As agencies battle each other for Lions next week in Cannes, a gesture of peace might just end up with the most hardware.
Burger King and Y&R's McWhopper offer to McDonald's for Peace One Day is one of the pre-festival favorites. But it's only one of several dozen remarkable campaigns on Leo Burnett's 29th annual Cannes Predictions list.
Burnett identified six key themes this year: inventions (DB's Brewtroleum, If Insurance's "Slow Down GPS," Samsung's "BrainBAND"), earned media (Cointreau's #NotComingSoon, Netflix's FU2016), creative media partnerships with Silicon Valley (The Art Institute's "Van Gogh BnB"), personalization (Beats by Dre's "Straight Outta"), authentic truth (REI's #OptOutside) and storytelling by animation ("Justino," "ShottaSoCo," "Paper," "Shoplifters"). As usual, though, plenty of the work highlighted here is so forward-thinking that it defies categorization.
Visit adweek.com/cannes all next week for real-time reports from the festival, including video interviews, analysis, winners' galleries and more.
• Burger King & Peace One Day "McWhopper"
Y&R, Auckland, New Zealand
A truce in the burger wars? Burger King brilliantly suggested just that to McDonald's, offering to collaborate on a McWhopper for Peace Day. McDonald's politely declined, but BK had already scored a massive PR victory for an integrated stunt that should dominate across multiple categories in Cannes.
• Shiseido "High School Girl?"
Watts of Tokyo
The year's most mesmerizing product demo. The camera moves through what we think is a group of high school girls, but then, as it circles back through the same group, it becomes clear they're not high school girls at all—Shiseido makeup has hidden the truth all along.
• Remy Cointreau/Louis XIII Cognac "#NotComingSoon"
Fred & Farid, New York
Cointreau got Robert Rodriguez to film a movie starring John Malkovich with a very eccentric twist: The finished cut has been put in a vault and won't be seen by anyone for 100 years. It will open in 2115, when the brand's Louis XIII cognac, bottled today, is ready.
• Harvey Nichols "Shoplifters"
This cheeky, inspired 90-second spot used real security-camera footage of shoplifters at a Harvey Nichols store in London—adding expressive cartoon faces to the perps, making it a rollicking bit of fun. "Love freebies? Get them legally," says the ad, promoting the chain's rewards app.
• Volvo Trucks "Look Who's Driving"
Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg, Sweden
F&B brought back its famous "Live Test Series" campaign in style, getting a 4-year-old to pilot a Volvo FMX, billed as "the toughest truck we ever built," via remote control. It's pure joy to see Sophie send the vehicle careening through marshes, deep ditches and even a concrete building.
• Prodiss "#MaPlaceEstDansLaSalle"
Fred & Farid, Paris
After the attack on the Bataclan concert hall in November, attendance at live shows in Paris plummeted. So, concert halls and theaters united in an act of solidarity—by all changing the names of their productions to Ma Place Est Dans La Salle (My Place Is at the Show).
• Sagami "Act of Love"
Hakuhodo Kettle, Tokyo
This condom brand got humans to act out animal courtship rituals, and the results were both hilarious and weirdly poignant. "We think too much and end up feeling afraid," the brand said. "Animals don't worry over their decisions. They act out of need and express themselves instinctively."
• Art Institute of Chicago "Van Gogh BnB"
Leo Burnett, Chicago
The Art Institute brought together all three versions of Van Gogh's "The Bedroom" for the first time in North America. To promote the show, it built an amazing, full-scale, livable model of the bedroom in a historic Chicago building—and let people rent it on Airbnb.
• Bajaj "The Nation's Bike"
Leo Burnett, Mumbai, India
In 2014, the Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, which had played a heroic role in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, was scrapped for metal. To preserve this treasured piece of history, Bajaj bought the metal and made motorcycles from it—selling 11,000 on the very first day.
• Samsung "BrainBAND"
Leo Burnett, Sydney
With help from a neuroscientist and an industrial designer, Samsung invented a headband that monitors concussion activity in the wearer. Sensors measure the force of impacts in real time, relaying data to doctors, referees and coaches, while LED lights indicate the severity of a hit.
• Under Armour "Rule Yourself: Phelps"
Droga5, New York
Impeccable craft and a compelling story of an aging hero's last stand made Under Armour's Michael Phelps spot one of the year's best. Beautiful and haunting, it captured the swimmer's solitary struggles perfectly as he prepares for one last shot at glory, and redemption, in Rio.
This story first appeared in the June 13, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.