The Gunn Report’s Cannes Lions 2017 Sweepstakes

Ritwika Gupta, August 7, 2017

Recently, the Gunn Report launched the Cannes Lions 2017 Sweepstakes, an annual contest predicting commercials that will win an award at the Cannes. We look at the 20 TV commercials.

The Gunn Report features the most successful print and television advertising campaigns of the year. It looks at the overall performance of international campaigns and compiles a list of the most awarded advertisements based on creative excellence. Recently, it launched the Cannes Lions 2017 Sweepstakes, an annual contest predicting commercials that will win an award at the forthcoming festival. This includes two entries from India — “Adidas Odds” and “Nike Da Da Ding”. Here’s a look at the 20 television commercials.

Samsung Galaxy S8: ‘Ostrich’

A curious ostrich, wearing a gear VR with Galaxy S8, attempting to fly is an endearing concept. Ostriches cannot fly but this experience has allowed it to get a taste of what is impossible. The Samsung ‘Ostrich’ TVC is compelling but as a potential customer, am I fully sold? Maybe not, because I know almost next to nothing about the product except for the VR feature. The ad is, however, uplifting and could put a smile on your face!

Volkswagen Tiguan:‘Laughing Horses’

The Volkswagen “Laughing Horses” TVC opens with a bunch of horses laughing hysterically at a man’s inability to park a trailer. But when a man driving a Volkswagen Tiguan enters the frame, he manages to park the trailer, without any hassle. Now obviously, horses are not going to laugh at someone driving a Volkswagen! The message is on point; the ad is funny, clever and the brand succeeds in effectively promoting the trailer assist features without being too heavy on specifications.

Coca-Cola: ‘The Line Up Song’

This is a heartwarming tribute to Egypt’s national football team. The concept is fresh and the idea here is to get fans to remember the players’ names through a nursery rhyme. In this case, the strategy works because a popular nursery rhyme is easy to remember and bound to grab attention. The music is catchy and it is also hilarious to watch grown up men with stern looks, singing “Old Macdonald” at a sports hall.

Adidas: ‘Odds’

‘Odds’ by Adidas depicts a day in the life of India’s first blade-runner and war hero, Major DP Singh. The film is beautifully written and demonstrates the willpower and fighting spirit of para-athletes. While the brand promotes their special edition pair of shoes for the same foot, it does so in a subtle manner. It is only towards the end that we see Major DP Singh running in the advertised shoes. The TVC definitely leaves you inspired.

Kenzo World: ‘My Mutant Brain’

Perfume ads have often relied on fantasy and seduction because the common perception is that people put on a fragrance to smell good and attract others. The Kenzo World ad, too, is a fantasy but on a different level. We see a girl getting bored at a corporate dinner. She then excuses herself from the party and then literally explodes into a mad dance! In her feminine gown, she does things which she otherwise would not have done. She breaks the shackles of monotony, not giving two hoots about what anyone thinks. The ad symbolically shows us what the perfume is capable of doing — it can drive you crazy, strip you out of conformity and bring out your true self. Though I could have never guessed that this is a fragrance commercial, somehow it does not matter because I quite enjoyed the ad.

Sandy Hook Promise: ‘Evan’

With a breezy, romantic music playing in the background, the Sandy Hook Promise ‘Evan’ TVC starts off as a cute teenage love story but little you would expect it to end on a completely solemn note. The ad works because it is unpredictable. When I first saw it, it sent chills down my spine. You would probably end up replaying the commercial just to figure out how you missed so much of what was on screen, which is exactly the message the advertiser intended to give. The ad reflects how we ignore, dismiss or simply do not recognise the warning signs of a potential school shooter.

McDonald’s McCafe: ‘Madness’

The Mcdonald’s ‘Madness’ ad film  entertainingly mocks the over complicated coffee market. The ad dissects UK’s pretentious and picky café culture, promoting the rather fuss-free McCafe offerings. This is perfectly complemented by the “madness” background score depicting the unnecessary frills and literal madness that people put themselves through when
purchasing a cup of coffee. The message is clear and simple.

Ikea: ‘My Son’

This is a moving ad by Ikea that plays on the concept of how parents still see their grown up children as kids, even though they are independent and on the verge of moving out to their own place. As kids, some of us would often accompany our parents on a furniture-shopping trip. The ad plays on that memory and creates a sense of nostalgia. It is targeted at both parents and children but I reckon this would mostly leave the mothers teary eyed!

Nike: ‘Da Da Ding’

The Nike ‘Da Da Ding’ campaign is quite inspiring and has powerful visual themes. Featuring several Indian female athletes and regular women performing a diverse range of sports, the brand crafted a great way to inspire young women to take up sports. There is not much focus on any Nike product but the brand manages to  capture the spirit which it hopes
to project. The soundtrack is energetic and really pumps you up!

