Staff Reporters
Jun 10, 2024

2024 Cannes Contenders: Havas creative leads share their top bets

Donevan Chew, chief creative officer of Havas Malaysia and Kenneth Tung, executive creative director at Havas Hong Kong tells us which APAC campaigns are set to win a Lion at Cannes.

2024 Cannes Contenders: Havas creative leads share their top bets

Creative agencies across Asia Pacific have been sharing their picks of the region’s most standout work that are up for a Lion at the festival Cannes Festival of Creativity 2024.

Agencies like Cheil, M&C Saatchi, McCann Worldgroup and RGA have made predictions for campaigns they think will pick up a Lion. Today, Havas creatives share with us which campaigns are their favourites. 

Here are their picks: 

Campaign: Yellow Canteen 
Brand: Dulux 
Cannes Lions category: Brand Experience / Healthcare 

Dulux launched ‘Project Yellow Canteen’ in Indonesia to improve school canteens' health standards. This initiative was inspired by research showing flies' aversion to yellow, a colour that reduces the presence of disease-carrying flies in dining areas. The project, created by Innocean, involved painting canteens yellow to create safer, more comfortable environments for students, demonstrating a creative approach to public health through design. 

Donevan Chew, chief creative officer of Havas Malaysia, says: “Who would have thought that the colour that inspired Coldplay could be so unpopular with flies! A brilliantly simple and scalable solution to a common problem in developing nations. 

Campaign: #UnplasticIndia
Brand: Times Of India 
Cannes Lions category: Outdoor / Print 

India's plastic waste output surged from 15.9 lakh (1.6 million) tons in 2015-16 to 34.7 lakh (3.5 million) tons in 2019-20, with half of it remaining unprocessed, posing severe environmental, marine, and health risks. In response, The Times of India has initiated the 'Unplastic India' campaign, advocating for reduced use of single-use plastics and increased recycling, aligning with World Environment Day's focus on tackling plastic pollution. 

Chew says: “A powerful and graphic visual that can’t be unseen. By drawing parallel between twisting open a bottle cap and twisting the neck of marine animals, it dramatises the plastic problem in a shockingly vivid manner”. 

Campaign: Sound of Violence 
Brand: Save the Children 
Cannes Lions category: Audio, Media and Brand Experience 

Save the Children Hong Kong launched a campaign called ‘The Sound of Violence’ using Dolby Atmos 7.1 Surround Sound technology in a short film before Nick Cheuk's film "Time Still Turns the Pages." The campaign, created by Cheil Worldwide, highlighted the increase in domestic violence against children in Hong Kong, which rose by 29% in 2023, by immersing viewers in the sounds of violence to encourage reporting suspected cases. This initiative led to a 23% rise in reports of violence and a 16% increase in home interventions. 

Kenneth Tung, executive creative director at Havas Hong Kong, says: “The media's approach in this campaign is unexpected and impactful: they recreated the Dolby Surround Sound Demo before the movies, creating an immersive audio experience for cinema-goers and conveying the message that child abuse is 'all around you'. Additionally, they leveraged the award-winning film 'Time Still Turns the Pages—a poignant tale about a young boy's struggle with family trauma, abuse, and the weight of suicidal thoughts—to generate even more publicity. Furthermore, the government has implemented a rule mandating the reporting of suspected incidents of child violence in Hong Kong.” 

Campaign's in-house reviewer, Ad Nut, was impressed with the campaign, noting that audio technology is rarely used to warn humans of dangers and violence.  

Havas’s own pick

Campaign: The Pride Lions
Brand: Gay Games Hong Kong 2023
Cannes Lions category: Brand Experience & Activation 

Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2023 introduced its lion mascot, Sunny, and a themed promotional video, ‘The Pride Lions’. It featured an LGBTQ couple performing a lion dance in a Chinese village, traditionally seen as a male-only activity. The video uses the lion dance to symbolise inclusivity, showcasing a love story that crosses traditional boundaries, highlighted by the song ‘Love is a flag flown high’. Sunny represents resilience, echoing Hong Kong's Lion Rock spirit of overcoming challenges. 

Tung says: “The cultural insight that guided the work was the significance of the Lion Dance in Hong Kong's traditions, symbolising respect, honour, and grandeur. By transforming it into ‘The Pride Lions’ with a Pride rainbow flag, the project aimed to leverage this cultural symbol to embrace diversity and inclusivity. Understanding the social behaviour of athletes' safety concerns and the broader anxieties of the LGBTQ+ community was paramount. The work sought to transform the perception of Hong Kong from an unwelcoming environment to a place exuding warmth and inclusivity. It also reminded the people of Hong Kong of their role as hosts and encouraged them to embrace the Games, fostering an atmosphere of acceptance for all participants. The impact of the Gay Games in Hong Kong was significant and far-reaching. With over 2,400 athletes from 40+ nations, including 70% local participation, the event showcased inclusivity. The 1,585 stories of triumph and acceptance empowered individuals within the LGBTQ+ community.”  

Campaign Asia

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