“Ideas that Inspire” – Part 1

Scott Kronick

In today’s Monday Morning Mojo, I am sharing a few ideas created by Ogilvy and others that were award winners at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.  This is Part 1 of a two-part series where I will introduce some of the award-winning campaigns that have inspired me. In fact, there are five case videos in today’s missive, which I hope you have a chance to view. The videos each average around two minutes long, and they are well worth the time to watch.

Pervasive Creativity

Nine years ago, this month, I had the delight of being a judge for the public relations category at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. This experience was a highlight of my career because it immersed me in an environment in the south of France focused on new, creative, and wild ideas for brands, companies, and institutions that helped them achieve specific objectives.

In fact, throughout my career at Ogilvy, I enjoyed our company’s culture of pervasive creativity, which, in the words of our late founder, David Ogilvy, centered around “big ideas that sell!”

“What Is an Idea?”

Midway through my 37 years of employment, I attended a training on idea generation led by our Asia CEO at the time, Miles Young, who became Ogilvy’s global CEO. Miles introduced various aspects of how to create long-lasting and effective ideas, and this began with a discussion around defining “what is an idea?”

Before you read on, please close your eyes and ask yourself, “What is the definition of an idea?” In the classes I teach now, I go through this process with my students.

The answer, as introduced by Miles, and informed by the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

“A new combination of familiar elements”

If you think of some of the greatest new ideas, they form new combinations. As a simple example, let’s consider the mobile phone. In the past 40 years, this has evolved from a telephone that can travel with you to the Internet in your pocket, which includes video conferencing, telling the time, tracking your health, serving as your wallet, and much, much more.

Big Brand Ideas

If we broaden this definition to ideas that help brands sell, the prospects are endless, and the annual Cannes Festival of International Creativity is one place where these ideas are on display.

So, without further ado, here are some of the highlights of this year’s campaigns:

Campaign #1: “The Misheard Version: The World’s First Mass Hearing Test”

Credit for the Grand Prix in the PR category in 2024 goes to the global public relations firm Golin Harris, together with its client Specsavers. Specsavers is a British multinational family-run business providing optometry, audiology, and other healthcare services for its customers. Watch this case for the new creative combination of launching a hearing test associated with the difficulty of deciphering lyrics on some of the most popular songs released to drive awareness for the need to check one’s hearing.

Campaign #2: “Michael CeraVe”

Congratulations for this second case go to my colleagues at Ogilvy Public Relations for this highly creative Grand Prix winning campaign in the Social & Influencer Multi-Platform Social Campaign category featuring Michael Cera and the brand CeraVe. In this case, watch for the combination of Michael Cera, the actor, and the actual moisturizing cream, CeraVe.

Campaign #3: “Meet Marina Prieto”

For the third campaign, a shout out to my colleagues at the agency David in Spain for this impressive Titanium-winning campaign for outdoor advertiser JCDecaux, illuminating the power of outdoor advertising directly targeted at advertisers. In this case, watch for the combination of outdoor advertising combined with a social platform to bring fame to an unknown person.

Campaign #4: “Great Chinese Names for Great Britain”

This campaign is not from this year, but back in 2015, my colleague Jeremy Webb developed a highly creative, cost-effective campaign for VisitBritain to get Chinese tourists to consider visiting Great Britain for their leisure travel. The insight driving this campaign was the Chinese delight in seeing lots of landmarks during their travel. This campaign raised awareness for the many things a tourist could see and experience during their visit, and it won a Gold Lion at the 2015 Cannes Lions Festival in the Public Relations category. I absolutely love the combination of naming landmarks in Chinese as opposed to English. This case has served me very well in the past 10 years in demonstrating the power of public relations.

Campaign #5: “Water for Africa”

This final campaign was also not from this year, but it ranks as one of my all-time favorites. This was created by Ogilvy Public Relations in France and involves the powerful combination of the Paris Marathon with the challenge people in Africa have in securing clean water and the distances they must walk to provide such water for their villages. This campaign won five Cannes Lions, including two golds, and is also a great example of the power of public relations. I have loved using this in my classes when speaking about creativity in public relations that drives results.

Finally, let me leave you with this image highlighting the power of creativity. I don’t know if this was entered into Cannes or not, but I do remember my response when seeing this ad. It clearly drove home the power of an idea captured in an image for me. I am also not sure if this was the actual ad I saw from a presentation the great Indian creative guru Piyush Pandey shared, but I always loved this since first seeing it. Let me know if you feel the same.

I’ll share more campaigns that have impressed me in the next Monday Morning Mojo in the middle of the month.  For now, I hope you enjoyed the read and watching the cases and learned something. These are all campaigns I feel deserve a broader audience. Have a great week ahead.

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Joyce Beach
Joyce Beach
21 days ago

WoW! I got educated and motivated all at the same time.

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