Maltesers: ‘New Boyfriend’

The Maltesers New Boyfriend ad features a young, disabled girl making light of her sex life and discussing a funny, awkward moment with her friends. The TVC is humorous and is also a great move by Maltesers to normalise disability. Through this ad, the brand bravely fights the stigma that is often associated with disabled people and their perceived sexuality.
It is refreshing to see a brand take on something so playful and edgy.

Audi RS7: ‘Duel’

The Audi ‘Duel’ TVC is a clever and entertaining film. The idea of telling a story in reverse drives curiosity and makes you wonder what led to the two characters fighting in the first place. The commercial is also a dramatic take on the US presidential elections and is filled with political references. The two valets battling to get into an Audi RS 7 is much like how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were contending for the presidency. Definitely a witty concept that holds your interest till the very end.

Sony Gravity Gaze 2: ‘Gravity Cat’

The Sony Gravity Gaze 2 TVC is such a fun watch! The film opens with a girl reading about Newton’s Law of Gravity and very soon, her world literally turns upside down when her kitten starts walking on the wall. Just like how it is in the actual video game, the TVC has creatively used “centre of gravity” as the main theme in the film. There is literally excitement in the air and I particularly loved the ending when the girl changes ‘Newton’ to ‘Mewton’.

Monoprix: ‘Label Of Love’

The Monoprix Label of Love TVC is an appealing ad which projects the brand’s long standing history in France while highlighting their signature packaging on products. This is done through a simple love story over a few years, with a beautiful track playing in the background. The ad portrays Monoprix like a “cupid” as the boy makes love notes which are actual cutouts from the supermarket’s cleverly captioned boxes. A great way to show their products and packaging! This is what makes the ad memorable.

Moviestar: ‘Love Story’

The TVC starts off as a fluffy romantic love story between two teenagers but takes a creepy turn with a somewhat comical ending. What works for the ad film is the suspenseful writing. The buildup in the beginning sort of makes you root for the two young love birds but the unnerving twist in the end leaves you baffled and at the same time, reinforces the dangers of fake profiles in the world of social media. The ad communicates this message using shock tactics and successfully manages to grab attention.

Verena Sure: ‘Capture’

This is a TVC about a diet supplement and its ability to trap fat in the food we eat. There is a rather straightforward message but what makes this ad entertaining is the creative interpretation of fat and oil trapping. The clever use of a fussy police officer who, in this case, symbolically represents the diet pill, is fitting to the premise. We see him at an unofficial checkpoint, arresting people carrying fatty food from the mouth to the belly. The idea is relatable, given how the officious attitudes of policemen are a running joke in Thailand. The ad also skillfully communicates what the product does without actually showing the product itself.

Sickkids Foundation: ‘Sickkids vs Undeniable’

Sick kids are the ultimate fighters and in this gripping ad film, we see their dramatic battle against ailment, disability and even death. The concept is inspiring and the battle metaphor is an amazing way to show that these kids are no less than warriors in a battlefield. The ad demonstrates their inner aggression and the tone is fierce and unapologetic. To top it all, the powerful soundtrack takes the film a notch above.

H&M: ‘Come Together’

The H&M ‘Come Together’ TVC is a film meant to promote H&M’s winter collection but what stands out is the treatment. The train concept is unique and the idea of traveling to meet your loved ones for Christmas is something which a lot of people will relate to. A lot of detailing has gone into each frame — we are able to peek into every cabin through the train window that give us an insight of what each passenger might be feeling upon missing Christmas at home. A few shots of the train corridor also stand out. In fact, the corridor almost doubles up as a runway when we see the passengers walking out of the cabin, wearing clothes from H&M.

Momondo: ‘DNA Journey’

This is an interesting concept which aims to bring people together by showing how much we all actually have in common. It is a great idea to show that there is no ‘pure race’ in today’s world. The film, however, becomes a tad bit dramatic due to the overtly sentimental and surprising reactions of the participants. I felt the ad was trying too hard to come across as emotional. The overall film appears scripted.

Donate Life: ‘The World’s Biggest Asshole’

The “Donate Life” advert is cheeky and impactful at the same. With the intention to encourage people to become organ donors, the ad draws a contrast between how terrible a person Coleman Sweeny was, while he was still alive and his selfless act of donating organs after his death. This is what gets us thinking. The concept is edgy but easy to understand — if the world’s  biggest asshole can redeem himself by donating life, so can we!

Channel 4 Paralympics: ‘We’re the Superhumans’

This is an ad for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and highlights the extraordinary talent that the athletes have. The ad shows them playing instruments, dancing and doing breathtaking stunts. It reflects the immense strength and willpower that these ‘superhumans’ have. The message that nothing is really impossible if you believe that you can is  perfectly complemented by the background track, “Yes I can”.


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