7 Grand Prix Worthy Ads

There were a lot of outstanding examples of advertising on display at Cannes this month, especially in the film category, where ad after ad seemed to beg for special attention from the festival’s judges. Alas, only two ads won the Grand Prix Film, the highest honor handed down.

While those ads certainly had some oomph to them, there are arguably many others worthy of recognition. Here are seven other Grand Prix-worthy ads.


1. Volvo Trucks: The Epic Split feat. Van Damme

At first, the viewer gets an image of one-time action star Jean Claude van Damme from the waist up. But as the “Muscles from Brussels” continues to talk, the cameras move out and the trick is revealed: Van Damme is, incredibly, standing with each of his feet on Volvo trucks driving close together. The trucks soon begin to move away from each other, so that van Damme goes into a split. It’s an amazing feat of athleticism, and of ad-making.


2. Lurpak Cook’s Range: Adventure Awaits

Who says cooking dinner has to be boring? Through a series of incredibly creative and dynamic shots, Lurpak makes cooking a simple meal look as though it’s the adventure of a lifetime. The camera angles show us new ways to look at carrots, graters, broccoli and pots of water. The grand finale comes when the viewer is taken inside the oven and on top of the range as the meals hit their “done” point. You’ll be hungry after this ad.


3. Coca-Cola Life: Ser Padres

This beautifully shot video seems headed in one direction and then throws the viewer for a twist. A man and woman find out they’re expecting their first child, and their excitement quickly turns to exhaustion and frustration once the baby arrives, because, you know, babies are hard. Just as the now-toddler is distracting dad from work yet again, mom arrives with a Coke … and another positive pregnancy test. Her husband’s reaction looks at first to be alarm, until he breaks into the world’s biggest smile and grabs his wife in a bear hug.


4. Built For It™ Trials: Cat® Mini Excavator Proves It’s Not a ‘Bull in A China Shop’

Showing is always better than telling, and that’s just what Cleveland Cat, an equipment company, does in its ad for the Cat Mini Excavator. The machine is shown pulling into a china shop with some $45,000 of glassware on display. But despite executing tight maneuvers and even lowering the bucket on occasion, the mini excavator does exactly $0 worth of damage. The lesson: these large machines have a soft touch.


5. Marmite: Rescue

Marmite has a simple message for customers: “Love It. Hate It. Just Don’t Forget It.” To get that point across, the company made a humorous ad in which a Marmite rescue squad goes to houses where the spread has been “forgotten” deep in cabinets. The ad is laugh-out-loud funny, comparing the forgotten Marmite to rescue dogs and even featuring a shot at the end of a rescue center where families can give a new start to a neglected can of Marmite.


6. Southern Comfort: Karate (Whatever’s Comfortable)

You have to admire a brand whose message is “just be yourself.” This nostalgic ad shows a man in a beauty salon with his hair in tinfoil and his body draped with a hair apron going through a series of karate moves, much to the delight of the ladies watching from their dryers. The hypnotic 1954 song “Fool to Care” by Les Paul and Mary Ford plays in the background, and at the end of his karate demonstration, the man sits down and relaxes under his own dryer with a tumbler of Southern Comfort.


7. 4 Year Olds Bucket List – Water Is Life

If you can watch this short film by Water Is Life about a 4-year-old checking off all the things on his bucket list without crying, then you are made of stone. Sweet and to the point, it’s a reminder that not everyone has the access to clean water we tend to take for granted.


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