Top 5 ads of the week: Cannes Lions Grand Prix edition

Nike celebrates London locals, a decentralized clean-energy project, making trash a country, creating JFK’s last speech, and an environmental tourist pledge.

Top 5 ads of the week: Cannes Lions Grand Prix edition

Bonjour! Salut! Many French felicitations to you from the Riviera, where the attention industry has gathered for the last week of its biggest annual convention and awards. The bauble sweepstakes aren’t done yet, but this week’s Top 5 is a high-five to a handful of the best Cannes Lions Grand Prix so far. Onward!


Nike “Nothing beats a Londoner”

Award: Social and Influencer Cannes Lions Grand Prix.

Who: Nike, Wieden +Kennedy London

Why we care: Oh just watch it. As Wieden+Kennedy London creative directors Paddy Treacy and Mark Shanley told me back in February, “There was a feeling that Nike had lost touch with the real kids of London and our campaigns didn’t talk to them in their own language anymore. So we wanted to get back on their level and create a new voice and presence in London that makes ripples around the world, allowing our consumers to see, touch, and feel the Nike brand again.” Mission accomplished.

Kingo “Creating the largest clean energy user base in history”

Award: Product Design Cannes Lions Grand Prix

Who: Kingo, Ogilvy Colombia/Ogilvy Guatemala, Powell Communications

Why we care: Backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, Kingo is a decentralized clean energy service for off-grid communities, and this project installed solar panels and batteries in rural homes at no cost.


Plastic Oceans Foundation/LADBible “The Trash Isles”

Award: Cannes Lions PR Grand Prix, Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Design

Who: Plastics Ocean Foundation, LADBible, AMV BBDO London

Why we care: There have been various stories about the vast collection of trash and plastic polluting the ocean, but this project distilled both the size, scope, and severity in an incredibly clever pitch to the United Nations.

The Times of London “JFK: Unsilenced”

Award: Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Creative Data

Who: Times of London, Rothco/Accenture Interactive


Why we care: The project used artificial intelligence to analyze recordings from 831 Kennedy speeches, built a database, and used it to stitch Kennedy’s voice into the speech he had been set to deliver on the day he was killed. A fascinating, historically relevant creative manipulation of technology.

Palau Legacy Project “Palau Pledge”

Award: Cannes Lions Direct Grand Prix

Who: Palau Legacy Project, Host/Havas Sydney

Why we care: A bold, dramatic move in the face of bold, dramatic consequences. To help quell the environmental impact of tourists, Palau established a unique new visa entry process. Visitors were required to sign an environmental pledge stamped in their passports, committing to act in an environmentally responsible way while the island, under threat of a $1 million fine.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.