This year we attended the 70th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity from the comfort of our laptop screens.
Mercifully, we missed out on Spotify parties and flowing rosé, having opted for the digital delegates pass.
Attending virtually gave us the chance to absorb the awards, keynotes and panels in a way that would be impossible in person. Now that we’ve taken it all in, we present our own top three Grand Prix winners of 2023.
Founded by Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free, pgLang calls itself a service company for creators. Winning five Lions this year, its Grand Prix-winning short film is a craft masterclass and a worthy winner. Billed as a short film based on a song on Kendrick Lamar’s album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, it is full of texture and beautifully lit.
Shot in one take with live vocals, two characters whirl around a domestic setting as they argue back and forth, blaming each other for their troubled relationship. The camera becomes a character in itself as it follows their movement, effortless and unrestricted. To light such dynamic choreography is a tall order; to add live vocals and do it all in one take makes a highly technical and intricate job for the cast and crew.
The camera pulls back from the action at the end to reveal the set, in part a nod to those involved in its creation but also a way to peel back the curtain on how much love went into its creation. This is a great piece of work, deserving of all the praise. To share it here would likely see this post banned, so feel free to search it out and be prepared for explicit language and scenes of an adult nature – it’s very much NSFW.
Stella Artois has a history of great advertising and a strong brand dating back to 1366. At Alpha Grid, we love to use data to power creative content, and this is a campaign we greatly admire. Playful and effective, it has a central conceit of looking at art from the past 800 years, finding instances where beer is featured, and giving that beer a percentage probability of being an Artois product. It has to be seen to really understand the depth of research and quality of the creative. As this one is a little less risqué than our previous choice, get a taste here
This campaign hit the mark in several ways, and was our favourite of the bunch in 2023. The insight that grounds the campaign is that 8 per cent of Parkinson’s patients suffer from facial masking, locking them into a vastly reduced expression. And while 45 minutes of exercises a day can help alleviate that, only 3 per cent of patients manage to complete them.
The best Pharma campaigns find ways to remove barriers to improving the lives of patients. The execution here is complex but the idea is simple: use social media scrolling as a therapy tool by turning the exercises into accessibility commands. Blending technology with empathy, it teaches users to deploy gestures such as smiling to like a post, and frowning to scroll. The campaign is elegant, impactful and potentially life-changing for those experiencing facial masking.
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