Cannes Lions ’24: Who are the top contenders?

Which campaigns deserve a spot on the global stage of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this year? Our esteemed Cannes panel of five industry experts seems fairly united on the ‘international winner’: there is a high chance that the ‘Women’s Football’ case from the French telecom brand Orange will clinch one or more Lions.

Looking closer to home, the Culers del Món campaign from the Amsterdam-based fashion brand Patta in collaboration with Nike and FC Barcelona is mentioned multiple times. Or, as Baba Touré puts it: ‘This is the kind of work that made me fall in love with the advertising industry.’

The panel consists of the following industry experts:

– Bas Korsten (VML)
– Patritia Pahladsingh (Accenture Song)
– Mara Janssen (Selmore)
– Baba Touré (Home)
– Olaf van Gerwen (Chuck Studios)

Starting with Bas Korsten, global chief creative officer innovation at VML (formerly Wunderman Thompson). He mentions the Pink Chip campaign by Akqa Amsterdam, which has been nominated multiple times and started as an initiative with De Giro in the Netherlands. ‘So simple, so envy-inducing. How do companies led by women fare compared to international fairs? Well, better. A standing ovation in my book. And a sure bet for accolades.’

Looking beyond borders, Korsten believes that the also-nominated ‘Women’s Football’ case for the telecom brand Orange by Marcel Paris deserves recognition. Korsten states: ‘Many brands try to bridge the gap between women’s and men’s football – which still exists. But this is by far the best one I have ever seen. Very relevant use of technology in film, confronting you with your own prejudices. A killer case study.’

Patritia Pahladsingh, CEO of Accenture Song Netherlands, agrees. ‘My ten-year-old twin girls play football. And they often play against boys. Those boys usually say to their parents: ‘Oh, those girls can’t do anything. We’re going to win 10-0.’ And as a girls’ football mom, that hurts. They play just as well as those boys, sometimes even better. You know what’s worse? My girls believe it too; adults say it too. I notice how deeply rooted this is in our society. The Women’s Football case is a very beautiful and rightful counter-narrative. And I’ll say it out loud: “My girls are just as good as your boys!”‘

And which Dutch case should win? Pahladsingh says: ‘Then I have to mention the campaign by my former colleagues at TBWA\Neboko: “Know your breasts”. Very impressive craftsmanship.’

Mara Janssen, strategist at Selmore and board member of industry club Raw, has high hopes for the international ‘Coors Light’ campaign. ‘This beer brand responded well and quickly to a recent baseball incident. And really followed through. It takes some guts for a brand to take such a bold step. A home run in my book.’

Looking at the Netherlands, Janssen goes for the Culers del Món campaign of Patta, Nike, and FC Barcelona, also the big winner at the ADCN Awards this year. ‘I really hope they will also score in Cannes. Such a beautiful production about the flow of red-blue blood. The campaign shows that FC Barcelona fans live all over the world and that the club resides more in your heart than in a city.’

‘May I cheat a little bit?’ asks Janssen. ‘Then I would like to nominate ‘It’s handy to have a dick’ from Belgium. No words needed, painfully funny and funnily painful. I hope that humor will be rewarded more in Cannes this year.’

Baba Touré, managing director of Home, agrees with Janssen: Patta deserves a Lion. Touré was early on this, back in October of last year he dubbed the campaign in Adformatie as ’the best work of the year’. ‘And I still think that. The combination of brands, the execution, the relevance it has in and with the culture. This case has it all for me. This is the kind of work that made me fall in love with the advertising industry. We can be very proud of this work in the Netherlands, and I hope for success in Cannes.’

And internationally? Touré also mentions ‘Women’s Football’. ‘I remember when this video went viral, not just within the advertising industry. It makes an impact by telling a story in a simple but powerful way and debunking a stereotype. At D&AD, this was one of the big winners, and I expect it to be no different in Cannes.’

According to food specialist Olaf van Gerwen (Chuck Studios), it was not a generous year for the Netherlands in food & drinks. ‘I do think that McDonald’s and TBWA\Neboko will attract attention with ‘Smells like McDonald’s. Just the image of people with their noses in a billboard is worth its weight in gold.’

Van Gerwen also praises ‘Find your summer’ by Magnum and Lola MullenLowe Madrid. ‘A beautiful film in which the seasonal brand seeks new moments of use. For the first time in black and white and – remarkably – for the first time without a product demo.’

The 71st edition of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity will take place from Monday, June 17 to Friday, June 21. Stay updated on the latest news via the Adformatie Cannes live blog.