Cannes Lions: Five Ad Frontrunners to Watch

Always
The '#likeagirl' ad, which premiered at the Super Bowl, is almost certain to win something in Cannes this week.

From World Cup Beats to a Christmas Penguin, these are the spots generating buzz at the world's largest festival for advertising and communication.

More than 40,000 commercials, spots and campaigns were submitted this year for the Cannes Lions, the Oscars for the ad industry. The winners for the top prize, in the “film” category, will be announced Saturday. Here are five of the frontrunners, expected to walk home with a Lion this year. 

Beats By Dre: "The Game Before the Game"
R/GA, London and Los Angeles

This ad was the best of a smart bunch of spots created for last year's soccer World Cup. The five minute music video, set to Jungle by Jamie N Commons & The X Ambassadors, features pre-game rituals of soccer stars, including Neymar Jr., Mexico's Javier Hernandez and eventual World Cup winning goal scorer Mario Gotze of Germany as well as multiple blink-and-you'll-miss-it star cameos including Serena WilliamsLeBron James and rappers Nicki Minaj and Lil' Wayne.

Always/Procter & Gamble: "#LikeAGirl"

Leo Burnett, Toronto, Chicago and London

This ad-with-a-message campaign spot, challenging viewers to redefine the phrase 'like a girl,' was a viral hit long before it went wide during halftime at the Super Bowl. Expect it to win big in Cannes. It's a near shoo-in for the inaugural Glass Lion, focusing on work that “breaks through unconscious gender bias" and "shatters stereotypical portrayals of men and women."

Under Armour: "I Will What I Want: Gisele Bundchen"
Droga5, New York

Another Glass Lion contender is this Under Armour spot featuring supermodel Gisele Bundchen in a very un-runway look working the punching bag as real-life social-media insults flash up on the walls around her. It was the central ad for the company's biggest-ever campaign aimed at women.

ZDK Center for Democratic Culture: "Nazis Against Nazis: Germany's Most Involuntary Charity Walk"

GGH Lowe and Grabarz & Partner, Hamburg, Germany

A personal favorite, this campaign from a German anti-Nazi group, involved getting neo-Nazis to involuntarily raise money for a program that helps skinheads get out of extreme right-wing groups.

John Lewis: "Monty The Penguin"

Adam&EveDDB, London

Upmarket British department store chain John Lewis is famous for its Christmas ads and this one, telling the story of a boy and his penguin, was a hit, not just on TV but across the whole spectrum, from online to retail outlets, showing brands how to integrate one message everywhere.

Twitter:@sroxborough

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