The Best of Cannes Self Promotion

In 2011, Grey Group flew a banner over Cannes reminding people that their agency was "Famousily Effective". For some this was just another silly publicity stunt, but to others it represented something more significant. I believe what we saw was a real and noteworthy shift in the zeitgeist where Cannes became as much about an opportunity to show off and ‘be seen’, as it ever was about celebrating creativity. Whether this can be considered a good or bad thing is entirely subjective – one might argue that the entire purpose of advertising is to grab attention and self promotion is merely an extension of this principle.

As the 2015 Cannes International Festival of Creativity rolls around for another year, here’s my pick of some of the best Cannes-related work (so far).

3. The Cannes Grand Prix Generator

This is a strange one. Whoever’s responsible hasn’t revealed their identity, so it’s only self-promotion once they come forward. Regardless, I’m including this because it’s a fantastic idea and very funny. Pairing sad songs (I think I got Coldplay) with soppy randomised titles, my campaigns for 2015 have been the Grieving Injured Kittens Project and the Thirsty Limping Elephants Project. The latter ‘partnered with Uber to create a Snapchap. It changed the world.” I’m no expert, but I think this is what they call satire. No wonder the creators want to remain anonymous.

Find out how you can change the world at:

UPDATE - 23/06/15

The culprit has come forward! The brains behind The Cannes Grand Prix generator are Oli & Josie - Cream 2014 winners - and a junior creative team currently on placement at AMV BBDO. They've made a short case study video on the Grand Prix Generator by using the Grand Prix Generator as the template itself - it's a clever tongue in cheek twist on the usual:

2. Guess The Lions

“The 1st betting website that challenges admen’s creative flair, while raising funds to finance campaigns for NGOs”, Guess The Lions asks the industry to bet on their favourite ads and raise some cash for good causes. Another anonymous initiative, all I can tell you based on the website and press materials is that “3 French advertising lovers” are behind this – and one quick glance shows you that a lot of work went into it. Guess The Lions has all the hallmarks of a genuine passion project and a real labour of love. Thus far 618 bets have been placed, which presumably equates $618 for the ACT Responsible “Good Ads” initiative. This is admirable work.

From Guess The Lions:

Bet on your creative flair. allows visitors to bet on ads that they think will be awarded this year, via 1$ micro-bets. In return, when all categories’ prizes list will be revealed at the end of the festival, gamblers with the best in the know will be rewarded with many gifts from the world of comms: Shots and Spotify subscriptions, Fotolia accounts, Uber fares in Cannes.

Place your bets at:

1. Lion Arses

Topping my list of the best Cannes-related work (so far) – today – on the opening day of the Cannes Lions Festival – is Lion Arses by Antonia Jackson & Vicky Katsarou. The idea behind this is so clever and simple, it gives you one of those “Oh, I wish I’d thought of that” moments.

Antonia explains: “You never win a lion at Cannes, you win half. Meaning that somewhere in the world, there are hundreds of lion arses left in the dark gathering dust.” This observation has led the girls to create the Lion Arses Award, the perfect counterpart to your Cannes Lion. What really struck me as brave and ballsy is that Antonia and Vicky have actually gone out to Cannes to promote themselves and are there at the moment, catching delegates between panels. I haven’t seen that level of dedication since a Student team drove around the UK from beach to beach to promote a Sarson’s Vinegar portfolio piece.

So Adlanders at Cannes, you’re champing at the bit, eager to learn how you can win a Lion Arse. Here are Antonia’s judging criteria: “We'll be awarding Lion Arses to agencies who we believe have created truly 'cracking' work at Cannes. For the lucky geniuses who also manage to obtain an actual Cannes Lion, you could also have the chance to use your new golden buns as bookends for your D&AD annuals.

I reached out to the girls who presumably have great Wi-Fi wherever they are. Here’s our Adland Exclusive Interview:

Hi Antonia and Vicky. What made you decide to visit Cannes in person to sell Lion Arses?

After receiving many positive responses from CD's ECD's and CCO's from around the ad world via online promotion, we thought that it was only right to promote the Cannes Lion Arse in its home town. We feel that it's important to spread awareness about the Lion Arse award, and everyone who we've spoken to seems to find it creative and funny. Most importantly though, we know that getting recognised by the ad industry as a young creative team can be a struggle, so why not make yourself known at the most important event of the year!

What is your impression of the festival and the people you've met so far?

There seem to be a lot of important people around, and although we can't afford tickets for the delegate passes, it has really driven us to push as hard as we can to one day get to come here as part of an agency. We've mostly been speaking to people on the way in and out of the Palais des Festivals building, we've met creatives and marketers from all over the world, and hopefully we'll be meeting many more over the next few days. A few people have got in touch to and want to meet us, which of course is great!

Have you sold any awards yet?

We've been contacted by a few people from a few agencies, and we are currently in discussion about awards. So watch this space! If you'd like to enquire, just tweet us @lionarses or send us an email to: We have our portfolio with us if anyone fancies a look!


And that’s how you do self promotion. Of course, Cannes being Cannes, I'm hoping for a few more clever ideas over the next few days.

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