Cannes Lions: Creative Effectiveness winners 2019 

Carrefour’s campaign protesting agricultural regulations wins a Grand Prix in Creative Effectiveness

French supermarket chain Carrefour has won the Grand Prix in the Creative Effectiveness category for its Black Supermarket campaign. 

Carrefour's campaign addressed the issue that 97% of fruit and vegetable seeds are subject to commercial restrictions in the European Union. Farmers are only permitted to buy seeds that are recognised by that jurisdiction’s official catalogue and any breach of the law risks severe fines. The result is that the catalogues are filled with seeds created by large agricultural corporations.

To highlight the absurdity of this while increasing its variety of fruit and veg options, French supermarket Carrefour began selling species of fruit and vegetables grown from ‘unofficial seeds’ in 40 of its stores in Paris and Brittany. Carrefour also signed deals to procure illegal fruit and vegetables from several famers ensuring the long-term distribution of their produce.

The initiative, which was created by Marcel, Paris, was promoted through TV, online and print media, where Carrefour humorously depicted its farmers and producers as criminal veggie dealers.

On the back of the campaign, Carrefour’s online petition to change the agricultural policy received more than 85,000 signatures and a new law around organic food regulation was accepted by the European Union in November 2017.

‘This piece of work was a no brainer Grand Prix,’ said jury president John Seifert, the CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. ‘It stood up with every single juror at every phase of narrowing the list of consideration and was compelling to read word for word. As a jury, we could not be more unanimous, respectful or inspired by this winning brand.’

Seifert spoke of the unapologetically high standards of the Creative Effectiveness category and how he encouraged his jury to be ‘really stingy’ when judging the 227 submissions. ‘There was some concern that we were being too tough, but in the end we felt that getting to the shortlist would make the process of getting to medals that much more rewarding for the winners.’ 

On the emergent themes from this year’s event, Seifert said that ideas that break through fragmentation to build true engagement between brand and audiences are ‘the holy grail’. He also said that purpose and point of view are now almost tables stakes for brands. And that if an audience cannot understand or dissect a brand’s purpose, then it is impossible to build a link between effectiveness and impact.  

Seifert – who is marking his 40th year at Ogilvy & Mather – also paid tribute to his former mentor, David Ogilvy, who he described as ‘not a fan of creative awards’ but ‘devoted most of his professional career to unlocking the mystery of creative effectiveness.’ 

Gold Lions in this category were awarded to:

It’s a Tide Ad / P&G and Tide / Saatchi & Saatchi New York 

The Fanchise Model / Microsoft / McCann London

The All-In-Promo / Newsan / David, Buenos Aires

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