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It’s been a year like no other in the creative world. Agency teams around the globe have worked tirelessly during the pandemic to keep delivering effective work for their clients, whose businesses are pivoting and adapting to change.

Agencies are adapting to their own business changes too — from new COVID-safe production protocols to ideating from home and being separated from creative teammates. This new dynamic for creative work raises challenges, but also opportunities to shine. All of that makes the 2021 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity a welcome moment to pause and reflect on the power of creativity, which not even a pandemic can stop.

To provide creative inspiration for your next brief, we’ve curated great work from Google’s platforms that’s on the Cannes Lions 2021 shortlists to date.

#wombpainstories: AMV BBDO London & Essity

#wombpainstories by AMV BBDO London & Essity

Shortlisted for both the Titanium Lions and Glass Lion for Change, this category-busting campaign has broken every cliché in advertising period products. Feminine hygiene brands have used blue liquid and women wearing white jeans or bikinis as the “acceptable” way to advertise their products for decades. Not anymore. Raw, confronting, but sensitive and sympathetic, this 3-minute TrueView ad is crafted with exceptional detail and authenticity, stemming from an insight-led creative development process. While maximizing the benefits of TrueView’s long-form format, tight pacing ensures not a single frame is wasted.

In 2020, Think with Google profiled AMV BBDO’s creative team who brought #wombpainstories to life, in Episode 4 of Meet the Makers.

You Love Me: Translation New York & Beats by Dre

You Love Me: Translation New York & Beats by Dre

Shortlisted for the Titanium Lions, this powerful campaign cuts straight to the heart, questioning the dichotomy of a world that can celebrate Black culture and creativity, while allowing racial injustice and inequality to persist. The all-star cast delivers intense, lingering stares straight to the camera, silently breaking the fourth wall and leveraging the personal nature of the YouTube viewing experience.

Courage is Beautiful: Ogilvy London & Dove

Courage is Beautiful: Ogilvy London & Dove

Shortlisted for the Titanium Lions, Dove unmasked beauty with static imagery. Standing out from other brands during the pandemic, the use of arresting images of the damage done by masks to healthcare workers’ faces evokes empathy, while the simple production technique speaks to the raw and sometimes brutal nature of the important work done by the subjects. The sound-on YouTube experience includes a simple piano track, completing a mesmerizing spot.

The Look: Saturday Morning & Procter & Gamble

The Look: Saturday Morning & Procter & Gamble

Shortlisted for the Film Craft Lions, The Look addresses ingrained prejudice towards the Black community by shining a spotlight on the microaggressions they face every day. By switching between first and third person point-of-view, the viewer gets a genuine taste of what it's like to be pre-judged by your skin color. Leveraging the long-form nature of TrueView allows the piece to build in suspense until it delivers a final reveal.

In 2020, Think with Google profiled Saturday Morning, the creative collective who brought The Look to life, in Episode 2 of Meet the Makers.

The Hiring Chain: Small & CoorDown

The Hiring Chain: Small & CoorDown

Shortlisted for the Film Craft Lions, to generate awareness for World Down Syndrome Day CoorDown and Small highlight the impact business owners can have simply by hiring someone with Down Syndrome. With a memorable song performed by none other than the legendary Sting, this heartwarming spot keeps eyes on screen and fingertips well away from the skip button.

In 2021, Think with Google profiled Small and CoorDown, the collaboration that brought The Hiring Chain to life, in Episode 9 of Meet the Makers.


Head to the Think with Google Inspiration Hub to see a curated list of Cannes shortlisted work, both past and present, plus the winners who leveraged Google’s platforms. The Inspiration Hub helps you find creative inspiration for your next campaign.