Five Digital Trends from Cannes and how to win next year.

Now that the dust has settled from Cannes. We thought it would be a good idea to look at whether there were any trends from the award winning work. And also give you a few tips on how to pick up some metal next year.


Products are more sexy than advertising.

If you wanted to win big in the digital categories this year you had a better chance if you developed a product than a banner or YouTube movie. The Cyber Grand Prix went to Nike Fuel band. No real surprises there. Nike seems to be an awards magnet. And anything based on product design and digital platforms seems to get the judges excited. In the newly created Mobile category the Band Aid Muppets app where Muppets characters come alive out of Band Aids won gold. Again this is more of a product invention than advertising per se. Even outside of digital the Grand Prix for Good went to a product idea. The Help Remedies bone marrow donation kit is a smart product idea that won a lot of hearts. Why is this a trend? Maybe all the judges are frustrated product designers or want to get out of advertising but they are definitely looking for something ‘more than advertising’.


The Return of the Microsite.

A few years ago the microsite was pronounced dead. We are not really sure by who but that was definitely the feeling. Although this year there were some lovely sites that won big. Jam3’s Bear 71 has won a lot of awards around the world. It’s a microsite that acts more like a documentary movie as it follows a bear around a Canadian national park. Elsewhere we saw the Philips orchestra pick up a gold. And even Google were not afraid to create a stand alone microsite with the Rome piece. All these three won Gold. They were all beautifully designed and didn’t necessarily have that ‘extra piece’. They were sites, you went there, you played around for a bit, enjoyed it and moved on. No shame there.


Facebook is lame but Twitter is still cool.

If the judges are in love with products then it seems they have fallen out of love with Facebook. No ideas that had Facebook as the core – like Whopper Sacrifice – won anything big this year. Maybe there were just not the ideas but maybe it’s a sign of Facebook fatigue. Twitter still had a good showing picking up a Grand Prix in Cybe for the Swedish tourism work where people were allowed to take over the official twitter feed. A very simple idea that partly offset the more complex Nike Fuel Band that also won Grand Prix. Probably next year Twitter will be seen as old hat and there are already a few contenders for gold on Pinterest and Instagram.


No Mother Fucking virals?

K-Swiss and Kenny Powers as the Mother Fucking CEO won pretty much every ‘digital’ award going in to Cannes but didn’t do so well here. There are probably two explanations for this. The first that Cannes wants to be different and the judges were bored of it. Or secondly – and lets hope this is the real reason – the judges felt it was not really a digital – or interactive idea and more just a funny piece of film. Elsewhere there were no other ‘viral’ movies that won big. No dancing babies or long Nike / Philips films. The notion of creating a 3 minute blockbuster, putting it online and hoping for a digital gold doesn’t seem to cut it anymore.


Anyone can win.

There was not a dominant client, agency or country this year. Previously we have seen clients like Uniqlo clean up. Or agencies like Crispin. And sometimes it’s been all about the Swedes. This year the metal was pretty evenly handed out. You have DDB winning and Tribal DDB. You have Canada winning stuff as well as New York. Sweden obviously always win something but France represented their hometown too. This might be because more agencies are becoming better at digital work, the talent is becoming more evenly distributed or it might be that clients are becoming more comfortable with producing innovative work. Whatever the reason this is a good thing. It gives you hope, right?

But sometimes you need a little more than hope.

If you’re hungry for a Cyber Lion but still getting to grips with the world of digital, three Cannes winners are going to tell you their secrets. They’ve put together an all-day course in New York where they will to give you a tip – or fifty – on how to do game-changing digital work.

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