Build Back Better

An opportunity to press 'reset'

Think about which partners you can align with, or how you can involve your audience; smart brands know that creativity doesn’t happen in isolation. A wealth of powerful ideas backed by the right partnerships are two giant steps towards a ‘better’ normal.

The pandemic has changed so much that many at Cannes Lions Live are treating it as an opportunity to hit refresh. So what will this re-imagining look like?

“We know that none of us is Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa or Mahatma Gandhi, and none of us is a billionaire who has the resources to make hospitals and contribute in a significant way to public causes, but remember always that we have the power of pen, the power of ideas.”


Chairman of Global Creative | Ogilvy

Everything comes back to ideas. Couple powerful ideas with progress, such as a commitment to DE&I and positive change, and the creative industry’s foundations start to look reassuringly solid for the months and years ahead.

"Never in our generation have we been able to take on so much adversity and find so many positive, singular moments where we are all one. Your struggles are my struggles. If I can do something to make your world better, it will make my world better. The pandemic has been unfortunate but the path forward is going to be incredibly powerful for us."


EVP | Head of Marketing Disney+ and President

Industry Craft Lions Jury President

Listen first, act later

Taking the idea of building back better literally, LEGO in Poland helped children to learn about climate change by creating a series of new 'Green Instructions'. These showed kids how to dismantle existing sets, such as an aeroplane, and remodel the parts into an eco-friendly alternative, like an electric train. The kids had been campaigning for this kind of education, and the idea won a Creative Strategy Bronze for LEGO and Ogilvy Poland. It continues to gather momentum, and was most recently picked up across the country by more than 700 teachers looking for ways to educate and entertain children during the latest lockdown.

LEGO: Green Instructions | LEGO

Ogilvy Poland

Winner of 2 Bronze Lions in Creative Strategy and Brand Experience & Activation

Powerful partnerships

When Mattel launched Mattel Creations, a collaboration with artists, designers and pop culture influencers, they were blown away by the designs that ensued. Their partners' creations proved that, when you let someone from outside the tent have fun with your brand, great things can happen. "We’re offering these iconic form factors to artists as canvases," said Richard Dickson, Mattel's President and Chief Operating Officer. Many Lion-winners this year showed the benefit of collaboration. One example was Coca Cola, Amazon and McLaren Racing teaming up to put F1 drivers in McLaren cars to deliver Amazon packages and a free six-pack of Coke Zero.

"When we look at partnerships, we tend to look at it through three lenses: we ask ourselves, is this partner purpose-led, like us; do they share our values; and do they share our audience? We really want to engage with them in a way that's fun, relatable and accessible."


Executive Director of Marketing | McLaren Racing

Watch Amazon’s film ‘How Coca-Cola, McLaren, and Amazon Teamed up For a One-of-a-kind Campaign’ On Demand

Inviting your audience to collaborate with you has also been a popular strategy. IKEA, via Rapp London, took this route for its Industry Craft Lion Silver-winner, Soffa Sans. It created a new font out of sofas, with fans of the brand invited in to finish the font collection.

Soffa Sans | IKEA

Rapp London

Silver Lion winner in Industry Craft

A united front

If Alex Collmer, founder and CEO of VidMob is correct, we'll embrace this new world in a more unified manner, with media, data and creative about to go through a 'Great Rebundling'. He predicts that creativity, supported by ever more sophisticated datasets, will help ideas to improve.

In this discussion Alex Collmer, Founder and CEO of VidMob, explores the last 100 years of advertising and why it decays until the point it is no longer economically viable.

Watch the full keynote On Demand.

The most effective strategy for the future is collaboration. This year, the Titanium Lions saw its highest ever number of entries using Participation, showing that even though we have all been separated physically, the power of collaboration still holds true. In the Social and Influencer Lions category Real-Time Response, 18% of the winning work featured brand collaborations,

many of which were quite unexpected (like Chipotle and e.l.f. Cosmetics or Goldfish chips and big-handed NBA player Boban Marjanovic).

Burger King’s Moldy Whopper is perhaps the strongest indicator of how formidable teamwork can be. The multi-Grands-Prix-winning work was a three-way collaboration between INGO in Stockholm, David in Miami and Publicis Romania, Bucharest. Brands should be looking for fearless partners who can help evolve their work from ordinary to extraordinary. That could mean recruiting great creative minds, co-creating with your customers, or looking for partners with skills that are currently out of your reach.

In the Pharma Lions this year, Use of Technology made up only 1% of the entered work, but picked up a massive 9% of the wins, including the Grand Prix winner, Sick Beats by Woojer and FCB’s Area23. This shows that if your brand has the right tools, or can partner up with someone who does, it can truly make an impact.

To discover more insights and content on this theme,

watch this selection of films on demand on Cannes Lions Live.