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Lions Entertainment 2017

Award Type: Advertising Awards

We believe creativity is a force for business, for change and for good in the world. Established in 1954, Cannes Lions is a global campaign for creativity, with the International Festival of Creativity as its epicentre.


Lions Entertainment

21 - 22 June 2017

Final entry deadline: 20 April 2017.

Building brands in popular culture

The entertainment model is evolving. How entertainment is funded, distributed and consumed is changing rapidly. The future of entertainment is bright, but uncertain. Who will win and who will lose? Forward-thinking people from across the entertainment, commercial and creative communities are inventing new ways to leverage the power of popular culture to build brands. They represent talent and entertainment franchises as well as labels, studios, platforms and publishers. 

That’s why Cannes Lions launched Lions Entertainment in 2016. Across two days during the main Festival week, a new and different crowd gather in the Palais to discuss the creation of culture that has commercial impact. Inquisitive clients come to seek out partners with extraordinarily deep insight into how people live and shop, so they can use this knowledge to elevate their brands. Film producers, record label execs, TV commissioners, sports promoters and gaming entrepreneurs rub shoulders with global brands and a new breed of creatives.

Lions Entertainment 2017 Gold winners

Black M

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Industry Records & Cinema Production
Media Film, Case study
Market France
Agency Ogilvy Paris
Executive Creative Director Emmanuel Lalleve
Art Director Juliette Courty
Copywriter Ellynore Attia
Released October 2016


Lions Entertainment 2017
Entertainment For Music Music & Brands: Artist as an Ambassador for a Cause Gold Lion

Credits & Description

Title: Black M
Agency: Ogilvy
Brand: Sony Music
Country: France
Entrant Company: Ogilvy, Paris
Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Paris
Pr Agency: Ogilvy, Paris
Executive Creative Director: Emmanuel Lallevé (Ogilvy Paris)
Art Director: Juliette Courty (Ogilvy Paris)
Copywriter: Ellynore Attia (Ogilvy Paris)
Production Manager: Antoine Bagot (Ogilvy Paris)
Head Of Influence & Reputation: Eric Maillard (Ogilvy Paris)
Head Of Corporate Practice & Crisis Expertise: Laetitia Rossille (Ogilvy Paris)
Social Media Strategist: Kelly Benmussa (Ogilvy Paris)
Account Executive: Amaury Cagol (Ogilvy Paris)
Chief Strategy Officer: Benoit Defleurian (Ogilvy Paris)
Planning Director: Hadi Zabad (Ogilvy Paris)
Producer: Muriel Benitah (Ogilvy Paris)
During 6 months (from the crisis to the launch of the album), we did provide the artist and his team with real-time recommendations and a close monitoring of social media. During phase 1 and
we had to contain the pressure the artist was exposed to by monitoring the attacks and recommend off media actions (engagement with producer's allies, with fans). During phase 3, we developed a position statement, a Q&A and mediatrained the artist. Our role was to respect who he was and the way he is used to talk while helping him to answer properly without reigniting the controversy. We managed to have him go both for traditional artistic media (dedicated radio, TV shows, magazines...) and for more mainstream media that do not usually interview popular rapper... and with which the artist himself was less used to deal.
The social media campaign mobilized his fan base on one hand, “Je suis chez moi” was twitted about more than 20 000 times and reached twice the French top trends on Twitter. On the other hand, our PR Plan generated over a hundred articles both in artistic media and in more mainstream media, allowing Black M to reach positively a wider public than his target audience. The profile of Black M by a leading daily newspaper in France, Libération, was the high point of the media plan. Black M was invited on some of France’s top TV shows. The season’s premiere of the most-watched French talk show featured a grand opening with Black M performing his single with the cast. And a few weeks later, Black M closed the most popular French music show with “a message of love, a message of tolerance”, performing his single with other
Campaign Description:
Black M was personnaly attacked. We did not want to answer at a personal level. He did not want to answer at a political level. Our proposal was a third way: to answer at an artistic level. Since he had things to say but did not want traditional interviews where he would have been at risk of becoming the symbol he did not want to be, he challenged our own professional habits. We did not overcome the crisis with a traditional PR campaign but we recommended the singer do what he was best at and known for before the whole controversy: write and sing. A song would be the proper answer. His song with his words. And our support in the backoffice, monitoring the situation, building tailor-made position statements, Q&A inspired by his words and mediatraining him on-demand.
What is known now as the "Controversy of Verdun" involved both political actors, citizens, media and, of course, the French popular rapper, Black M. During a couple of days, in May 2016, it divided the whole country and place both the reputation and the carreer of one of the kids favorite French celebrity in jeopardy. Dealing with this crisis and support the artist and his producer to overcome the controversy have led the team to innovate taking into account the very specificity of the client: a famous singer both spokesperson and brand here.
We had two objectives: gather and cheer up his fans in one hand - mostly kids and teens who could not been heard during the controversy and, on the other hand, reassure their parents Black M was not the person described by the far-right. Thus, we put in place a three-phases strategy. First phase (climax of the crisis): a no-comment attitude with a minimal statement on the personal shock this controversy was. Second phase (after the commemoration): maintain of the other concerts scheduled but a 0 interview policy. Third phase (the answer): launch of the song "Je suis chez moi" on social media and support with a PR plan with a mix of artistic and mainstream media to address both the fanbase and their parents. This strategy allows us to set up the pace of the answer, not rushing in an endless tunnel of interviews/real-time answers which would have dry
One week before the official commemorations of the most deadly battle of World War I, Verdun, far-right activists started a campaign against Black M, on social media to cancel his concert. They were soon supported by the political representants of the French far-right through press releases and massive interviews. For them, Black M should not represent the country. The attack was massive and in a short-time forced the mayor and the government to cancel the concert. Black M slipped from the status of popular singer to the status of a symbol of a divided France. He had to face hatred and fake accusations. Yet he was close to revealing the first single of his new album. How not to become the political symbol both sides wanted him to be? And how to overcome the reputation attack and ensure his carreer keep on track?