Creativity in Cannes

As first-timers at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, my colleague Rick Rhodes and I found that it is more than just a “conference” – it is a celebration. It is a celebration not just for the highly coveted Lions awards, but rather for the breadth of amazing work executed globally. It was an experience (to say the least) to see the depth of creativity and the vast variety of different expressions in one place and – many times – in the most unexpected of categories. Since we returned, it has taken me the better part of the past week to process the sheer amount of ‘awesome’ we witnessed at Cannes.

From parental solutions to social causes, from manboobs to ladyballs, from Black Friday to immersive experiential activations to, yes, even campaigns among the stars above, it was eye-opening and refreshing to see the envelope pushed, boundaries broken and the real, impactful behavioral changes these campaigns affected. Given that Rick and I focus largely on the beer business here at Zeno, it’s not surprising that the two campaigns that made the biggest impact on us both involved that tasty beverage. What was surprising was the level of ingenuity and potential global social change stemming from leveraging by-products from the beer-making process.

Drink beer, save the world?

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It was a boldly delicious statement and one that DB Export, a New Zealand brewery, brought to life with the creation of Brewtroleum, a biofuel made from the yeast by-product of the beer brewing process. Approximately 300,000 liters of Brewtroleum was made available at 60 Gull gas stations across New Zealand and was made from the by-products of the production of 8.8 million bottles of beer.

Save the planet with a six-pack

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It’s widely known that those plastic rings holding together your beloved six-pack of choice aren’t great for the environment – they are a known inanimate enemy of wildlife. Enter Florida’s Saltwater Brewery who utilized the brewing by-products (such as wheat and barley) and created edible, fully biodegradable six-pack rings. With this move – should the rings end up in the ocean – the rings will serve to feed (rather than harm or kill) marine life. It is in equal parts exciting, humbling and inspiring that this type of industry-driven thinking can and will change the world one campaign at a time.  The Cannes Lions Jury agree, and their official manifesto reads, “The purpose of Cannes Lions judging is to identify creatively courageous work and inspire more. Why? Because creative solutions are more effective, creative companies are more successful and, most importantly, because sometimes creative communications can impact the world.”

If you haven’t had the opportunity to view all of the incredible programs in person, we encourage you to visit the Cannes Lions 2016 video archives to peek at the stunning work from across the globe. By the way, these videos also allow you to relive some of the amazing sessions presented at this year’s Festival of Creativity. Stay tuned for another blog post later this week about how to replicate the Cannes experience for those who weren’t able to attend!

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