Cannes Lions 2018: It’s a conservation game

As the dust settles following another year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, we thought it a good time to reflect on the standards of 2018’s creativity. On the large, we were blown away by the talent on display and the fresh ideas.

There has been plenty of positive noise coming from the environmental campaigns recently, so here are the best of the campaigns from the conservation industry (in our eyes).

Lacoste’s Save Our Species campaign won a total of 10 Lions, and for good reason. The iconic crocodile logo that sits on each item of Lacoste clothing was replaced with 10 endangered species in collaboration with International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The number of each design made corresponded to the number of that animal left in the world. Only 67 polo shirts were made with the Javan Rhino, and there were just 30 of the Burmese Roofed Turtle shirts. A thought-provoking campaign that encouraged many donations to ‘save the species’.

Without the habitats though, these animals cannot exist at all. This brings us nicely to another inventive entry – Trash Isles. Created in collaboration with the Plastic Oceans Foundation and LADBible, it was one of the most purposeful campaigns, winning 2 Grand Prix.

In the North Pacific Ocean, there is an area of plastic so large it is the size of France. The campaign organisers submitted an application to the UN, requesting that Trash Isles is recognised as an official country. If approved, other countries would then be obliged to clean it up.

A simple yet striking idea – creating an identity for the country with its own flag, national anthem and currency, which sparked interest (and shock) from the public and celebrities alike.

The Lion’s Share fund is also well worth a mention. Launched during the festival, ambassador Sir David Attenborough explained that firms featuring animals in their adverts should donate to wildlife protection schemes, ensuring that animals receive the support they deserve.

If the top 10 advertisers in the world join the scheme to donate 0.5% of their ad spending, £100 million could be generated for leading wildlife charities in the next 3 years.

We’re seeing more purpose-led campaigns that focus on conserving a better planet to fit with the current societal values. With planet Earth losing species at 1000 times the natural extinction rate, the need for change is urgent. Ads like Lacoste’s and the Lion’s Share fund reflect the current shift in consumers’ willingness to help conserve our planet sustainably.

Creativity is a chance to change the world and make people look up. If the marketing world can continue to build campaigns for good like the examples awarded at Cannes Lions 2018, it can only do good things for the conservation of both our planet and its inhabitants.

Are you looking to up your marketing game or want to find the right agency to launch a campaign for good? Get in touch.