 81,5 million hours of NBA coverage, an increase in sales of 32% and increase in market share of +69 points while their two main competitors experienced a decline shows the power of the partnership between NFL sponsor Mitchelob ULTRA and Microsoft's AI driven Together Mode.


Today, Microsoft is applying insights from Courtside to workplaces, classrooms and entertainment venues to make them more fun, engaging and memorable.



2. Improve lives through tech and data


This is the fourth stage of the internet revolution, with data privacy and data ethics being a core part of where companies and agencies need to be". DEIDRE SMALLS-LANDAU CMO and EVP, Global Culture " Um Worldwide Juror | Media Lions

Changing behaviour for the better through smart and meaningful communication demonstrates the power of media and while we are increasingly aware of privacy concerns, Finland's largest retailer S-Group showed how opening up access to data can drive positive behaviour change.




The S-Group App showed customers their data such as their CO2 footprint, shopping trends and habits, allowing them to compare them to everyone's else's across the country.


10% of the Finnish population accessed their data. Once they had accessed their data - as many as 48% then changed their behaviour as a result, for instance buying more fresh fruit and vegetables to reduce their carbon footprint.

“People are saying, 'My data is my own'". This initiative from Finland's largest retailer tapped into people's desire to own and control their data and showed how opening up access can drive positive behaviour". CHRISSIE HANSON Global Chief Strategy Officer | OMD Worldwide Juror | Media Lions

3. Think physical


Blending creative and media in new ways has been a feature of the work that has responded to the unprecedented challenges of the last 18 months. With restaurants and bars closing, beer brand Heineken thought differently about their media and spent some 7,5 million Euro's directly with 5000 closed bars across the world, with other beers following Heineken's lead - by directing their media spend to OOH.


“Creativity, especially in these difficult times, has to come from being able to find new ways to use media to adapt. Creativity today is about flexibility". BRUNO BERTELLI Global CCO | Publicis Worldwide Grand Prix Winner | Outdoor Lions



“Heineken reinvented themselves and were really creative in how they sustained their the business of their partners". LUIZ SANCHES Chairman, Chief Creative Officer & Partner | AlmapBBDO Jury President | Outdoor Lions


4. Use media to double down on your message


For the launch of the electric VW ID.3, outdoor murals used paint that cleansed the air. Typing that again... paint that cleansed the air. Just as the product was carbon neutral, the OOH activation media doubled down and was carbon neutral too. And DOOH executions also used screens powered by green energy. Exceeding sales targets by 9%, the ID.3 is the best selling electric car in its second month on the market.


“Identify unusual spaces and places to place the media, whether that's a park bench or a neighbourhood store. Move away from traditional areas and platforms". ESTHER *ET* FRANKLIN President Global Strategy and Cultural Fluency | Spark Foundry Juror | Media Lions




The relationship between media and creative has changed over the past 4 years. Looking back at Tesco's Grand Prix for Food Love Stories in 2018, followed by Nike's Air Max Graffiti the following year where you could purchase directly off street art both showed how a strong channel idea can be both creative and commercial. In the last 2 years, we see a further evolution - where the ideas meet the specific needs of communities in a seamless blend of media and creative: Telenor's Naming the Invisible with Ogilvy NY, and City of Chicago's Boards of Change with FCB Chicago.


Next week we look at a 6th trend out of the jam packed Cannes 2021 Creativity Report:

E-Commerce Everywhere and glean inspired insights from the work that won in 2020/2021. Hopefully we'll also see the much needed re-commerce re sustainability. To access the full Cannes 2021 Creative Report and case studies - visit lovethework.com with your Cannes Lions subscription.





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