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Insights from Awarded Campaigns of the Cannes Lions


We would like today to take a look at the Cannes Lions, the world’s biggest event for marketing creativity, by analyzing five awarded campaigns through our lens: Asian-focused, Social-oriented, and Content-first. The marketing campaigns here are very diverse, but through the key components of their strategy, they give us insights about the direction the industry is heading towards in Asia.

Creating an effective advertising campaign requires targeting the right audience, creating the right message, choosing the most effective media and running everything at the right time. For marketers, when putting together ad campaigns, it is always a good idea to look at what other companies have done so you can get a feel for what worked, and sometimes what did not.

#1 Friendshit, by K PLUS app with AGENCY


  • This campaign was created to introduce the K PLUS app in Thailand.
  • The video, a 5:30 minutes long mini-movie, was shared across YouTube and Facebook.
  • The campaign had huge success with downloads skyrocketing to nine million, representing a massive 37 percent growth rate.

Video can boosts conversions and sales while humanizing your brand. It is also a great way to easily explain concepts or products that can be difficult to explain through text. Plus, Google loves videos too!
You can leverage our video production services to get started with video marketing.

#2 Three Minutes, by Apple


  • Apple launched the campaign “Three Minutes” for the iPhone X on February 1st, which is the first day of China’s huge CNY reunion travel period.
  • “‘Three Minutes” is a film that inspires people to cherish the precious moments in their life by using their iPhone to capture family reunions.
  • The impact was huge, causing a greater cultural influence than the new Star Wars movie and resulting in more than 100 million views over the campaign duration.

Just like the Alzheimer’s Association campaign below, it shows how timing is pivotal, making it easier to evoke resonance among readers. This is something we expertly consider with our social media strategy and planning services. Strategy and planning involve making your processes agile, creating engaging content, using actionable data to monitor current efforts, and embracing evolving technology so that your approach is scalable.

#3 The Fading Font, by Alzheimer’s Association



  • Fading Font is q specially designed Chinese characters set that have strokes faded away, just like how Alzheimer’s would take away people’s memories piece by piece.
  • The Font set has been downloaded and used over 130,000 times, which was No.1 Hot topic on Sina Weibo with over 34,000,000 views.
  • Over 100 brands and celebrities joined the promotion, and the campaign had a total reach of over 234,870,000.

With this campaign, the Alzheimer’s Association found a gap in the market and they catered to it. China has the biggest global number of Alzheimer’s sufferers, yet one of the lowest understanding and awareness levels. Alzheimer’s Association found a unique way to create awareness by creating the Fading Font. Bringing this out on World Alzheimer Disease Day, the organization timed their release to perfection, causing a boom on social media.

#4 52 MAYORS OF DANZHAI, by Wanda


  • For this campaign, Danzhai recruited 52 volunteers to serve as the brand’s mayor.
  • Each individual spent one week in their offices in succession, focusing their attention and time on raising the profile of the village. This led to a 400 percent increase in tourists!

This advert is a perfect representation of how influencer marketing can be incredibly effective. What is interesting about this campaign is that Danzhai made a point of avoiding the use of famous celebrities – a strategy that has been so overused it has become somewhat ineffective. Instead, they choose specific personalities and ‘micro-celebrities’ who have a following in specific communities. This gives a nod to the direction advertising is heading in, and we are striving to lead the way here at Digital Business Lab.

#5 ŠKODA x Handsome Dancer “ CoinciDance”


  • Coincidence+Dance = CoinciDance
  • In this campaign, Skoda used five phases of viral video: a teaser, followed by a flash mob video, then a music video, a tutorial video, and finally a bonus scene.

It focused on “clever appreciating cleverness”, i.e. drivers recognizing other driver’s exceptional automotive taste. The compartmentalization of the campaign generated excitement, like a snowball effect, keeping the brand in the public eye over an extended duration of time. The campaign was hugely successful, reaching approximately 60 percent of the population in Taiwan.

We hope you enjoyed our take on these five advertising campaigns from the Cannes Lions. Be in touch with us to get our expertise in setting up your social media campaign in Hong Kong and in Asia!

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