Staff Reporters
Jun 6, 2024

2024 Cannes Contenders: RGA creative leads share predictions

Senior creatives in Singapore, Australia and Japan choose the campaigns that are most likely to win a Lion at Cannes.

L-R clockwise: Seamus Higgins, Ed Cheong and Masaya Nakade
L-R clockwise: Seamus Higgins, Ed Cheong and Masaya Nakade

In the run-up to the Cannes Festival of Creativity 2024, we will approach creatives in APAC to share their picks of the region’s most standout work that are up for a Lion at the festival. See past editions of this series featuring M&C Saatchi and McCann Worldgroup.

This week, senior creatives from RGA share their predictions for campaigns they think will pick up a Lion. 

Campaign: ‘Sammakorn Not Sanpakorn’ 
Brand: Sammakorn 
Cannes Lions category: Film 

In Thailand, the housing developer Sammakorn faced frequent name confusion with the revenue department, as people often mistook it for 'Sanpakorn'. To address this, Sammakorn launched a self-deprecating campaign featuring a film that playfully sought sympathy and clarified their business focus on selling houses, not collecting taxes. They also encouraged social media users to share their own stories of name confusion, leveraging this common issue to engage their audience more effectively. 

Ed Cheong, the executive creative director at RGA Singapore, says: “It’s awful when a brand hard-sells features and its name repeatedly. But this is a gem where it’s highly intentional. Add to that the unmistakable Thai flavour of humour and craft, and you get yet another wonderfully irreverent but elegant spot. It’s also refreshing to enjoy something that isn’t purpose-driven, with a singular purpose to promote a housing developer. It deserves a shiny metal shaped like a Lion for drilling the word Sammakorn into the jury’s consciousness.”  

Campaign: ‘Adoptable’ 
Brand: Pedigree 
Cannes Lions category: Outdoor/Technology 

Adoptable, an initiative by Pedigree, utilises AI to feature real, adoptable shelter dogs in its global advertising efforts, aiming to advance its mission to end dog homelessness. This programme converts standard photos of shelter dogs into high-quality images suitable for digital ads. By integrating these images into Pedigree’s ads, every ad not only promotes their products but also helps shelter dogs find homes.

Seamus Higgins, the chief creative officer at RGA Australia, says: “Adoptable uses a bespoke AI model to transform standard photos of shelter mutts into Pedigree ad-worthy dogs by featuring them in actual Pedigree ads. Clever use of data and targeting then helps Pedigree to show those dogs to the people most likely to adopt them. I love how intrinsic the use of machine learning is to this scalable solution, but I love even more that it’s not the hero—the dogs are. Plus, within the first two weeks, 50% of those features were adopted. That’s pretty good.”  

Campaign: ‘One Piece – From Eiichiro Oda to Netflix’ 
Brand: Netflix 
Cannes Lions category: Industry Craft/Copy 

Netflix released a live-action adaptation of the iconic manga/anime One Piece by Eiichiro Oda in 2023. The promotional strategy focused on a dynamic digital campaign and the development of engaging brand channels. These efforts were aimed at attracting a global audience, including initially sceptical fans.

Masaya Nakade, the executive creative director at RGA Japan says: “When Netflix decided to create a live-action version of the legendary anime comic One Piece, fans thought it would be impossible to make it as good as the original. Netflix has played with this tension by showcasing endless feedback from Oda (the original comic author) to the Netflix production team. It says, 'If it's not good enough, I can’t say it is good'. A powerful work of words.”  

RGA’s own pick

Campaign: ‘The OutCats’ 
Brand: Ponos’ The Battle Cats
Cannes Lions category: Entertainment for Gaming 

For Black Friday, the mobile game The Battle Cats launched a unique campaign embracing its eccentricity by introducing 'The Outcasts', a fictional group of characters purported to have been rejected from the game. These characters supposedly stole 100 million cans of in-game currency, demanding inclusion in the game. Players participated by voting for their favourite Outcast in exchange for cat food rewards. The campaign featured lost audition tapes, smear campaigns, and influencer promotions, breaking the game’s promotional records. 'Trash Cat' emerged as the winning Outcast. 

Nakade says: “This wasn’t just another Black Friday promotion. This was a story of revenge, ransom, redemption... and cats. The Battle Cats is a weird mobile game, which is what people love about it. So, for Black Friday, we embraced the weirdness, creating an even weirder scandal—a group of rejected cats that never made it into the game. 'The Outcasts' were out for revenge, stealing 100 million cans of cat food (the in-game currency) demanding a place in the game. Then, players voted for their favourite Outcast in exchange for cat food cans. We released lost audition tapes, smear campaigns and influencer campaigns, breaking every promotional record in the game’s history.”  

Campaign Asia

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