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Retail Wins At Cannes 2021

It was good to see some retail initiatives winning top prizes at Cannes International Advertising awards this year. As a summary I've pulled together the work that picked up metal: Grand Prix/ Titanium  1. Diesel - Enjoy Before Returning Ahead of

It was good to see some retail initiatives winning top prizes at Cannes International Advertising awards this year. As a summary I’ve pulled together the work that picked up metal:

Grand Prix/ Titanium

 1. Diesel – Enjoy Before Returning

Ahead of New York Fashion Week, Diesel has embraced the “enjoy before returning” approach with a tongue-in-cheek spot.

The 60-second ad shows sharply-dressed shoppers boasting their new outfits, tags on display, as a punk-rock narrator recites the fashion brand’s return policy. While the brand (obviously) isn’t too keen on customers returning their pre-loved items, the campaign maintains Diesel won’t hold it against them.

The brand is also set to host a “return party” for once-worn items, taking place during London Fashion Week. The work was written by Sébastien Rouvière, art directed by Andrea Sarcullo and directed by Similar But Different through Smuggler.

2. H&M – Looop

H&M has developed a machine that dissembles and assembles old clothes into new ones with ‘looop’ — the world’s first in-store recycling system. ‘looop’ opened to the public in an H&M store in stockholm on october 12, 2020, with customers able to watch the container-sized machine recycle their old textiles into something new. here’s how it works — an unwanted garment is fed into the machine to get cleaned, shredded and spun into yarn. after about five hours, a new knitted garment is made from the piece put into the machine. the system uses no water and no chemicals, thus having a significantly lower environmental impact than producing garments from scratch.

3. Carrefour – Act for Good

Through the new Act For Good initiative, Carrefour is converting conventional shopping into a personalized experience with social impact. For every shopping session, customers receive Act For Good points helping them make good deeds, but also benefit from discounts and personalized offers. Everything is well integrated into the Carrefour app – a unique hub in the retail market gathering shopping, social responsibility, community support, and personal experiences in just one place.

4. Starbucks – I am

In Brazil, transgender people have a very hard time getting their names changed on their documents. Changing your registered name is expensive and has a lot of red tape and prejudice involved. At Starbucks, anyone who orders a drink has their name written on the cup without question. To truly help them, VMLY&R Brasil transformed the store into a notary office to legally change names free of charge and with the full support they deserve.

Starbucks_I am


1. IKEA – Buy with your time

If you want to spend a little time with IKEA, the brand is offering customers discounts based on their Google Maps Timeline and the directions for arriving the stores which are a bit of outside the city areas. As the stores often located far from city centers, customers spend a lot of time getting there. A new initiative from IKEA allows you ‘Buy With Your Time’ – with the time you’ve spent going to their stores.

To find out how much time customers spent Memac Ogilvy and the Swedish furniture company used the Google Maps Timeline, a feature inside Google Maps that tracks and records all the routes you take every day. So consumers only had to find the last time they visited IKEA and how long it took them.

The price of an hour was based on the average wage in Dubai. Where one hour is AED 105. And they added all the prices in time to all IKEA products.

2. McDonalds – Light on

In 2021, the UK entered its third national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant people were spending more time indoors than ever before. Leo Burnett London needed to remind McDonald’s customers that even though they couldn’t visit at this time, the retailer would still deliver to them. Beautiful execution and craftsmanship was integral to the impact of the campaign.

McDonalds_Lighton_1 McDonalds_Lighton_2 McDonalds_Lighton_3

3. H&M – One/ Second/ Suit

H&M’s new initiative offers 24-hour free suit hire to men for job interviews.

A film promoting the initiative begins with the line “A first impression is made in less than one second”, before showing young men getting ready for job interviews while a motivational voice recording from a mother plays in the background.

It was created by Uncommon Creative Studio and directed by Mark Romanek – best known for his music videos for artists including Beyoncé and Johnny Cash and feature films such as One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go – through Anonymous Content.



1. IKEA – Silence the critics

When it comes to hosting, we all have those little voices in the back of our heads that say our home isn’t up to the job. And whether it’s the chipped mug, the crack in the wall, the weirdly shaped bathroom, or the living room that has as much personality as a cardboard box, the voices seem to zoom in on our biggest fears and magnify them until we declare our home a no-go zone. But at IKEA, we believe every home is worthy of a get together and that with a little imagination and some clever IKEA products and ideas, there’s no reason not to host. In this campaign we want to inspire the nation to get their homes party ready. And Silence The Critics, once and for all.

2. Bottega Veneta – The Invisible Store

Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta, which has famously foregone a brand-identifying logo in favor of self-confident anonymity, elevates the concept of invisibility this month. The label introduces a new pop-up concept, dubbed The Invisible Store, located at Plaza 66 in Shanghai and open from July 1 to July 19.

In contrast to the classic branding techniques of extensive advertisement and logo stamping, The Invisible Store attempts to camouflage itself within the atrium of Plaza 66, rebelling against the concepts of loud and overbearing labelling by owning its stealth architecture and design. In fact, the pop-up’s structure attempts to remain almost entirely invisible to shoppers, concealed in plain sight by optical illusions and mirrored reflections within the atrium. Once inside, reflective surfaces play with light and space to enhance and subvert perceptions.

Bottega Veneta_1 Bottega Veneta_2

3. IKEA – Sofa Sans

Ikea has released a free font called Soffa Sans, inspired by all the memes born from its online “Design your own sofa” planner. The tool allows for customers to design the layouts and configurations of Ikea’s couches, from the Vimle sectionals to the Vallentuna modular sofa series. Once it was discovered that the planner allowed for basically any configuration with no limit to the cost, it inspired some Sims-like creativity from users.

Acknowledging the planner’s full potential, Ikea worked with digital agency Proximity London to create the Soffa Sans font. Calling itself the “the world’s comfiest font,” Soffa Sans creates a typeface out of the Vallentuna couch in both isometric and bird’s-eye view versions.

4. Boots – Gift like you get them

Christmas research conducted for Boots says that this year people want to give fewer, better gifts and focus on the most special people in their lives.  However, this can make Christmas stressful. In fact, more than a third of us are worried about choosing the right gift*. This is no surprise; with the multitude of new trends and tribes constantly emerging, it can be daunting to show our most precious people that we really get them.

To help solve this problem, Boots is launching hundreds of individual ‘Bootiques’: gift edits curated around the countless personalities that make up the fantastic people that we love. Bootiques will appear online, in Boots stores, in out-of-home, social media and experiential channels.