Advertisements supporting social causes emerged as clear favourites of the judges at the Cannes Lions
International Festival of Creativity this year.
To begin with, the Indian entry of 'Farmer Suicide' created by Taproot India, for the Times of India, won four golds and a silver in categories such as print, outdoor, design and art direction. The campaign comprised 12 portraits of Indian farmers who committed suicide due to lack of rain. These portraits were auctioned and proceeds were donated to the families of the farmers. "The fact that hundreds of farmers commit suicide every year in India touched the judges immensely," says Prathap Suthan, CEO of Delhi-based agency, Bang In the Middle, who was a jury member for the outdoor advertising category.
Similarly, Ogilvy Sau Paulo's organ donation campaign for the football club, Sports Club Recife, bagged a gold each for promo and activation. The campaign was meant to encourage organ donation in the country. This was done by providing a donor card to all the fans in the club who committed to donate organs once they are no more.
"This was a great way to develop a loyal fan base. After all, the success of any sports club is largely dependent on its fan base," says Suthan. The football club promoted donor cards on television by showing real-life people in need of organs. This campaign is known to have not only increased organ donation by over 50 per cent, it also got around 51,000 Sports Club Recife fans subscribing to the card.
Cheil Communications Korea's campaign titled 'Bridge of Life' for Samsung Insurance, won two 'metals' in the promotion and activation categories. As part of this campaign, sensors were installed on bridges in suicide rampant areas. It gave out inspirational messages if someone were to step on them. Suthan says the campaign helped curb suicide by 77 per cent.
There was also McCann-Erickson Australia's campaign, 'Dumb Ways To Die', which won the Cannes Lions Grand Prix in the public relations and direct marketing category. The campaign on train safety rules showed pictures of how people died by doing crazy things. It concluded by saying death by not abiding by train safety was the dumbest way to die.