B2B Beat: 8 B2B Campaigns That Took Home Cannes Lions Awards

July 5, 2015

volvo trucks cannes lions

Let’s face it: The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is an overwhelming B2C event. The creative work for the Nikes, Cokes, and PlayStations of the world take home most of the awards at the festival, which took place June 21-27.

But B2B agencies and marketers did not go home empty handed this year, proving once again that B2B and creativity are not mutually exclusive. Here are eight B2B campaigns that won either Grand Prix or Gold recognition at Cannes Lions:

Marketer: Volvo Trucks

Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors

Campaign: Live Test Series

Award: Grand Prix

Category: Creative Effectiveness

Volvo Trucks’ “Live Test Series” answered the question, “How do you get people all over the world to talk about trucks?” The answer was using live demonstrations of the trucks’ strengths to get cyberspace talking. The live demos began with Volvo’s president standing on a truck suspended from a helicopter to prove the strength of the truck’s towing hook. This demo and others built Volvo Trucks’ social media following by more than 1,000 percent, which helped the grand finale – Jean Claude Van Damme spread-eagled between two trucks to demonstrate their precise steering – to go viral. Super viral. Volvo Trucks garnered 100 million views on YouTube and, most importantly, saw an increase of 46 percent in consideration among truck buyers.

Marketer: Adobe

Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Campaign: Dream On

Award: Gold

Category: Cyber

For Photoshop’s 25th anniversary, Adobe and its agency created a crowdsourced video titled, “Dream On” and set to the Aerosmith classic of the same title. The visuals in the video were created entirely in Photoshop, and the video itself was a Photoshop file, which, of course, went viral, featuring as it did, dragons, a baby with a moustache, and a close of up Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler’s mouthy mouth. The campaign even merited a Tweet from Mr. Tyler’s Twitter handle, @IamStevenT: “Happy, happy 25th birthday, Photoshop.”

Marketer: Hewlett-Packard Brasil

Agency: FCB Brasil

Campaign: Print for Help

Award: Gold

Category: Cyber

Hewlett-Packard formed a partnership with Maes Da Se, an organization in Brazil that helps relatives of people (especially children) who have gone missing. The partnership, called Print for Help, uses HP’s ePrint mobile printing technology, which allows posters of the missing to be printed automatically on HP printers whose owners have signed up for the program and who reside in specific zip codes. This campaign also won a silver Cannes Lions in the Promo and Activation category.

Marketer: 3M

Agency: BBDO Russia Group

Campaign: The Banner That Makes You Like Banners

Award: Gold

Category: Cyber

In this campaign for Post-It Notes, 3M created a new take on the retargeting banner ad. With its banner ads for Post-It Notes 3M enabled viewers of the ads to interact with them and create virtual Post-It Notes. Viewers could type messages to themselves – “Dad’s B-Day Today,” “Book Tickets,” or “Change Tires” – and then, using retargeting technology, these virtual Post-It Notes would then “retarget” the viewers as they browsed the Web.

Marketer: LISNR

Agency: R/GA

Campaign: LISNR

Award: Gold

Category: Mobile

LISNR is a mobile technology that uses “smart audio tones,” inaudible to the human ear but loaded with data, to send useful information to smart phones. An early LISNR customer is Budweiser, which used the technology at a music festival it hosted to send updates and concession deals to users. Major League Baseball has also used LISNR to enable fans to sync with video scoreboards to see game highlights on their phones.

Marketer: Apple

Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab

Campaign: World Gallery

Award: Grand Prix

Category: Outdoor

The iPhone6 is a hybrid B2C and B2B product; our mobile phones are the dashboards of both our personal and work lives. So we’ll include Apple’s “World Gallery” campaign, which featured converted astonishing iPhone photographs shot mainly by amateurs into billboards, in this list of B2B Cannes Lions winners. With 10,000 installations around the globe, this campaign highlighted the amazing camera built into the Apple device and featured the tagline, “Shot on an iPhone6.” Four individual Apple iPhone6 billboards won separate Gold Cannes Lions awards.

Marketer: Adobe

Agency: Edelman

Campaign: Photoshop Halloween Murder Mystery

Award: Gold

Category: PR

Since moving its Photoshop into a broader Adobe package, affinity for the software brand has declined. So Adobe and Edelman created a Photoshop Halloween Murder Mystery, which created a game within a Photoshop file that challenged people to solve a fictional murder. Social media was a part of the program with players able to ask questions on Facebook of the suspects, who answered in character. The game garnered 4.8 million impressions in three days and boosted brand affinity from 15 percent to 76 percent.

Marketer: Diagenetix

Agency: R/GA

Campaign: BioRanger

Award: Gold

Category: Product Design

To detect crop diseases, farmers had to rely on physical signs or mail in samples for DNA testing, which could take five days, in which time the disease could have spread among the crop and to other farms. Diagenetix invented the BioRanger, which is a portable DNA lab, which delivers results to farmers via an app in about 20 minutes. The BioRanger currently has about 250 million acres under protection across the globe.

We hope you B2B marketers out there are inspired by these winning examples and are preparing your own campaigns that will be shortlisted for Cannes Lions awards in 2016.

B2B Move of the Week

Wide Orbit, a provider of advertising management software for media companies, has named Mickey McClay Wilson as CMO. Wilson was most recently a vice president at Walmart Global eCommerce. Previously, she held marketing leadership roles at CBS Interactive and CNET.

B2B Resource of the Week

B2B marketers can flex their creative muscles in creating full funnel marketing programs that reach their target audiences and nurture their prospects. For more information on how to build an award-worthy full funnel marketing program, download The Sophisticated Marketer’s Crash Course in Full Funnel Marketing.