Twitter has won the Grand Prix for traditional outdoor at Cannes Lions for its series of billboards featuring no copy, just hashtags and Twitter logos alongside images from news and pop culture. One board showed Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's eyes staring out over New York City.
Bruno Bertelli, president of the Cannes Lions jury for outdoor advertising, had a simple explanation for what drives award-winning campaigns in the category. "Would I look up?" said the global chief creative officer of Publicis Worldwide. "Would I give a shit?" "It's a beautiful campaign" that is "clean, simple and engaging," Bertelli said of Twitter's work. He also praised it for covering an incredible number of topics. Read more about the judging over at AdAge.com.
The campaign, which featured in Creativity's top ten print/outdoor campaigns of 2016, baffled some commuters at first with executions with no copy, just hashtags and Twitter logos, but the billboards were designed to educate a wider audience beyond the "bubble" on what Twitter is all about. Further executions went on to highlight election issues beyond just the candidates, such as cannabis, guns and climate change.
Twitter's new billboard may inspire a sense of hope -- or foreboding, depending on how you look at it. It features side-by-side, black-and-white close-up shots of the eyes of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, on the left, and Donald Trump, on the right. There's no copy, just hashtags and Twitter logos flanking each face.
The out-of-home ad just went up this morning near the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey, hitting commuters heading into NYC. The image is simultaneously powerful and ominous -- it's as if Mrs. Clinton is peering suspiciously at her opponent, while Mr. Trump grimaces over the city. But it helps to make the point that the brand is here to keep you posted on the world's goings on, as they're happening.
It's a simple, but impactful illustration of the new marketing approach that CMO Leslie Berland introduced earlier this year: "Twitter is where you go to see what's happening everywhere in the world right now," she wrote.
The campaign had debuted with videos that more explicitly presented that idea, and then earlier this week it took a more cryptic approach in New York City with posters featuring nothing but punctuation marks adorned with the Twitter logo.