GM's "Signs Are There For a Reason" Ad, and Other Cannes Lions Festival Winners

There is the Cannes festival we all know about — you know, the one with the films and the starlets and the gorgeous fashion choices on display — and then there's the other Cannes festival: the Cannes Lions festival. Like its slightly more famous cousin, it celebrates top-notch creativity, but in communications and advertising instead of movies. The 2014 festival finished up two days ago, on June 21st, after recognizing ads that are hilarious, moving, and inspiring. AdWeek compiled a list of the 17 print ads that won the Grand Prix or Gold Lion awards in the Press Lions category, and here are some of the best from that batch. They're thought-provoking and clever, showcasing what's awesome about the advertising world.

1. "Signs Are There For A Reason" (General Motors/Buick)

These highly effective images show survivors of traffic accidents standing near the locations in which they were hit. They're holding up the signs that might have preventing the accidents that have clearly changed their lives forever.

2. "Inside Every Suicide Is Someone Who Wants To Live" (CVV Emotional Support)

This campaign, which takes a fridge-magnet-like angle and rearranges the words on suicide notes so that they convey the opposite message, is equal parts tear-inducing and uplifting.

3. "Captured In Audio" (Penguin Group China)

This quirky, inviting ad series shows the instantly recognizable Penguin Classics bird holding up a boom in classic scenes of literature. Cervantes is nearly perfect, but I must say, I would have appreciated a penguin in Don Quijote.

Check out Adweek for more examples of ads done right. Or, if you're feeling perverse and mad, you could take a look at some done wrong.

Images: Marco Derksen, Flickr; Adweek