Lessons from 4 Award Winning B2B Campaigns

The B2B brands leading the way on digital and data creativity at Cannes Lions 2016

July 14, 2016

I recently wrote a post celebrating five B2B campaigns that won Cannes Lions this year through the power of their storytelling. I found every one of those campaigns inspiring. They showed just how valuable an imaginative approach to evoking emotion can be – and they proved that creativity is alive and well amongst B2B brands.

However, those five campaigns were only one part of the story for B2B winners at the Cannes Lions this year. There’s another group of campaigns that impressed the juries through their sheer capacity for digital and data innovation. These B2B Cannes Lions winners saw technology and data not just as a means to deliver creative ideas, but as the inspiration for creative thinking itself. By redefining what digital could be used for, they created immense impact and added real value for audiences:

The Next Rembrandt

Cyber and Creative Data Lions Grand Prix winner - ING

How do you show that your old-school, serious-looking corporate finance brand is actually at the cutting edge of data analysis? If you’re ING, you trigger a media sensation by challenging perceptions of what Artificial Intelligence is capable of, and questioning whether creativity is really unique to human beings. 

Whether you’re inspired or slightly troubled by the fact that agency JWT could train a computer to paint in the style of Rembrandt, there’s no doubting the impact of the campaign.

True Colours

Lions Silver winner  - Cyber

As B2B marketers we talk a lot about finding ways to add value for our audiences. Few of us have come up with an idea that’s as simple and stunningly useful as this browser plugin from the highlighter business, Stabilo. 

It addresses a widespread audience need (growing privacy concerns and the fact that every internet user feels compelled to accept terms and conditions without actually reading them), with a solution that’s beautifully aligned with the brand’s functional and emotional benefits. 

The Stabilo plugin highlights the important parts of any terms and conditions that you come across, colour coding them to help you understand what you’re agreeing to. In the process it builds fantastic levels of brand and product awareness.

Printed by Somerset

Cyber Lions Bronze winner - Printed by Somerset

This high-end corporate printing brand decided that a standard website experience wasn’t enough to bring its creativity and commitment to quality to life. And so it decided to create the world’s first printable website. Beautiful in both its online and offline forms, Printed by Somerset is a timely reminder of the value in fusing tangible, real-world experiences with digital ones. 

The House of Clicks

Cyber Lions Silver winner - Hemnet

Hemnet is a Swedish property website with a difference: it saw the opportunity in leveraging the data it captured on home-buyers’ tastes and preferences to develop a property development business. 

How could it bring its USP to life? How about a unique piece of data science that used millions of property searches to create an architect’s sketch of the country’s ideal home? Even better – how about actually building that home? 

Hemnet’s bold thinking captured Sweden’s imagination and created its very own business sector of data-driven design.