Well, ladies and gentlemen – the wait is almost over. Tomorrow night someone will be taking home the Film Lions Grand Prix – arguably Cannes Lions’ most prestigious award.
The battle has been fierce, but before the big night, we thought we’d run down some of the ads we think may walk away with the big prize from the shortlist of campaigns.
So sit down, grab your headphones, and enjoy some of the best ads from the past 12 months.
5. John Lewis – Man On The Moon
You’ve probably seen John Lewis‘ #ManOnTheMoon a thousand times since it took over TV and social media last December. The ad, created by Adam&Eve DDB and Somesuch London, features a lonely old man who receives the gift of kindness at Christmas time. It’s packed full of universal themes and tear-jerking moments, and it’s easy to see why it resonated with audiences so much, and why its a contender at this year’s Cannes Lions.
4. Barbie – Imagine The Possibilities
Created in the late 1950s, Barbie’s success stemmed from the simple revelation that young girls wanted to make believe with grown-up figurines, allowing them to embody different lives and professions. ‘Imagine the Possibilities’ saw Mattel return to these roots with an ad full of genuinely funny moments as it followed various kids aping adults, a comedy staple that has delivered a number of memorable TV sitcom scenes and films. The ad zippily cuts between these budding professionals, showing both their attempts at aping adults and the bemused reactions of spectators around them.
3. EDEKA – #heimkommen
Sometimes Christmas ads are predictable, schmaltzy affairs. That is definitely not the case with Heimkommen, the 2015 ad from German supermarket EDEKA. The spot stars a lonely old man, a Xmas ad staple, who takes matters into his own hands when his family can’t visit him during the holidays. It’s emotional impact – leaving you wondering whether to laugh or cry – helped it become the most shared Xmas ad of all time.
2. Shiseido – High School Girl?
It’s hard to know where to start with ‘High School Girl?’ – the powerful and surprising ad from Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido – without spoiling its central conceit. Suffice to say, it subverts expectations and offers a very unique take on make-up branding.
1. Spanish Christmas Lottery – #Justino
So the theme for this year’s Films Lions is the surprise ending, the twist. In this ad from Christmas 2015 for the Spanish Lottery we meet another lonely man whose life is cheered up by the relationship he develops with his co-workers – despite being a night-guard. ‘Justino‘ excels not just because of its beautiful animation, which is clearly influenced by Pixar’s soft and clay-like style, but also because of its excellent use of music. It’s worth mentioning that the ad has no dialogue, meaning it spread across Europe and different countries with ease.
Honourable mentions: Not everyone made Unruly’s top 5, but there were a ton of great ads nominated this year, see our extra selection below.
Axe – ‘Find Your Magic‘
Axe/Lynx made a bold step this year by moving away from their ‘our products will make you irresistible’ style of campaigning and instead focused on self-improvement and empowerment.
Doritos – ‘Ultrasound‘
Ultrasound by Doritos was our undisputed Superbowl winner this year, attracting almost a million shares.
John Lewis – ‘Tiny Dancer‘
This amusing and unorthodox spot from department store John Lewis was a refreshing take on the fairly dry subject of home insurance.
Harvey Nichols – ‘Gift Face‘
Everyone knows how it feels to receive a gift you don’t really want, and Harvey Nicks shared that moment with us all last Christmas.
Johnnie Walker – ‘Gentleman’s Wager 2′
This ad from Johnnie Walker features a very smooth Jude Law embodying almost everything about the brand’s classy drink.
OK Go! & S7 Airlilnes – ‘Upside Down & Inside Out’
OK Go! made a name for themselves as kings of the viral music video, and this partnership with Russian airline S7 cements that – with the ad attracting over 1m shares.
Girls Who Code – ‘Why can’t girls code?‘
We all know there is still a massive gender gap when it comes to tech, and that’s why spots like this from non-profit organisation Girls Who Code are more important than ever.
Harvey Nichols – ‘Shoplifters‘
Harvey Nichols managed to turn every retail store’s least favourite visitor into a highly successful ad campaign for its loyalty card with this incredibly inventive spot.