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Cannes Lions 2019: awarding authenticity

Jul 04, 2019
The biggest date in the advertising industry calendar, Cannes Lions celebrates the very best in creativity from companies across the globe. From Nike’s ‘Dream Crazy’ to HBO’s ‘#Forthethrone’, a host of campaigns, projects and initiatives were rewarded with prestigious Gold, Silver and Bronze titles. But through all the wide-ranging categories, one trend shone through: authenticity. As the winners made clear, today’s consumers respond best to brands with a cause they can believe in – which is why so much of the finest work is supporting ways to make the world a better place.

In a climate where it can be hard to distinguish the real news from the fake, or the brand promises from brand fabrications – it’s clear why consumers are valuing authenticity above all else. Therefore, more and more companies are demonstrating their credibility in different ways. We’ve seen increasing numbers collaborate with micro-influencers who showcase products on a smaller, yet more believable scale; many are moving towards conveying the real intent and mission of their brand through content; and – as we’ve seen at Cannes – a significant number are supporting causes their business itself believes in, inspiring others to champion it too. This is a strategy that younger consumers in particular are highly receptive to. As industry insider Brand Equity states, “advertising is changing because the consumer is changing. The current Generation Z is a very different breed of consumers, who want luxury, but also want to do the ‘right thing”.
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As a result, the shortlist of big Cannes winners was filled with companies ‘doing the right thing.’ In the Digital Craft category, Carlings triumphed for ‘adDress the Future’ – a wholly unique initiative described as ‘the world’s first digital clothing collection with 0% negative environmental impact.’ In developing virtual clothes that can be ‘worn’ on social media, the company highlighted how creativity in fashion can be achieved without affecting the planet – raising awareness and money for Water Aid by donating all income from the project. The New York Times was another notable winner in the Film Craft category, earning real plaudits for ‘The Truth is Worth it.’ This series of five videos documents the journeys behind the ground-breaking headlines – illustrating not only the lengths journalists go to, but the importance of their work in making sure the truth prevails, and wrongs are righted. And in the Entertainment for Music Category, it was Childish Gambino’s hyper-viral music video for ‘This is America’ that earned the Grand Prix – in true recognition of the way it combined song and dance with graphic images to highlight continuing gun violence in the US.
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As Donald Glover – AKA Childish Gambino – has proved, music is a powerful way to get an important message across. And while not every business has a cause to fight, all can use music to deliver an authentic brand message. An exclusively composed Brand-Sound-Track™ showcases the identity of a brand in an instantly recognisable and memorable way – and with its inherently emotive appeal, the feeling it inspires in the listener works to create an all the more authentic connection with a company. On top of this, an audio branding production allows businesses to tell listeners about all that’s going on in their company – making it a prime opportunity to showcase any CSR initiatives. At PHMG, we use our production to shine the spotlight on the PHMG Foundation, focusing on our latest fundraising activities and the charities we’ve chosen to support. Consumers calling a business already have a vested interest, but this interest can be strengthened by illustrating that they give something back – making the customer all the more likely to believe in them.

Every business wants to ‘do the right thing’ – and with audio branding, you’ll do the right thing by your customer, and your company.