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Cannes Contenders: Expect the Unexpected from DDB's Best Work This Year

Advertising Agency
New York, USA
DDB pins its Cannes Lions hopes on work from Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, the UK, the USA, France and Germany

It's been just over a year since DDB launched its Unexpected Works campaign and brand positioning. How has that played out in the creative output of the agency network? We tapped DDBers from around the globe to pick out the DDB campaigns that they believe worthy of picking up some metal at Cannes Lions.

LBB has asked every major agency network to share its best work from the past year ahead of Cannes Lions 2022. Check out all the lists published so far here.

Samsung - iTest 

Agency: DDB Aotearoa New Zealand 

“This is genius. It achieves what every ad from every phone brand since the first iPhone came out has been trying to do - get Apple people to dip their toes in the water on another platform. That’s no small task. Every little detail, from gestures to animations, is in there. I feel like I’m literally using a different device. And with 12 million iPhone users trying it out, the effectiveness of this is mind-blowing. What an epic hack.” Psembi Kinstan, ECD, DDB Group Melbourne

Coors Light - Chillboards

Agencies: DDB Chicago, Nord DDB, adam&eveDDB 

“The world's first out-of-home advertising campaign, that no one can see but everyone can feel, is one of my absolute Cannes Lions favourites this year. It’s literally a cool idea with an even cooler execution. To lower temperatures in cities by painting billboards on top of dark roofed buildings is a creative, intelligent and bold way to communicate that Coors Light is ‘Made to Chill’. Campaigns that connect with people in a smart, innovative and environmentally friendly way will probably go all the way to the top in this year's Cannes Lions.” Frank Nystuen, Creative Director, Nord DDB 

Pepsi - Better with Pepsi

Agency: AlmaDDB 

For years, Pepsi has been grounded in unapologetic enjoyment, and for many more years, consumers have unapologetically enjoyed food. That’s why Pepsi and food unapologetically go together, better than anything else. But for 30+ years and still today, burger chains in the U.S only serve Coca-Cola to pair with their burgers.

When Pepsi commissioned third-party blind taste tests to discover how burgers from the top three chains paired with different beverages, the results were clear: participants preferred Pepsi over Coke. This inspired #BetterWithPepsi, a proactive campaign idea from Alma DDB, using wrappers from the top burger chains in the US, consumers could see to show that while Pepsi might not be on the menu, it’s always in the picture. Spreading instantly on social media and around the globe, it generated many memes and empowered people to take control of enjoying their burgers to the fullest.

The campaign has been widely hailed as Pepsi’s best brand work in recent history, with 3.4 billion impressions.

Frontline 19 - Hopeline 19

Agency: adam&eveDDB 

While some of us dare to imagine a world after covid-19, 3 million NHS and frontline workers carry it with them every day. So much so, two in five NHS frontline staff are now suffering from PTSD. That’s double the rate found in military veterans with recent combat experience. One crisis has caused another.

Partnering with charity Frontline19 on Emergency Services Day in September 2021, DDB launched Hopeline19. A national phone service for the public to leave a message of support, gratitude and love for those fighting to keep us safe. Anyone who needs it can call the line for free 24/7 to hear a randomised series of messages from the public.

Hopeline19 has become a lifeline for the NHS. At its peak, the line received 6000 calls a day from and thus far, 76,350 minutes of support have been delivered directly to frontline workers. This poignant and powerful campaign received a coveted and rare D&AD Black Pencil.

Twix - Bears 

Agency: DDB Chicago

Twix had been running the Left/Right campaign for the past six years. When DDB took over the portfolio, the team looked to evolve the popular campaign into a hilarious message that no matter what side you choose, you can’t lose.

The award winning campaign went on to prove that in a world where our daily choices are fraught with stress, consequence, and indecision, the choice between Left Twix and Right Twix is one that you cannot get wrong.

Skittles - Bring Back Lime

Agency: DDB Chicago

Since Skittles swapped out the Lime flavour for Green Apple almost nine years ago, over 130,880 people have taken to the internet to complain. To make amends, DDB Chicago and Skittles announced that it would bring back the fan favourite Lime and apologise to every single person, through a live, 35 minute press conference on Twitch.

Twitch was an unexpected platform. And in a world where we are in a constant battle for attention, the 35 minute livestream saw more than 136,000 unique viewers, a new benchmark for Mars. And the response from lime-lovers has been overwhelmingly positive, so apology accepted!

Volkswagen - Ad Break

Agency: DDB Group Sydney 

“Now I’m no mathematician but commandeering entire ad breaks for the price of 30 seconds sounds like exceptionally good value. But doing it at the expense of your biggest rivals? Well, that’s brilliant. Well played Volkswagen and DDB.” Brett Colliver,Creative Director, DDB Group NZ

Reporters Without Borders - Truth Wins

Agency: DDB Group Germany 

“Press freedom is an abstract and often political topic and sometimes people struggle to grasp its importance. I really like to see how creativity brings attention to the fight of Reporters Without Borders and creates awareness for the dangers of censorship.” Tobias Natterer, Senior Copywriter, DDB Berlin 

Unesco - Cookie Factory 

Agency: DDB Paris 

When we ‘accept cookies’, what do we really accept? 

What are the consequences? How much of our personal data is being collected and exploited? On the internet, you are what you watch. Every major platform feeds on you. Your data has become the most valuable resource on earth. Privacy is in danger and UNESCO asked DDB Paris to find a solution to raise awareness. Introducing The Cookie Factory, a Chrome extension which crawls the web on the user’s behalf in order to organically replace their cookies with those of a fictive profile. The goal is to permit users to become anyone, to fool the system, and to show every internet user the impact of their data’s collection in a playful way. The experience is based on your IP address and real time data, making each experience unique wherever you are in the world.

The Cookie Factory effectively roasted the web economy showing just how easy it is to fool the algorithms.

IPC - #WeThe15

Agency: adam&eveDDB 

Together with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), adam&eveDDB launched WeThe15 – a decade-long global campaign that set out to become the world’s biggest ever human rights movement for the 1.2 billion persons with disabilities.

To launch the movement, 225 global landmarks were lit purple, the largest coalition of organisations and brands united in solidarity for the cause, and a striking campaign film was played at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony, reaching 250 million people instantly.

WeThe15 is forcing the world to take notice of the 15% who are demanding to be recognised as nothing other than ‘ordinary’.

Zero media budget, 6.7 billion people reached, 15% of humanity united for the first time.

Pilsen - E-nterpreters 

Agencies: Fahrenheit DDB, FTW DDB Peru 

“Every time I see this piece, I feel pride about the novelty of reaching the powerful world of gaming through inclusion.” Juan Carlos Ortiz, President, DDB Latina 

Brahma - Foamy Haircut

Agency: Africa DDB 

“Africa found a smart, irreverent way to bring to life a key product attribute in Brahma while linking it to some of the most well-known footballers on the planet.  It has an interesting ‘hackvertising’ element that I greatly appreciate. I believe we sometimes get over focused on creating blue sky, world-changing ideas that we forget that relevant, clever ideas with high entertainment value sometimes make the most impact. Plus, for die-hard fans like me, the humour is incredibly relatable and ties it all together nicely.” Alvar Sunol, Co-President and Chief Creative Officer, Alma


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