cannes lions 2018

Cannes of goodness: our favourite campaigns from Cannes Lions 2018

Marc Allenby

27 Jun 2018

Last week was the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity: an exciting time for creatives to see all the best work from the past year. As with every Cannes Lions the standard was high, and every shortlisted piece of work was good. But we wanted to see who was great, not just in terms of the creative they produced but also the social purpose their campaigns served, which is something we always aim for in our work at Harvard. Hence: our Cannes of goodness! Our creative team has been following closely to see who took home what. Now all the results are in and we know who the winners are, these are our top picks.


Why we love it

A clever campaign that took a really smart insight on international law and used it to make The United Nations listen, with a great use of celebrities and big names associated with this cause, supporting and actually becoming a part of the campaign. With over 220,000 people signing the petition, 690,000 Likes, shares and comments and over 50 million video views, The Trash Isle campaign reached half a billion people through earned media, with plenty of big name celebs getting on board by signing up to be citizens themselves.

#sharethelove – AIDES

Why we love it

This campaign played upon Twitter users’ habit of sharing things without thinking and used is as a metaphor for having unprotected sex and not thinking about the chance of contracting HIV. Disruptive and impactful, this campaign tackled an uncomfortable subject and got it trending on Twitter, achieving 15 million impressions despite zero media investment.

DestinationPride.Org - PFLAG CANADA

Why we love it

We love that this campaign took a world-famous icon (the Pride flag) and used technology and real-time data to give it a second purpose that will help people for years to come, creating a safer and fairer world. With over 85,000 flags generated and 135 pieces of media coverage, the campaign got people talking, from tourism offices to politicians and celebrities.


Why we love it

In a world where people are solving problems with increasingly sophisticated technology, this campaign shows that with a strong enough purpose and a simple idea you can achieve a massive impact with a low-tech solution. Thanks to My Line, 99.3% of the Colombian population can now benefit from Google.


Why we love it

This film really tugs at those heartstrings, hitting you hard in the feels when you realise hope is lost. It’s a great example of emotional impact in advertising, yet it doesn’t feel like an advert, or even a piece of fiction – it feels real, which is what makes it so powerful. With no added gimmicks, Hope goes back to basics and appeals to the human inside. And it worked. The film was shared over 6,000 times in 48 hours with over 4,000 hits on social media.


Why we love it

We hear so much about AI being used to help businesses. But it’s great to see it used for a much more human purpose in the case of Project Revoice. The campaign reached over 850 million people on earned media, achieved one million video views, was featured in 41 million social posts, had over 670 articles written and now Projects Revoice itself has over 100 new patients sign up every week.

Bloodnormal – ESSITY

Why we love it

These guys didn’t just break the period taboo – they smashed it, using a huge range of messages and media to get their message heard across the world and ultimately change people’s perceptions. With a PR reach of over 4.5 billion in over 32 countries and a 72% positive reaction, the effort has clearly paid off.


Why we love it

This is a perfectly rounded campaign. Corazón is an outstanding piece of film that grabs people’s attention with a simple call to action, followed up by technology that makes it easy for people to take action and become donors there and then, catching the audience at the perfect moment just after the film while they’re still feeling its emotional impact. Showings of Corazón sold out, with over 10 million people watching in the first week and over 25 million people connecting with the campaign.

Dot Mini – DOT

Why we love it

In a world where new content is produced every second, this is another great example of tech being used as a force for good, ultimately helping a section of society who are often overlooked in the media world. There are already 200,000 books directly available through brand partnerships, with 40,000 pre-ordered units ready for the global launch in late 2018.


Those are our nine examples of wonderful campaigns that not only show great creativity but have purpose, helping to make the world better for us all. Want to work with us to create your own campaign with purpose? Get in touch today and let’s chat.