by Jeff Harvey (@JefferyMess) & Glenn Jeffery (@GlennJeffery2) We’re now back in Joburg and, although the afterglow has almost worn off, we’re proud to have popped our cherries. We’ve also had time to reflect on our first time, check out the work we didn’t see, and gather the photos and videos we haven’t shared yet.

Cannes Virgins wrap collage. Credit: Glenn Jeffery.
Top L-R: Just like a movie set. Five steps to hack advertising courtesy of Burger King. The (in)famous Gutter Bar. It’s a Cannes life. The Palais and the yachts. The Trash Isles passport. What 170 Debris looks like. What 170 Debris looks like. Credit: Glenn Jeffery.

Grands Prix winners

Without a doubt, Cannes Lions is worth visiting at least once in your career. Apart from the buzz of just being there, the talks are inspiring, the parties are a jol, and the setting is as charming as the French accent itself. I won’t go through all the work or I’ll be here till Cannes 2019 but I’ll just give my two cents on some of the Grand Prix winners.

I loved the It’s a Tide Ad campaign. It’s a genius insight that owns any ad showing a human being wearing clean clothes (which must be 99% of them). Beyond that, the hilarious imitation of the wide range of generic advertising made for a flawless execution of this novel idea. When I watched the other P&G Grand Prix winner, The Talk, I felt like I got something in both my eyes at the same time. Very emo. And highly topical.

There were a lot of save-the-dolphins, heal-the-world, feed-the children finalists and, while they’re all noble causes, it’s not good enough to just create awareness — it has to actually create a solution to do well. Trash Isles, for example, didn’t just make everyone aware that plastic is ruining the oceans (obviously), but forced other nations to clean it up by taking advantage of United Nations law. If I compare that to the Palau Pledge, which compelled visitors to sign a pledge but without being enforced, it didn’t have the teeth of Trash Isles. The Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks didn’t merely tell kids to wash their hands; the campaign ensured they did so by putting soap in chalk they would use and wash off anyway. That’s true creative effectiveness.

As a copywriter, on the one hand, I really appreciated the Kiwi long-copy ad, Ali, the undisputed Industry Craft Grand Prix winner; the tone nailed Muhammed Ali’s swagger. It was also refreshing to read long form in our modern low-attention society. On the other hand, the McDonald’s billboards were perfectly reductionist: three colours, at the most three words, and not even the entire logo, and yet the message is unmistakably clear.

2018 Cannes Lions Grand Prix - Kiwi Shoe Care - Ali
Click to enlarge to view clearly

Anyway, those were some pieces that stood out for me.

See also


2018 Cannes Lions Virgins posterBorn in Durban, raised in Joburg and seasoned in adland, Jeff Harvey (@JefferyMess) has a fetish for fresh ideas and clear, clever writing. After meeting a copywriter while studying business science at UCT, he got an itch for ads that only an internship at King James could scratch. Since then, he’s worked at Saatchi & Saatchi, Havas, Switch and Grey. With over a decade’s experience as a copywriter, he’s snared numerous awards, including a D&AD Pencil, Gold Cannes Lion and Gold Loerie.

After starting his career in Joburg as a designer, Glenn Jeffery (@GlennJeffery2) made a move to London, where he spent 104 weekends seeing as much of the world as possible. London also persuaded him to get into advertising. Upon returning to South Africa, he worked at Volcano and Grey South Africa on numerous global brands, winning some awards along the way. Glenn is executive creative director of Grey.

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