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Influencer Marketing
July 12, 2024
min read
Sarah Kline

Cannes Lions 2024: Social & Influencer Award Winners

What is Cannes Lions?

Every year, just a few weeks after the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, the luxurious French seaside town is host to another glitzy event - The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Started in 1954, the event hosts panels, networking events, and most importantly - awards - for the advertising industry. It’s like the Oscars for commercials and celebrates exceptional creative work in advertising and marketing.

What are the Cannes Lions categories?

There is a massive amount of awards categories, including Film, Film Craft, Industry Craft, Digital Craft, Media, Print & Publishing, Outdoor, Direct, Pharma, Health & Wellness, Design, Radio & Audio, Mobile, Branded Content & Entertainment, Brand Experience & Activation, Creative eCommerce, Entertainment, Entertainment Lions for Music, PR, Creative Effectiveness, Social & Influencer, Creative Data, Innovation, and more. 

A single campaign can win in several categories. Remember the 2013 “Dumb Ways to Die" campaign? Created by McCann Australia for the Australian Metro Trains company, the campaign nabbed a total of five Grands Prix awards, the most ever awarded to a single piece of work.

Cannes Lions winner list in the ‘Social & Influencers’ category

The Social and Influencer category was first added in 2018 at Cannes Lions and has grown massively since then.

This year, there were 1764 entries from around the world in this category, with 133 being shortlisted. Eventually, 18 campaigns took silver, 28 took bronze, and one took the “Grand Prix”.  Below, we have made a list of some of the standout winners from this year’s festival. 

"Michael CeraVe" for CeraVe, by Ogilvy PR New York

Awards: Grand Prix, Gold Lion, Silver Lion

The "Michael CeraVe" campaign took home the Grand Prix in the Social & Influencer category. The campaign hilariously presented a fake conspiracy that actor Michael Cera was the mastermind behind CeraVe's moisturizing cream. Over a four-week period leading up to the 2024 Super Bowl, this elaborate stunt was teased through social media, creating a buzz and sparking hella-curiosity among audiences. The campaign brilliantly blurred the lines between celebrity culture and brand advertising, resulting in huge engagement and commercial success. 

"Gonna Need More Tide" for Tide, by Saatchi & Saatchi

Awards: Gold Lion x2, Silver Lion, Bronze Lion

Tide's "Gonna Need More Tide" campaign used the power of social media to highlight their Tide Power PODS product. The campaign featured actor-comedian Kumail Nanjiani being superimposed on a montage of messy scenarios across content on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. The campaign shareable memes, videos, gifs, AR lenses, and influencer collaborations. 

"DoorDash-All-The-Ads" for DoorDash, by Wieden + Kennedy and Superette

Awards: Silver Lion x2

For this campaign, DoorDash turned every Super Bowl ad into a DoorDash delivery. The campaign created a massive prize pool that included everything advertised during the game. They even turned a TikTok influencer into a reporter to keep track of all of the ads. During the game, as ads aired, they continued to add items to the prize pool, whether a pallet of Reese’s, four separate cars, or 60 lbs of mayo - creating one epic prize that spanned 76 brands. The anticipation built around this prize pool grabbed viewers’ attention, resulting in a whopping 11.9 billion earned impressions and nearly 300 million earned social impressions. 

"Cancel Pizza" for Ajinomoto, by Edelman

Awards: Bronze Lion

Ajinomoto's "Cancel Pizza" campaign took an interesting approach to address misconceptions surrounding monosodium glutamate (MSG). They launched a viral movement on TikTok where a Gen Z rabble rouser called for the cancellation of pizza due to its MSG content. The fake account enraged many users who said that cancel culture was going too far. The campaign successfully sparked a conversation that led to the education of millions about the safety and benefits of MSG. 

"Wendy's Enters the Chat" for Wendy's, by VMLY&R

Awards: Bronze Lion

Wendy's took a novel approach with their "Wendy's Enters the Chat'' campaign. Everyone knows that Facebook is generally for Boomers, GenXers, and aged Millennials. The campaign embraced the quirky, endearing style of older Facebook users. The vibe was as if your grandma was given an iPhone, complete with posts with typos,  unfiltered oversharing, and grainy photos with a stray thumb in the frame. Some viewers were questioning if “Wendy’s was ok?”  This relatable approach struck a chord with both younger and older audiences, revitalizing Wendy's presence on Facebook amidst declining organic reach. 

"Wendy's Enters the Chat" via

"E.l.f. X Liquid Death" by E.l.f. Cosmetics New York and Liquid Death Amarillo

Awards: Bronze Lion

People went bonkers for this collaboration between E.l.f. Cosmetics and Liquid Death. The five-piece, black-metal inspired make-up collection was a perfect blend of satire and self-expression. Although totally absurd, the partnership seemed very on point for both brands, playing beautifully on the unique aesthetics of the death metal community. And the dad joke at the end was also killer.

Each of the winning campaigns showed just how much fun creatives are having with influencer campaigns. Humor emerged as a central theme across many campaigns. The absurd was also a prevalent theme: DoorDash's over-the-top and quirky concept and the adorably wacky collaboration between E.l.f. Cosmetics and Liquid Death personified this to a T. Lastly, the fake hoax/conspiracy approach worked several times to generate intrigue and spark conversations with viewers.

Amy Ferguson, Social & Influence jury president, emphasized the importance of social media in modern advertising, highlighting that the winning entry successfully blurred the lines between advertising and reality with its innovative, multichannel approach. She said that the jury aimed to find ideas inherently tied to social or influencer elements that had a significant impact and showcased unexpected, creative solutions that resonated with both viewers and brands.

She said that the jury was seeking out ‘the most unexpected, most surprising, most creative ideas... Am I super jealous? Do I wish I made that work? That’s what we wanted to celebrate.’

You can check out the full list of entries and winners here.

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