Cannes Lions Direct finalists nail DM innovation challenge

Posted on July 02, 2015 by Canada Post in Marketing solutions


Guest blog by Mary Maddever
Mary Maddever is the Vice President and Editorial Director of Brunico Communications, publisher of strategy, Media in Canada, stimulant and Playback.

It takes special genius to wow fellow professionals in a mature marketing category. World-beating innovation made these agencies finalists at the 2015 Cannes Lions marketing awards with direct campaigns that kill germs, out violence, challenge stigmas and end telephone tag.

When you have a mature category – and let’s face it, mail’s been around a bit longer than mobile – it’s harder to break through with world-beating innovation. If it’s a good idea, maybe someone already thought of it? That said, the 4 shortlisted Lions finalists announced this morning in the Direct Lions Flat Mailing* category nailed it.

READ ALSO: Cannes’ Canadian winners mirror changes in marketing industry

One of the final 4 took a traditional use of an envelope – Chinese New Year’s “Hong Bao” Lucky Money gifts - married it to another age-old insight (fear of germs), and turned it into a hit for Unilever China’s Lifebuoy soap. The BBH agency created “Anti-bacterial Red Packet”, an envelope infused with soap so you can wash your hands with the packet after pocketing your holiday cash, thereby avoiding germ transfer wherever you are.

The packets reached over 270,000 households, spiked awareness up 17% in nine days and garnered $830,000 U.S. worth of free media impressions due to its novelty. No word on how many germs were harmed in the process, but since this holiday coincides with flu season, Lifebuoy probably lived up to its name.

Another favourite of mine was the “Home” campaign out of FCB Lisbon for APAV that unforgettably delivered the domestic violence issue into everyone’s homes. It mirrored an Ikea-esque home furnishings catalogue, but instead of product specs details on the volume and nature of domestic violence accompanied the stylish photo spreads.

The 2015 Domestic Violence Collection catalogue disseminated facts – like the number of children who watched their mother being killed – to an audience of 50,000 homes in Lisbon and over 70,000 via downloads. APAV cites their ROI hopes as “not having to print a 2016 version.”

Another powerful Lions finalist was Vangardist magazine’s HIV+ issue. To draw attention to the fact that the disease is still with us and to the courage required of its victims, the issue was printed with inks infused with the blood of three HIV patients. It came hermetically sealed, with the message that opening it and handling it was as safe as shaking hands with an HIV positive person.

The campaign out of Saatchi and Saatchi Switzerland garnered a lot of press and sparked commentary, some positive, some not, sadly – proving the necessity for more work of this calibre.

The final Flat Mailing shortlist nod went to a teched-up birthday card, “The Calling Greeting Card.” Telefonica O2 wanted to showcase their innovation to business partners, so Interone BBDO Hamburg created a greeting card that automatically calls the sender when the recipient opens it. Using mobile phone elements and an SD card with the sender’s number, it essentially solved that tricky problem of telephone tag, in a tech meets old-school kind of way.

I hope they all win Lions.

*Flat mailing is the Lions category for one-dimensional mail pieces without samples or popups.


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