The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity was a star-filled (or for some, booze-filled) night that struck awe and amazement to all, as the judges reviewed the funniest, most memorable and most innovative ads we’ve seen this year, giving credit to those who deserved it and really broke it down for us.

It was interesting to see great ads be stripped apart, anatomised and distilled down to the core; peeking behind the curtain of their impressive imagination and outstanding executions, from brief to output.

But taking a step back, we noticed a clear pattern that emerged between the winners:


It seems that if a gold is what you are after, you had to have a kick-ass case study in your back pocket, complemented by well-edited videos, smooth transitions and an even smoother talker. You may think this is complete nonsense, but even if you had a world changing idea, it wouldn’t leave the idea realm without a solid, well-presented, visually/aurally-stimulating explanation.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that delivery is equally as important as content. So if you find yourself trying to win the next gold, think of it as telling your best joke and consider these factors.

#1: Your Target.
Know who you are speaking to. Even if you think an idea is universally understood, gauge the crowd; see if a more formal approach works – or if you need get some humour in the mix to wake up the crowd. It is vital to know what turns the audience on.

#2: Simplicity.
Not to be confused with talking down to your listeners, winning ideas are usually the easiest to comprehend. As long as you take the layman’s approach, your peers will be kicking themselves for not getting it first.

“Great Ideas = I could do that + Yeah, but you didn’t”

#3: Tickle Their Senses.
A presentation is all dandy, but what could you do spice it up? Remember, we have 5 senses to be played with here. A well-shot video never hurt, nor did some crowd interaction in between. Hell, even hand out food samples while you’re at it! Engagement is key.

#4: The Setup.
The audience wants a story, not a regurgitated report told to them in your best robot voice. They want peaks and troughs, twists and turns, character development, a protagonist they can relate to, conflicts and obstacles; which will all inadvertently lead to one massive build up.

#5: The Pay-Off.
This is when you unveil what everything else has been leading up to, making sure that this part can’t be anything short of spectacular. This is the climatic ending where you finally flip the script; revealing Bruce Willis was dead all along or that Tyler Durden IS Ed Norton. With that final blow, they will be putty in your callused, commanding hands.

So is your brand ready to take those great ideas out to the frontline?

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How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

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