In 2019, Adidas and TBWA Shanghai won the first ever Cannes Lion awarded to a campaign on TikTok (actually on Douyin, the app’s China-based counterpart): a bronze in the Social and Influencer category.
Then, in 2021, TikTok celebrated the festival with #CreativityForGood––a challenge encouraging creators to make campaigns for nonprofit organizations across the globe––which launched on the app’s Discovery page.
This year some TikTok campaigns are turning heads, such as Spain’s main LGBTQ organization FELGTB’s #RealVoicesofPride campaign, which was created in partnership with PR firm Edelman.
The campaign leveraged TikTok’s lipsync feature to share voices and messages from LGBTQ refugees around the world. It quickly went viral, amassing 3.7 million views, as community members bombarded the comments section with unrelated remarks about weather and pets to hack TikTok’s algorithm and increase views.
To gain some insight on the success of FELGTB’s campaign, along with other impactful TikTok campaigns also up for Lions at this year’s festival, I spoke with Felipe Braz, creative director at Edelman.
Social Media Insider: How will the presence of new players such as TikTok (and Amazon and Netflix) change the competition at Cannes?
Felipe Braz: I believe that changes will always be directly linked to the audience's perspective. New platforms create different behaviors and different journeys for users, some on purpose and others completely organically. Deeply understanding these new behaviors and how they change/evolve will be essential to seeking out powerful insights and ideas.
Social Media Insider: What impact will “creator” culture have in Cannes?
Felipe Braz: The "creator" culture will help us better understand the behavior of users and communities. Understanding how and what kind of content is generated by these creators and how people interact with them will change the way of thinking about campaigns.
Social Media Insider: Why do you think FELGTB’s #RealVoicesofPride campaign was so popular with the world?
Felipe Braz: Undoubtedly, the participation and engagement of the community in combination with the cause were what really made the difference. The platform was a detail of the activation, but the way in which the community spread the message on the platform was what really made it work.
Social Media Insider: I heard community members flooded the comments section with remarks about the
weather and pets in order to hack TikTok’s algorithm. Can you tell me more about this strategy?
Felipe Braz: This was something that happened organically. It was a way the community found to spread the message further. They used the tools and knowledge they have to boost the campaign. It was the community that decided the best way to promote it. They believed that generating traction by flooding comments would make the algorithm suggest the videos to more users -- and apparently, they were right.
Social Media Insider: Which other TikTok campaigns do you think will be popular contenders at this year’s festival?
Felipe Braz: It's hard to say. We'll see a lot of amazing campaigns within the platform in Cannes this year. I prefer to leave that mission to the jury.