Reimagining Creativity: Highlights from P&G's Presence at Cannes 2019

The 66th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is in the books, with P&G leaving an indelible mark as a result of our 17th consecutive trip to the South of France.

Our focus for the week was aimed squarely at meeting the growing consumer demand for authentic stories and experiences that positively impact society and humanity.

We debuted a series of innovative new creative partnerships that reimagine creativity to reinvent advertising at a time when change is needed. Partnerships that embrace the convergence of advertising, journalism, filmmaking, music, comedy, and technology. Partnerships that bring together innovators who embrace equality and inclusion to create more inspiring creativity that people want to experience time and time again.

NEWS RELEASE: P&G Reimagines Creativity to Reinvent Advertising Through Innovative New Creative Partnerships

We kicked off the week discussing our new humanity-based partnership with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, which embeds “micro-step habit stacking” into P&G brands such as Oral-B and Crest, Pampers, Venus, Secret and Pantene, blending cognitive and behavioural science with life science to help consumer reduce stress and improve daily health.

Day 2 was filled with courageous and inspiring conversations, with the first two events hosted at the Cannes Can Diversity Collective, Inkwell Beach.

In partnership with Saturday Morning, P&G previewed a courageous and ground-breaking film “The Look” accompanied by interactive experiences to inspire important conversations and actions about race, inclusion and empathy. The film was supported by immersive virtual reality experiences from Verizon Media’s RYOT along with extensions from BET, Spotify and Twitter. These creative breakthroughs raise awareness, deepen understanding and strengthen human connection by helping people change perspectives and are deliberately designed to spark conversation and action through an array of views. P&G and its partners are reimagining creativity by creating a more diverse world in front of and behind the camera to inspire empathy and create a movement for more inclusion within the creative industry.

In a world filled with divisiveness, Pantene celebrated humanity of inclusion and the freedom of expression through the premiere of the "Don’t Hate Me Because I’m BeautifuLGBTQ+" campaign. An inspiring panel explored inclusive representation in advertising and media since LGBTQIA+ are generally not represented or accurately or realistically represented – seeing stereotypes, negative bias, and diminished characterisation. If people don’t see themselves represented, how likely are they to see their place in the world? To believe they have the potential to do something great? More than 30 years after Pantene originally challenged the world with “Don’t Hate Me Because I am Beautiful,” they again tackle bias and how that can inspire positive transformations to change perspectives for good.

After a six-year journey, P&G became one of the first Fortune 500 companies to add "sexual orientation" into its diversity statement in 1992. The battle for workplace equality for the LGBTQ community, however, was just beginning.  Ravaged by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and fighting an increasingly vocal and organised opposition, LGBTQ employees across the country struggled to gain equal footing in the workplace. Rallying against intolerance and hate, workers began to find their voice through meaningful and productive dialogue rooted in human truth and mutual values. Building from the lessons of the civil rights movement, P&G employees began a ten-year journey to not only receive equal employee benefits but also to overturn Cincinnati’s Article XII and stem the tide of prejudice in the community. “Out of the Shadows” created in partnership with CNN’s Great Big Story, debuted at Cannes, telling the story about how starting conversations changed hearts and minds, changed how companies saw their role in doing good for social justice and how that, in turn, changed the world.

Last year at Cannes, Free The Bid announced a 3-year plan to double the number of women directors in their database and expand into 20 countries to advance gender equality behind the camera. This year P&G collaborated to announce a new collective industry partnership to relaunch Free The Bid into FREE THE WORK, a global talent discovery service for women and underrepresented creators, powered by machine learning and interactive community-building tools, to connect talent with those who hire. An impressed panel of award-winning talent discussed reimagining creativity through “the female gaze” and the eyes of underrepresented creative talent to create new to world stories never experienced before. FREE THE WORK will address the challenges of systemic inequality with practical solutions and actions that can be applied across all global creative industries.

P&G ended Tuesday with a conversation about men with actor, director, and change maker Justin Baldoni, award-winning journalist Katie Couric and P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard. They talked about the unique challenges men are facing in today’s world, and how storytelling can help us all move forward with a progressive definition of masculinity. They discussed insights about the humanity of men – as husbands, fathers, sons, teammates, leaders, colleagues, friends, and human beings – along with considerations for actions to help navigate the future of being a good man.

Wednesday’s mainstage event featured John Legend, one of the most beloved artists and human beings of our time. Together with Katie Couric - Award-winning Journalist and Founder of Katie Couric Media; and Marc Pritchard - P&G’s Chief Brand Officer, the threesome explored a wide range of creativity expressed through the humanity of love, activism, race, men, music and comedy. They explored multiple views of humanity – from being a parent, a man, to experiences with racial bias, and solutions for social justice.

Take a look at some of the latest creative from SK-II premiered during the panel: The Oh Pitera SK-II Master Class with John Legend featuring James Corden, Naomi Watanabe and Tang Wei. John also recently sat down with Katie to discuss how the examples set by his own dad helped shape how he’s raising his kids. You can also watch that video here.

A First at Cannes Lions

For the first time, P&G brought a few of our latest technologies and innovations to Cannes Lions in the P&G LifeLab.

For more than 180 years, P&G’s approach to innovation has been to put the consumer first. We combine a relentless curiosity and passion for the consumer with breakthrough science to make everyday tasks – like brushing teeth, shaving and moisturising – a little better.

We’re constantly developing new products and formulations, and we’re increasingly finding ways to incorporate new technologies into our products, which can elevate the experience and delight consumers have with our brands.

The P&G LifeLab at Cannes brought this to life, with dynamic, interactive experiences to learn about our product and brand innovations – from SK-II, Olay, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Oral-B and Venus, plus some new brands and concepts that are launching soon.

Our LifeLab concept was born at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. Many people were surprised to see P&G at CES, because they don’t think of us as a tech company. But technology is changing every aspect of our daily lives – how we live, how we shop, how we engage with brands and how we use them.

We’re thrilled to bring the LifeLab to Cannes – because technology is another way we’re reinventing advertising and the total consumer experience.

Finally, what would the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity be without awards? The Festival has been celebrating creativity since 1954, and its awards are among the most coveted for the creative and marketing communications industry. Every year during Cannes Lions, our colleagues and agency partners are recognised for work across several different categories.

This year, P&G’s agencies won 16 Lions for their work on P&G brand campaigns. P&G is so proud to work with some of the industry’s brightest, and congratulates each of them!

See the full list and check out the links to the award-winning work below:


  1. Tide It’s a Thursday Night Tide Ad for Saatchi & Saatchi
  2. Tide [It’s a Tide Ad] for Saatchi & Saatchi
  3. Old Spice The Endless Ad for Wieden+Kennedy Sao Paolo


  1. Gillette The Barbershop Girls: Shaving Stereotypes for Grey India Mumbai
  2. Tide It’s a Thursday Night Tide Ad for Saatchi & Saatchi
  3. Gillette We Believe: The Best Men Can Be for Grey New York
  4. Gillette First Shave for Grey Canada
  5. Old Spice The Endless Ad for Wieden+Kennedy Sao Paulo
  6. Vicks One in a Million for Publicis Singapore


  1. Two awards for Vicks One in a Million for Offroad Films Mumbai
  2. Two awards for Gillette Gillette Treo for Grey London
  3. Vicks Touch of Care India for Publicis Singapore
  4. Old Spice The Endless Ad for Wieden+Kennedy Sao Paulo
  5. Gillette (First Shave) for Grey Canada