Cannes Lions 2018: The Campaigns for Change


Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is the world’s biggest event for the creative, marketing, entertainment, design and tech industries. Held every year in the South of France, the five-day festival includes talks, workshops, networking events, classes and also incorporates the awarding of the ‘Lions Awards’. The Lions are the most prestigious and established awards in the creative and marketing communications industries – a trophy is the ultimate achievement and puts winners among the world’s elite.

The Glass: The Lion for Change

The award categories have evolved over the years to reflect current trends and remain relevant. In 2014, ‘The Glass: The Lion for Change’ award was introduced with the aim to celebrate culture-shifting creativity, and the main themes behind it are gender inequality, imbalance or injustice.

“If our messages to women – and men – portray equality, we will help create a more equal world. I am thrilled that Cannes Lions made the Glass Lion a reality so we can all applaud advertising that is more representative of the world as it should be.” – Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg.

This year, 27 campaigns from all around the world have been shortlisted, and each campaign will be assessed by the jury live at Cannes Lions. We rounded up five of our favorites from the shortlist:

1. “We Can Do it” – University of Pheonix
In this animated video by the University of Pheonix, a single mom chooses to adapt as automation takes over manufacturing jobs, instead of just being left behind. She finds the motivation to rise above her circumstances, reinvent herself with updated skills and become more relevant in today’s workforce.

2. “#IsItOKForGuys” – Axe
Axe has always been recognized as an uber-male brand, but this campaign shows that they are moving forward to help tackle gender stereotypes and toxic masculinity. The film shows real Google searches from men all around the world, showing how guys privately struggle with masculinity and the anxiety they feel to conform to social norms.

3. “The Talk” – Procter & Gamble
This campaign by P&G tackles one of today’s biggest cultural issues: racism. It shows the emotional and heartbreaking conversations many black parents have had with their children across several generations, trying to help them understand why the world will treat them differently, simply because of the color of their skin.

4. “A Man Like You” – Harry’s

This short film by Harry’s, a men’s grooming brand, is about a fatherless boy who agrees to teach an alien what it means to be a man. After going through a set of rules, such as “a man has to be strong” and “a man has to be brave”, the boy discovers in the end that the truth is, there’s no one way to be a man.

5. “Sisters in Sweat” – Gatorade
Gatorade launched this campaign to bring awareness to the benefits of sports for girls. It aims to show that those who play sports are healthier, happier and more successful later in life. In this short film, Serena Williams is not only reading to her daughter, but all girls around the world, encouraging young women to stay in sports and celebrate the lessons learned help beyond the field or court.

So, which campaign will win the coveted Glass Lion? Find out here on June 22nd.