All at Cannes Lions 2017 – Our Social Media Contenders

Christine Göös Jun 15 2017 1 PM | 4 min read


The Smartly team is gearing up to attend the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – our Smartly team (and one bot!) are jetting off to the French Riviera for a week of creative inspiration, meetings, and learning.

If you're joining the festival, seize the opportunity to chat in person about how automation can help you create, run, and optimize your customer acquisition on Facebook and Instagram. You can book your meeting at Cannes with our team here. 

Can't make it? Fret not, our friendly messenger bot, Mr. Chatly is scavenging the talks at Le Palais to bring you the highlights daily. Like our Facebook page to find out when Mr. Chatly goes live.

As the festival draws close, all eyes are on the contenders for this year's trophies. True to our roots as a Facebook and Instagram advertising platform, we're putting our own spin on our contender list – we're bringing you a selection of social media campaigns we think will win big in the South of France. Read on to uncover our favorites and what social media marketers can learn from them.

Like My Addiction 

A social campaign that harnessed the influencer cult and turned the tables around: this drinking PSA built up an Instagram influencer from scratch to make a point about how it's not always easy to spot a drinking problem. Watch the video to uncover the whole story.

The Takeaway for Social Marketers: The creators of this campaign understood their core audience, how it behaves on the platform, and followed the best practices to a T. It's easy to simply duplicate Facebook campaigns and run them on Instagram, yet the secret sauce is to tailor your creatives and content to the platform for best results.

Learn Spanish With Narcos

The content of this video may be NSFW with all the swearing, but the concept is pure gold. Anyone who's watched the Netflix original knows (and loves) the main character's illustrious use of swear words – why not turn it into an opportunity to delight audiences with a series of social videos that teach a very unique take on Spanish, to say the least.

The Takeaway for Social Marketers: Re-purposing content might be a breeze when your product is an internationally acclaimed television series, yet there is a takeaway here. Find the one thing in your offering, brand, or product that makes your audience tick and turn it into advertising. Look to user-generated or initiated content for inspiration – it could be as simple as harnessing positive conversation around your brand. If you run ads for e-commerce or travel for instance, you could try turning your best product or service reviews into a visually stunning social campaign.


The US makeup giant CoverGirl is known for its the all-American aesthetic and its brand ambassadors. This used to mean featuring American singers and actors as their CoverGirls. For this campaign, not only did they recruit a YouTube star to represent their company, CoverGirl became the first makeup brand to feature a boy in their campaigns. The 17-year old CoverBoy James Charles became an overnight success. The stunt sparked countless PR hits and social conversation.

The Takeaway for Social Marketers: CoverGirl understood the power of influencer marketing; James Charles has 2.1 million Instagram followers and close to 40 million video views on YouTube. Aside from reach, Charles resonated with CoverGirl's audience by giving diversity a face – literally. What does your audience care about? Who could embody those values? If you can authentically show what you stand for as a brand, you'll emerge as winner on social.

Ikea's Iconic Shopping Bag


When the luxury handbag maker Balenciaga came out with a tote eerily similar to the iconic blue shopping bag, Ikea was quick to throw some shade on the French high-fashion brand. They posted a snappy ad with instructions on how to spot the authentic bag from the expensive "fake":

"Shake it: if it rustles, it's the real deal."

Ikea's simple reply won social media and generated tons of earned press, shares, and sparked conversation.

The Takeaway for Social Marketers: Keep your finger on the cultural pulse. Many brands do a great job of following conversations and phenomena relevant to their industry or product. To take it even farther, consider incorporating a cultural context to your acquisition campaigns, too. Memes and trends have the shortest lifespan on social – plan your work so that you have the resources to react quickly. Automation can help, too, in the Smartly platform, you can set triggers that automatically boost posts with higher than average engagement, for instance.

Attending Cannes Lions this year? There's still time to meet us, book a time with the Smartly team from the link below.


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Christine Göös

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