SAWA previews Spice Girls remake at Cannes Lions

    Author Zoe Aresti

Cinema advertising trade body, SAWA, held a seminar on the power of the medium at Cannes Lions on Monday morning with ad icon, Sir John Hegarty, Anonymous Content producer, Steve Golin and UNICEF but a remake of the Spice Girls hit, Wannabe, stole the show for the good of the globe.


This year marks the first anniversary of world leaders adopting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, a mighty plan to end poverty, fix climate change and address inequalities over the next 15 years, but they will only succeed if they address the needs of the most marginalised first, particularly girls and women.


It’s been 20 years since the Spice Girls released their famous music video, Wannabe, and the remake, titled #WhatIReallyReallyWant, has been created by Project Everyone, the organisation committed to driving mass awareness of the UN’s new global goals. It features actors, singers and dancers from around the world and has been edited to represent the voices of women and girls worldwide, telling leaders what they ‘really, really want’ in 2016.


SAWA, the global cinema advertising association, supported the Global Goals for girls and women cinema campaign within its ‘Power of Cinema to Drive Cultural Change’ seminar at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2016, by exclusively previewing the Global Goals advert ahead of its official launch in July 2016.


The seminar took place on Monday and featured four world-class speakers discussing the unique power of cinema to instill change within society; Sir John Hegarty (advertising legend and BBH founder), Steve Golin (producer of Spotlight), Lawrence Bender (producer of Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’) and Claudia Gonzalez (Chief of Public Advocacy at UNICEF), compered by Jason Solomons (a leading UK film critic).


“We are delighted to continue working with Project Everyone and to premier this amazing advert at our seminar. The power of Cinema has long been apparent, from the time of silent film right through to the implementation of 3D and all in between. Technology is one thing but Cinema’s storytelling capability and power to drive change is when it is at its most powerful,” says General Manager of SAWA, Cheryl Wannell.


The advert will launch online this July 2016 and will call on people to share #WhatIReallyReallyWant on social media, igniting a campaign to encourage mass public support for the rights of girls and women. Moreover, SAWA and its members have committed to a global cinema campaign between July and September 2016 to ensure the advert reaches cinema’s huge audiences. The advert will be distributed globally through Unique Digital in cinemas. The results of the campaign will be presented to world leaders at the UN General Assembly in September 2016 to demonstrate the mass public support for the rights of women and girls.


“Last year the UN, Project Everyone and many partners launched a mass awareness-raising campaign reaching 3 billion people in just 7 days with news of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This year we’re keeping up the noise and going deeper - fighting for 15 decisive years - trying to show how the Goals contain the answers to the world’s problems, from the refugee crisis to disease, humanitarian disasters to terrorism and war.  And especially focusing on the incredible importance of progress in the area of girls and women - Global Goals for Global Girls,” adds Richard Curtis, Writer, Director, Comic Relief Co-Founder and SDG Advocate.


The release of #WhatIReallyReallyWant follows the hugely successful ‘We Have a Plan’ cinema campaign that ran on cinema screens with the launch of the UN’s Global Goals on 25th September 2015. The UN and Project Everyone created an advert to introduce the UN’s Goals to the world. Thanks to SAWA and its members, the advert was aired in cinemas across the world to huge success. Nielsen, the media measurement company, measured the activity and reported on large-scale awareness and long-term recall being achieved.

Check out the video below for some backstage footage with the speakers in Cannes.