BCMA panel at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity
A packed audience attended the BCMA panel session, Five Campaigns That Shook The Advertising World, that pinpointed the pivotal moments in recent branded entertainment history that have truly changed the game for brands using content at the heart of their marketing campaigns.
The panel was created to mark the BCMA’s fifteen year anniversary of ‘Promoting the Value of Branded Content’, and started with a compilation of some extraordinary Cannes Lions Grand Prix winning campaigns over that period.
The music from the film was the Flower Duet from Leo Delibes three-act opera Lakme. It was also used for the British Airways ‘Face’ ad from 1989 reputedly the first £1million ad. Thirty years on and BA are still using this tune on board today.
We all have our favourite ads over the years that may have influenced our careers, so we wanted to challenge our illustrious panel of leading brands to seek out those pivotal moments.
The brands our panel represented, i.e. IBM, Lego and Bacardi Martini, have a combined market value of around $150bn and invest a serious amount in marketing.
So what were the five campaigns?
Lisa Gilbert, CMO of IBM UK & Ireland (and soon to be moving to Tokyo to take up a similar role), began with the incredible Red Bull Stratos ‘Jump From Space’.
Next we heard from Lars Silberbauer the Senior Global Director at Lego who wanted to focus on the Pepsi ‘Protest’ campaign featuring Kendall Jenner. Clearly an example that didn’t work in the way it was intended. Although the craft and execution was excellent the desired results were not achieved.
Lisa Jedan the Global Head of PR & Corporate Communications at Bacardi Martini took us back to 2001, a time without smart phones or YouTube, when BMW created their groundbreaking ‘Film Series’. This is generally deemed as ‘catergory defining’ and the pivotal moment in ‘modern day’ branded entertainment history.
We then looked at the iconic Apple iPod ‘Silhouettes’ campaign from 2003, which was truly innovative having an evocative effect on popular culture and fashion at the time. It was made so powerful by the boldness and clarity of colour contrasted with the black and white. Also it used simple but powerful imagery that was instantly recognisable. Since then Apple have sold over 300 million iPods and more than 10 billion songs via iTunes.
The final example was the brilliant cinematic 90-second ad for Orange from 1998. It was directed by Ridley Scott who returned to commercials for the first time in eight years to make it and is seen as one of his most prescient ads. It was the first time that Orange had taken this approach and proved wildly successful. It is widely believed that it also greatly influenced Scott when creating the BMW Film series.
The key insight from the brands was that agencies and partners need to stop thinking about ‘campaigns’, think more ‘consumer first’ and go back to the key reasons as to why content is the right answer.
The full video and recording will be available on Spotify soon.