Cannes big hitters: Creative directors including Sir John Hegarty, Nick Law and Kate Stanners on their favourite contenders

The biggest event in the ad industry calendar takes place next week, if you hadn't already noticed. So which campaigns will take the gongs at Cannes 2015?

There’s a famous quote ‘prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future’, but that’s never stopped us seeking out a bit of prophesying. The Drum asked some of the world’s most respected creatives to place their bets on the work they think will win big at this year’s Cannes Lions.

Always 'Like A Girl' (Leo Burnett, Chicago)

Kate Stanners, chief creative officer, Saatchi & Saatchi London Group

Always ‘Like A Girl’: because I am one. This has been a huge success, and its transformation of a derogatory term into a positive rallying cry has really connected with people.

Nick Law, global chief creative officer, R/GA

If this year is anything like recent years, narrative work will win big. Last year even the Cyber category winners were dominated by video content (‘Epic Split’, ‘The Scarecrow’, ‘Happy’). Agencies have either given up on truly interactive work or juries are having trouble recognising it. In fact, most of the best work I’ve seen in award shows leading up to Cannes has been wildly successful social narratives. The heartfelt Always ‘Like A Girl’ will get some trophies.

Mark Tutssel, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide

One idea that has rewritten the rules in 2015 is from Procter & Gamble. ‘Like A Girl’ has captured the attention of the world, and is one of the most talked about ideas in our industry. Always strives to boost self-confidence of girls everywhere. A powerful idea that challenges gender bias and shatters stereotypical images of women.

Bertilla Teo, chief executive officer North Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group

This year, some of the most powerful work we are doing as an industry focuses on pertinent social issues and, as such, cause-related campaigns will no doubt feature prominently on the winners list.

Geico ‘Unskippable Pre-roll’ (The Martin Agency, Richmond)

Maurice Wee, creative director, BBH Asia Pacific

For once I didn’t feel like I’ve lost five seconds of my life.

Nicolas Thiboutot, creative director, Lost Boys Paris

Pre-roll ads suck. They interrupt your urge to hear that old song you just remembered, or to see that cat jumping out of a popcorn box. By delivering their message within the first three seconds, spending the rest of the ad time goofing around with corporate video spoofs, Geico had us deliberately searching its pre-roll ads.

Sir John Hegarty, worldwide creative director, BBH

Being different with a cost saving offer that is repeated 100 times a day on TV has to be one of the hardest creative tasks. Geico has managed just that with a simple idea. End the commercial at the beginning. Not only do you get the message but you still want to hang around waiting for the end.

Honda ‘The Other Side’ (Wieden + Kennedy, London)

David Lubars, chief creative officer, BBDO Worldwide

Winning a lion for your client is always special, but it’s more special when that client becomes the talk of the festival. Wieden + Kennedy London’s ‘The Other Side’ for Honda will be talked about.

A YouTube film that’s actually two separate films to showcase different sides of the car, you press your ‘R’ key to toggle between an action version featuring the sporty Civic Type R (that’s why the ‘R’), and a family version featuring the standard Civic. The parallel stories are expertly matched, it’s a kick going back and forth. And you find yourself going through it again to see things from each version you missed the first time. Highest compliment I can give: made me jealous.

Maurice Wee, creative director, BBH Asia Pacific

A magnificent way to say ‘sporty family car’. I love that there’s only one button to keep you completely glued. Flawless execution.

Susan Credle, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett USA

I get nauseous with jealousy when I watch this film. With every press of the ‘R’ button, the brand name becomes indelible. A fairly traditional brief – the duality of a car – proves that simple, even ordinary strategies can produce some of the best work in the business.

Kate Stanners, chief creative officer, Saatchi & Saatchi London Group

This is a clever idea, brilliantly executed by director Daniel Wolfe. Wolfe is a real talent – he featured in our New Directors’ Showcase in 2011, and we have shot a couple of things with him for San Miguel and Guinness.

John Lewis ‘Monty the Penguin’ (Adam&EveDDB, London)

Mark Tutssel, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide

The Christmas ad of the year came from John Lewis in the UK. Monty the Penguin captured the imagination of a nation. An emotional story of love and magic through a child’s eyes. The integration of this idea is a masterclass in amplification and activation.

Nicolas Thiboutot, creative director, Lost Boys Paris (DigitasLBi)

This addictive concentration of cuteness totally gets you into the holiday mood. Then, you discover the penguin can be bought online, and the interactive game, and even the song, and it saves baby penguins, and, and… you feel like a kid again. Thank you, John Lewis.

Ikea ‘Bookbook’ (BBH, Singapore)

Sir John Hegarty, worldwide creative director and founder, BBH

A brilliant take on our obsession with technology. By reversing the tables we can see the value of a printed catalogue. Smart, funny and perceptive. It plays that classic creative trick of juxtaposing one idea against an opposite one. Analogue rules, OK!

Maurice Wee, creative director, BBH Asia Pacific

Perfectly timed and pitch perfect viral marketing that made the old paper catalogue relevant in a digital world. These guys deserve a big raise.

Under Armour ‘Will Beats Noise’ (Droga5, New York)

Mark Tutssel, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide

Supermodel Gisele Bündchen stands firm with Under Armour in the face of real-time social commentary from both haters and supporters. Gisele remains focused, willing what she wants, amongst the noise of contradicting opinions.

Susan Credle, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett USA

Social media hurts us all. From teenagers to supermodels, we have all been victims. Until we are not. This piece takes working out to another level. It’s not a sport; it is a necessity. And the craft is as beautiful as the message.

Volvo ‘Life Paint’ (Grey, London)

Emma de la Fosse, chief creative officer, OgilvyOne EAME

I love products, inventions. I have a little book full of stuff I want to build. So hats off to Life Paint and a monkey on it to win at Cannes. Yes, there may be rumblings about whether the agency actually invented it or not, but that misses the point. The real genius is that the client is not a paint company or even a bike company. It’s Volvo. A truck company trying to save cyclists’ lives.

The Drum's Cannes issue, guest edited by Publicis Groupe chief executive Maurice Lévy, is published on 24 June.

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