Comments on a Few Cannes Outdoor Winners

After last week’s post showing off a few personal favorites from Cannes, I decided I didn’t really do justice to the designs I threw up there. I’m fascinated with design in advertising because it adds an element of strategy to it. Whereas art is poetic and subjective, good design has purpose. If it’s really good, it resonates at a deeper level, much like art. In this way, design does more than just touch you in a certain way––it also promotes a call to action. It makes you physically do something or mentally commit to an idea. Art, I would argue, does much less of that.

Below each image, I’ve written a little something about why I chose to post that particular ad last week—why it stood out to me, and why I think it’s great. Forgive me, for you are about to read pseudo-intellectual, pulling-it-out-of-my-*** commentary.

These ads are just so clever. It’s one of those ideas where you’re just like, “Duh, why didn’t I think of that?” Which, to be fair, is how most great ideas make you feel. I only chose a select few, but there are a ton more on the Cannes website. These print ads speak directly to the digital audience, which I find interesting. It’s a play on the Amazon/Netflix/every other e-commerce site in existence—we see you liked this, so you’d probably like this. Instead of the obvious, Young & Rubicam, the agency behind this campaign, has gone for the clever. Some funny, some ingenious. My favorite is the trench coat and the stack of embroidered towels—alluding, of course, to the possibility that the user is some sort of secret agent with multiple identities. The design itself is simple, clean, and easy to follow. I love the colors and hexagonal, Venn diagram–style layout.

Certainly not from America, this ad isn’t the most eye-appealing but is absolutely eye-catching. An ad seemingly straight from PETA’s handbook is actually for a Saran Wrap–like product called M Wrap. Photoshop geeks alike would agree that this is genius. If Photoshop wasn’t involved, then muchos kudos to the stylist/prop person who was able to make these animals. I love ads without a lot of copy, and this ad works perfectly without any. Using M Wrap is like having meat so fresh it’s practically straight from the animal. This concept would be great for almost any restaurant or grocery store, but I think it works wonders for a plastic wrap. Brilliant.

How the judges decide which ads get gold medals and which ads get anything else is beyond me. Again, for those Photoshop geeks, this is just flat out ri-donk-ulous. Again, no need for copy, as this idea is strong enough for the image to hold its own. For some reason, I love the regal feel of these images, too. I don’t know why it applies, but it really works. The setting, the furniture, and even the looks on the dogs’ faces bespeak fancy-pants. And to be honest, if I wasn’t going out to buy a new bottle of Febreze, I’d be out trying to find these sick chairs.

Author: Eric Swenson

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