So the Cannes Lions advertising festival is all over for another year… but who carried away the coveted golden Lions? And what do they reveal about the current state of the ad industry?
Choose A Different Ending for the Metropolitan Police
It’s tricky to know where to start with this year’s winners, which in itself is an interesting point – in previous years it has always been the Film Grand Prix that everybody clamours to hear about, but now this seems to share equal billing with Integrated and Titanium, and even the Cyber and the Design awards. So let’s instead begin with the final award handed out, a new prize, titled the Grand Prix for Good. This was decided by the Titanium and Integrated jury, and aims to recognise charitable campaigns. It was awarded to AMV.BBDO for its anti-knife crime campaign, Choose A Different Ending, for the Metropolitan Police. The spot utilised YouTube to allow viewers to decide how a storyline played out and is shown above.
Chalkbot for Nike Livestrong Foundation
Wieden + Kennedy Portland had a good time of it at this year’s Cannes, picking up three Grand Prix awards. Two of these went to Chalkbot, for the Nike Livestrong Foundation, which allowed Tour de France spectators to send messages to a chalking machine via SMS, Twitter or the WearYellow.com website. The messages would then be spelt out on the course. The project won a Grand Prix in both the Cyber and Integrated awards. The US agency picked up the Grand Prix in the Film Lions too, for its amusing television campaign for Old Spice, titled The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. The ads have done an amazing job at revitalising a deeply unfashionable brand through humour.
Old Spice, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
Interestingly, this year the Film Lions were split into two strands: the straightforward Film category, and a new section, Film Craft. The latter is an acknowledgement of how the web has created new, filmic opportunites for brands, with the shortlist filled with longer-form films for brands including Absolut, Philips and Johnnie Walker. Director Carl Erik Rinsch picked up the Grand Prix for The Gift, one of the films featured in the Philips Parallel Lines campaign from DDB London.
The Gift, for Philips Parallel Lines
Back to Cyber now, and a second Grand Prix, which was won by DDB Stockholm, for its hugely popular Fun Theory series of films for Volkswagen Sweden, one of which is shown below.
Fun Theory film for Volkswagen Sweden
The Design Lions Grand Prix went to Happiness Brussels for its IQ Font for Toyota, which was covered on the CR blog here. Happiness Brussels created a new font for the car brand, which was available to download for free from Toyota’s website.
Making of the Toyota IQ font
A flutter of controversy occurred around the Press Lions winners. The Grand Prix had been awarded to Ogilvy Mexico for its campaign for Scrabble, but at the last minute this was declared ineligible due to having been entered in a previous year (and not even been shortlisted). The Grand Prix therefore went to AlmapBBDO São Paulo, Brazil for a somewhat lacklustre campaign for Billboard (one shown below). AlmapBBDO São Paulo also won the agency of the year award for achieving the highest score in the Press, Outdoor, Film and Radio Lions sections.
Bono Billboard ad
In Outdoor, two campaigns were handed Grand Prix awards. One went to Anomaly New York for its Be Stupid campaign for Diesel. This caused a stream of debate on the CR blog back in January, see here.
From Diesel Be Stupid campaign
The other Grand Prix went to Del Campo/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi in Argentina for its Andes Tele-transporter campaign for Cerveza Andes Beer. The campaign consisted of a series of booths placed in bars, which utilised different ambient backdrops to allow men call their girlfriends and convince them they are somewhere else.
The Titanium Grand Prix went to Crispin Porter & Bogusky, who demonstrated how a brand can use Twitter to excellent effect. Twelpforce for Best Buy is a Twitter page that offers expert technical advice to anyone with tech issues. Refreshingly, no products are pushed via the site.
Twelpforce Twitter page
As mentioned above, AlmapBBDO São Paulo was the Agency of the Year, while Interactive Agency of the Year was CP&B. It seems surely only a matter of time until these two categories merge. Network of the year was BBDO, and the Palme d’Or for best production company went to MJZ.
This year’s Cannes Lions festival at last seemed to truly reflect the state of advertising today, which is in essence that ‘anything goes’. Anyone predicting the death of TV ads must surely be eating humble pie by now, as W+K’s Old Spice work is nothing if not traditional. Yet the Old Spice campaign appears among projects that demonstrate the exciting and innovative ways that agencies and clients are using technology to reach audiences. The discussions around advertising’s future should surely no longer be about what new approach will supersede the others, but instead an acknowledgement that any technique or media can work, if creative thinking and fresh ideas lie at the work’s heart.
Of course, much of the responsibility for making sure these innovative ideas get made lies with clients, whose presence was more evident than ever at this year’s festival, both out at the parties and in the official seminars: Kraft Foods brought Spike Jonze to Cannes, while Yahoo! went one further notch up the celebrity scale, presenting Ben Stiller, in (sort of) conversation with Jeff Goodby. Brands including Coca-Cola, Uniqlo and Microsoft also did talks. There are rumours that next year’s Cannes will include an effectiveness awards strand, even more of a signal that the festival that has been top of creatives’ lists for years is evolving to become an essential event for clients too.
All info on this year’s Cannes Lions winners is at canneslions.com.
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