Dare to be disruptive

Disruptive campaigns and female empowerment at cannes lions

“Who run the (ad) world?” – well, not girls, but disruptive campaigns are here to say something about that. I’m reminded of Anna Wintour’s iconic Cannes Lions speech, appealing to brands, agencies and publications – invest in your ideas, and dare to be different.

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“You have to be unafraid to take a risk on the big challenging stuff. It matters. More than ever now when companies invest in it, effort and attention, will pay off. Although we all have to stretch our budgets across so many different platforms, you can’t cut your way to creativity.”

All hail, Anna Wintour.

This is for the fearless girls

It seems her words have resonated. We’ve seen some great disruptive campaigns, especially with respect to women’s issues. At Cannes, Fearless Girl has continued to win big – an entry from one of our clients, State Street.

The Fearless Girl stands bold and brave in bronze, across from the iconic Wall Street charging bull. A symbol of advocacy for female leaders, drawing attention to the company’s “SHE” fund. Whilst this campaign has received its share of criticism, it’s also fuelled an important debate and raised awareness around important issues.

It caused a disruption!

A symbol of solidarity

Twitter have received well-deserved recognition for their outdoor billboard campaign. A surprising move away from the digital platform they inhabit. With no copy – just a simple # and an image – they made comment on a series of conversations that dominated Twitter feeds in the lead up to the US election. This included the 1971 portrait of feminist activists Dorothy Pitman-Hughes and Gloria Steinem, fists raised in solidarity.

Don’t be a boob

While we’re on the subject, Mother London’s “#FreetheFeed” campaign deserves an honourable mention. They placed a giant boob on top of a building in Shoreditch, as part of their Mother’s Day campaign to promote acceptance around breast feeding in public.

Larissa Waters also became the first woman in Australian (or any?!) parliament to give a speech whilst breastfeeding. As this continues to be such a contentious issue, it’s important that people are spreading the good word.

The fact that all of these conversations are happening is a good thing. Disruption is a good thing.


?: Gloria Steinem & Dorothy Pitman-Hughes portrait, Dan Wynn 1971 (source)

?: Fearless Girl, Anthony Quintano