Cannes Journal - Thursday

Jun 22, 2017

Every person at Cannes Lions has a powerful voice – across agency, brand, technology or media. And in a world where 67% of consumers believe brands have more power to create change than government, it's our responsibility to use our voices for good. Today, we attended an insightful seminar hosted by Proctor & Gamble that focused on how brands use their creative voices for good and growth. Speakers included top executives from P&G and Facebook, Marc Pritchard and Sheryl Sandberg, in addition to media thought leaders, Tina Brown and Madonna Badger. View our highlights below.



  • Consumers want to vote with their wallets and make purchase decisions based on positive value systems. Data shows that brands who use their voice responsibly and with regard to gender equality are rewarded with greater consumer respect, loyalty, and purchase intent. For example, P&G's purposeful "Like a Girl" campaign became their most-viewed ad of all time and led to significant business growth. 
  • Gender equality doesn't have to be a trade-off; equality is good for the world and good for business. In fact, brands who speak in the language of gender equality have 8-10% more positive sentiment than brands that don’t. Microsoft's #MakeWhatsNext commercial increased brand sentiment by 19 points. Likewise, P&G's "Share the Load" ad increased brand awareness by 132%.
  • A major issue with gender equality is the objectification of women in media. 28% of TV ads negatively portray women (stereotyping, objectification, diminishing character portrayal). Brands and organizations can take steps to avoid this by going beyond acknowledging stereotypes exists; they can take action to change them. The Cannes jury, for example, rejected sexism in advertising and disqualified campaigns if they objectified women. 
  • Although the conversation on gender equality is far from over, parity is possible. Steps that everyone can take include implementing mentorship programs, promoting inclusion and diversity as core values in your company culture and "collaborating for good," such as by joining an industry alliance like UN Women. 

Notable quotes:

  • "Equal roles. Equal voices. Equal pay. Equal respect.” - Marc Pritchard 
  • “Part of being creatively brave is that, when you do take risks, you're going to have critics and that’s a normal thing that happens... That’s when you have to keep pushing forward.” -Madonna Badge

Watch the full session below on Creativity On Demand. 



Be sure to follow Y&R at Cannes with the hashtag #yrcannes.