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Six trends by Leo Burnett that influence creative campaigns today

Leo Burnett Worldwide has released the 28th annual predictions on the winners of the 62nd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity along with the trends that are influencing the creative industry, known as Cannes Predictions.

Also this year the agency’s team will premier an innovative gadget The Can that can analyze how creative your idea is. The black one-eyed device scans project description and evaluates it against thousands of other projects in the creative industry databases online to decide whether it is innovative and worthwhile.

This year’s list of potential winners compiled by the agency’s Chief Creative Officer Mark Tutssel features some of the best brand campaigns of 2014—all of them are listed on Pinterest.

Analyzing these projects, Mr. Tutssel outlines six trends that define modern brand communications today. “The thread that binds this collection is that human purpose sits at the heart of each of these brilliant pieces of work,” said Tutssel. “Whether it’s P&G Always launching a cultural movement or Nike designing an immersive experience, ideas that create real value, fuel our imagination and ignite change in human behaviour will prevail in Cannes.” And these trends are, as follows:

1. More brands take care of human safety.

For example, Samsung used its wireless cameras to create a Safety Truck: the view of the road was transmitted onto the four monitors embedded in the rear panel of the vehicle. That allowed the drivers behind the truck to see potential danger that layed ahead.

Another product for the road safety, Hammerhead, was conceptualized by the ad agency R/GA. It is a navigator in-built in the bicycle handlebar to let the cyclists focus attention on the road.

2. Two-way interactive screens for entertainment and education become popular.

Honda Civic Type R demonstrated how a passive YouTube video watching can be transformed into an interactive two-way experience with its “The Other Side” campaign. When users pressed key R, they saw a hidden narrative about the dual personality of the new car model.

Another interaction example is Nike’s “Rise” campaign for which they covered a basketball court with LED panels that could guide players and teach them how to play like Kobe Bryant.

3. Brands show that celebrities are just like us.

More and more brands, especially in the sports and lifestyle scene, portray celebrities as mere people with their own fears, thoughts and motivation. For example, in the video ad “The game before the game” for Beats by Dre, the Brazilian soccer player Neymar is shown as he listens to his fathers’ advice on how to keep strong.

4. Touching and emotional human-interest stories win over “storytelling.”

The latest winning campaign show that the success is usually down to what you tell, rather than how. A good example is a Christmas ad for the British department store John Lewis which shot a story of penguin Monty told by a little boy.

5. Breaking stereotypes about gender inequality.

A brilliant campaign proving on this trend is “Like a girl” by P&G’s Always.

6. Meaningful social behaviour can generate a powerful campaign with zero media budget.

The unprecedented example of this trend was the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” that propelled the creation of 17 million videos that were viewed 70 billion times, and raised $220 million for the ALS decease research.

The Leo Burnett Cannes Predictions have had 84% accuracy over the 28-year period. All the ‘winners-to-be’ brand campaigns are featured here.