My Cannes highlights: Ali Shabaz

AliShabaz_inCannes.jpgCampaign Brief Asia asked Cannes Lions delegates to nominate their highlights of the week, from both the work and personal experiences, at this year's Festival. Here's Grey Group's Chief Creative Officer, Ali Shabaz, who was Singapore's representative on the Outdoor jury.

Wish I'd done these.


Making a shortlist in Cannes these days is as good as winning a Lion a few years ago. Every single category, and I've lost count of how many there are, was packed with great work. But Outdoor in many ways was probably the most complicated.

Here's the thing, no one seems to know anymore what really is "outdoor". And the Jury, of which I was a part of, rightly concluded that everything is. Or at least, can be.
5040 entries or thereabouts.

A cold, dimly lit room that I'm sure is used for interrogating criminals after Cannes. Endless case studies. But the work made it all worth it.

Right on top of my list is the Samsung Safety Truck. All of us who drive know the problems of overtaking on a highway. The number of accidents speak for themselves. A live feed from the front of the truck to the back for drivers to see oncoming vehicles is brilliant. Only wish they had more than one truck.

My next pick is the 'Shot on iPhone 6' campaign. It's wonderfully ironic when a tech company does it's best work using the world's oldest medium - the poster.  Stunning, dramatic and game changing.

Water for Africa - The Marathon Walker literally walked away with gold and the hearts of everyone who saw it. A lady from Gambia walking the distance in a marathon with huge container of water on her head to raise awareness for the African water problem, is pure and uncomplicated. Something we see less and less of these days.

FGM_Sweden.jpgFGM_Germany.jpgIf you like posters, you'll love these for 28 Too Many. A shockingly graphic way to raise awareness of an important subject. Won't say more. Look it up.

One of the hottest topics in the world last week was the unfortunate shooting that claimed innocent lives in America. This piece of work called The Gun Shop throws a very harsh light on gun control laws and the mindset of people who buy guns. Setting up a gun store in Manhattan couldn't have been easy but for that and many other reasons this one is amazing.

The lighter side of Cannes

This was a big year for cause advertising. Had me wondering how long before someone came up with a way of promoting the ubiquitous hat seller in Cannes. And idea waiting to happen?

One could argue that the best art isn't always inside the Palais. The Croisette is an amazing gallery for local artists. This one caught my eye. He paints on ceramic and uses a special kind of light to 'fix' it to the tile.

Ali Shabaz is Chief Creative Officer at Grey Group, Singapore.

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