Football, Heineken, chicken nuggets... 5 Cannes PR Lions Campaigns We Like

PR Lions Grand Prix winner Fearless Girl may have taken many of the plaudits, but there were plenty of other excellent campaigns recognised at the Cannes Festival of Creativity this year. Here are some of our favourites from the PR Lions category.

#Jenesupportepaslesbleus for Elle’s Imagine’nt (France)

PR Lions won: One Silver

Agency: Buzzman (entrant, idea creation, PR)

What appeared to be petulant trolling proved a powerful and effective campaign against domestic violence for French charity Elle’s Imagine’nt. On the eve of Euro 2016, former manager of the French national football team Raymond Domenech tweeted #Jenesupportepaslesbleus (I can’t stand Le Bleus – the nickname of the French team). Well-known sports journalists and former French players followed suit. Huge publicity ensued after the revelation that ‘Le Bleus’ was a reference to the French word for ‘bruises’ – the public were urged to repeat the hashtag and show their support for ending domestic violence. Donations rose 700 per cent following the campaign and it notched up 107 million impressions on social media.

Worlds Apart for Heineken (UK)

PR Lions won: Two Bronze

Agencies include: Edelman (entrant, idea creation, PR)

Described as an "experiment about openness and tolerance", strangers with opposing political views were put together to discuss their differences to demonstrate that there is more that connects individuals than divides them. After the pairs complete a series of tasks, the final shot features them choosing to talk through their differences over a beer. Massive publicity ensued across 150 countries and the campaign amassed three billion social-media impressions – a testament to its ability to stimulate discussion.

DNA Journey for Momondo (Denmark)

PR Lions won: One Gold, two Silver

Agencies include: &Co./NoA (entrant, idea creation), Radius Kommunikation (PR)

The campaign for travel search website Momondo saw people who admitted prejudice against specific nationalities agreeing to DNA tests, which revealed their genetic profiles and some connections to the nationalities they had previously viewed negatively. The campaign, themed around the importance of tolerance toward other cultures, generated 1,133 articles, 8.4 billion media impressions and 394 million video views.

#NuggsForCarter for Wendy’s (US)

PR Lions won: Two Silver, one Bronze

Agencies include: VML (entrant, idea creation), Ketchum (PR)

A great example of opportunistic social-media use, this campaign snowballed after US school pupil Carter Wilkerson tweeted fast-food chain Wendy’s to ask how many retweets he would need before it would reward him with free chicken nuggets for a year. Wendy’s replied saying 18 million, thus kicking off a huge campaign that saw celebrities and brands urging people to retweet. There were more than 3.5 million retweets in the end, way ahead of the previous record of three million, held by Ellen DeGeneres for her 2014 Oscars selfie. A bespoke Twitter icon was produced and Wilkerson appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In total, the campaign generated more than 1,000 news stories and chalked up 2.5 billion earned social-media impressions.

#Brutal Cut for Action Aid (UK)

PR Lions won: One Silver

Agencies include: Weber Shandwick (entrant, idea creation, PR, production)

This clever campaign uses a simple concept to harness the power of celebrities, social-media influencers and modern publishers to convey a powerful message. Influencers were persuaded to ‘cut’ into their content with a short video message from a Kenyan girl faced with female genital mutilation (see video below from vlogger Scola Dondo at four minutes 58 seconds). The campaign reached more than 152 million people using a combination of social, digital and outdoor media, and it sparked 1,000 conversations on Twitter. As a result of the campaign, ActionAid secured enough funding to build centres to protect Kenyan girls from FGM.

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