5 Winning Spots from Cannes Lions 2017 That Master Purposeful Brand Storytelling

July 12, 2017 Comments Off on 5 Winning Spots from Cannes Lions 2017 That Master Purposeful Brand StorytellingComments Off on 5 Winning Spots from Cannes Lions 2017 That Master Purposeful Brand Storytelling

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Consumers continuously show their support for companies using business to build a better world and, advertising is following suit by sharing the stories behind branded social impact. Not only is meaningful storytelling essential to an emotional connection with conscious consumers, it is also essential to amplifying brand awareness, building consumer goodwill, and scaling your business.

These 5 spots highlight meaningful personal relationships, speak to cultural movements, and authentically communicate how brands are actively working to create value for society that goes beyond shareholder profits alone.

Here’s how Cannes Lions 2017 winners shared their higher purpose:

1) Highlight a personal story: Focusing on customer stories and how your brand helps others live a better life is an powerful way to demonstrate how your products create lasting value. Gillette’s ‘Handle With Care’ spot depicts the touching relationship between a man and his aging father. In the voiceover, the son describes how he shaves his father’s face with the Gillette razor. The commercial then introduces the Gillette Treo, the first razor designed to shave another person. The lesson is that showcasing a personal story about how someone is living a better life because of your product is an amazing way to emotionally connect with your audience.

2) Turn a problem into a product: We First principles reinforce the notion that using business to address pressing social crises not only advances humanity, but also builds consumer goodwill, loyalty, and purchases. In the Humanium Metal Initiative video, the IM Swedish Development Partner shares its mission to reduce illegal gun-related fatalities by properly disposing of unused firearms and upcycling them to create useful products. IM calls the metal derived from the melted weapons, Humaniam; and with the support of partner companies like Oscar Properties and BIKEID, they’ve used Humaniam to make everything from living spaces to bicycles and more. Furthermore, IM reinvests the proceeds from Humanium sales to further disposal of illegal firearms and offering underprivileged communities a living wage. The key takeaway is that putting your mission first and building a brand around solving social crisis is an amazing way to generate both consumer advocacy and earned media, and also to increase brand awareness.

3) Repurpose owned assets to contribute to a cultural movement: An effective way to position your brand as a connecting force in society is by utilizing your business assets to progress a cultural movement. During the 2016 presidential election, Boost Mobile addressed the lack of voting stations in impoverished and under represented communities by turning its retail locations into voting halls. The ‘Boost Your Voice’ spot brings to life real people’s struggle to vote and gives viewers actionable means to participate by sharing the video, signing a petition, and inviting board of elections officials to contact the brand to establish new voting stations. By repurposing its stores, Boost Mobile not only strengthened the bond between consumers and the brand, but also generated word of mouth advertising and showcased their contribution to society.

4) Blend art with science to share a message: Facts and mandates aimed at changing consumer behavior can feel overwhelming and unemotional. That’s why using art to tell a data driven story is a powerful way to capture viewer attention. In the imaginative spot titled ‘Meet Graham – The Only Person To Survive Our Roads’, the Transport Accident Commission of Victoria (TAC Victoria) brought the creativity of art and science together to form a sculpture designed to safely withstand a low impact car crash. The commercial illuminates human vulnerabilities and highlights awareness about the dangers of reckless driving in a captivating and creative way.

The video was seen 33 million times in the first day and 1.2 billion times within a week. It was featured in media outlets and is even part of a local school’s curriculum. The key to this piece is its impact to the entire planet and the artistic approach to storytelling.

5) Utilize existing infrastructure to solve problems: While technology is essential to global progress, as it advances it creates increasing numbers of obsolete items. What’s more, underserved communities are often marginalized when they don’t have access to the latest technology or other essential resources. An excellent example of a brand that took advantage of seemingly obsolete infrastructure to address a pressing social crises is Tigo Une. The Columbian communications company transformed 13,000 payphones into savings accounts that can be used to pay bills with SMS text messages. The ‘Payphone Bank’ spot also showcases how these unconventional depositories can also help impoverished people receive micro loans for purchases like home appliances and build a credit history. Essentially, by targeting an underserved population, Tigo Une was able to position its brand as a centralized force behind poverty alleviation and generate media buzz.

While the tone of branded communications can vary from beautiful, to useful, to funny, to inspirational and beyond, the most impactful corporate messaging utilizes human to human storytelling to foster a memorable emotional connection with the story and the brand. Additionally, products and services intentionally designed to address social crisis are an excellent way to use business as a force for good, scale the organic reach of your marketing and ultimately increase profits. While advertising is most often used to promote products to consumers, it now engages people’s values and feelings to create loyalty. The key takeaway is that these spots are selling a story of social responsibility and placing their products in the context of those cultural conversations, rather than selling a product to people by simply telling them how good it is.


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