Our favourite 10 Cannes audio ads (that actually sell stuff)

What makes festivals like Cannes Lions so inspiring and important for our industry is how each year it raises the bar. Both in terms of creativity & craft, but also in terms of what the work is capable of achieving.

On top of a 5-day hangover and a tan, you leave Cannes with a real fist-pumping, chest-beating sense that the little ads we make each day actually have super powers. They can fight injustice, save lives, right wrongs, and make the world a better place any way imaginable.

It truly is a great feeling, knowing that our work can do more than grease the wheels of capitalism. But this greater purpose and the ever-growing importance festivals place on it, means the work which doesn’t do anything beyond selling stuff tends to be overlooked a little. I mean, how could it not?

So, we wanted to give some love to our top 10 pieces of audio creative that… well, actually sell things.

Wendys: Rap Battle

Wendys has become somewhat of a Twitter phenomenon for the sassy jabs they’ve taken at the competition. Recently, this beef evolved into a rap battle — and their fans demanded more. Not one to back down, Wendys stepped up to the mic and one-upped their Twitter rap battles with a mixtape packed with infectious beats and witty lyrical ties.

With a $0 media spend, the 5-track mix tape ‘webeefin?’ made it to number 1 on Spotify. But above and beyond being an incredible, on-point audio execution, Wendys took their fans on an incredible journey and proved once and for all Wendys is the undisputed rap battle champion of fast food.

Case Study

Twitter Fingers

Volkswagen: People Can’t Stop Themselves

There are loads of benefits to stopping a car accident. But we’ve never seen (well, heard) this lateral leap before. This cringy and memorable Volkswagen campaign highlights how some people just can’t stop themselves (turning innocent situations into socially awkward predicaments) and that’s why Volkswagen’s come with brake assist.



Flight Centre: World Gone Mad

Young people have all the time in the world to travel, right? Wrong. This brilliant campaign paints a horrifying picture of the future to remind young people to travel now, before it’s not fun anymore. Talk about ultimate FOMO.



FedEx: The Fastest Spot

Communicating speed is one of those propositions that’s been floating around since the dawn of time. So, we’re always so exciting to see a fresh approach.

FedEx created short, snappy, and breathtakingly simple spots for digital radio. Listeners would hear “FedEx” in one ear, and their competitor spoken in another. Communicating, without a doubt, that everything about FedEx — even the name — is faster.





Coca-Cola — Share a Coke 1,000 name celebration

Unless your name’s Roxanne, Jude, or a handful of other names immortalised in pop culture, most of us have never experienced the joy of having a song written about us. Until now.

To announce Share a Coke is back, Coke crafted a totally unique song for every name on their bottles. Over 1,000 of them. 1,000! This audio-led campaign launched on radio and digital radio — and it blew up socially from there. It’s not hard to see why. There’s just something about someone singing a ridiculous song about you (and the thousands of other with your name) that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.

Share a Coke

6. Cell C – IGUGU LEBO

‘Amagugu Alelizwe’ is a traditional South African song sung at funerals. This instantly recognisable song was cleverly reworked to tell people — with Cell C — they no longer have to mourn the loss of their cell phone.

Here’s the script in English below.


The most treasured thing.

The most treasured thing in Lebo’s life was her cell phone.

The most treasured thing.

The most treasured thing in Lebo’s life was her cell phone.

Bubble bathy

Bubble bathy, rubber ducky, taking selfies, looking fly

Perfect angle

Perfect angle, took forever, but she got the right shot

Felt like butter

Felt like butter, slippy, slippy, dropped her cell phone in the bath

Splashy, splashy.

Splashy, splashy… like titanic… sinking to the bottom

Hashtag oops, hashtag ‘ish’, hashtag no cell phone

(Humming under ANNCR…)


{Brethren}…. You wouldn’t have to mourn the loss of your cellphone if you had C Surance from Cell C, which covers you against damage. So if anything happens, you’ll get a new cellphone.


The most treasured thing.

The most treasured thing in Lebo’s life is her cell phone.


Cell C. The power is in your hands.


7. Lysoform – The Last Germ

If Lysoform kills 99.99% of germs, what happens to the remaining 0.01%? This campaign imagines this world, where the last germ left alive comes to grips with his new lonely, post-apocalyptic reality.

The Last Germ

8. Snickers – 3PM Brainstorm

You make bad decisions when you’re hungry. Snickers couldn’t have that. So in this campaign, they imagine group brainstorms that resulted in the horrible, horrible ideas that still haunt us today — like the overly-complicated counter-intuitive microwave button system.


9. Castle Lager – Make a Different Friend

In this campaign, we witness the mystical and confusing behaviour of a stranger. Yet, despite their weirdness, we’re encouraged to make first contact with this strange creature by buying them a Castle Lager, South Africa’s friendship brew. Because meeting someone different than yourself can be wonderful. (I’ll have to take their word for it, enjoy my personal space too much.)

No Sense of Personal Space

10. Lyric Opera of Chicago – Deaths

How do you persuade the younger generation to visit the opera? Simple. This simple yet extremely effective idea showcases that the opera it actually more violent, sinister, and creative than anything that on air today. And that’s just the murders!


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