Cannes 07: Controversy Over Grand Prix While UK Gloom Continues

Ogilvy & Mather Toronto took the Film Grand Prix in Cannes last night
Following its success in the Cyber Lions, Ogilvy & Mather Toronto made it a double at the Cannes ad festival, winning the Film Grand Prix for Dove Evolution. However, the award was the subject of major controversy as, at the film press conference, one reporter asked the jurors, “Did you cheat to give Dove the Grand Prix?”


Ogilvy & Mather Toronto took the Film Grand Prix in Cannes last night

Following its success in the Cyber Lions, Ogilvy & Mather Toronto made it a double at the Cannes ad festival, winning the Film Grand Prix for Dove Evolution. However, the award was the subject of major controversy as, at the film press conference, one reporter asked the jurors, “Did you cheat to give Dove the Grand Prix?”

The reporter was referring to some chicanery by the judges in order for Evolution to qualify for the big prize. It had originally been entered in the fundraising and appeals category, but, under Lions rules this would have excluded it from the Grand Prix as charity or public services ads cannot win the top award. “We moved it from one category to another [corporate image] because we felt that strongly about it,” admitted film jury chairman Bob Scarpelli, chairman-chief creative officer of DDB Worldwide.

“We advise many people who enter Cannes to shift categories because they’re in the wrong one,” said Festival executive chairman Terry Savage. “We should have picked up that it was in the wrong category. We didn’t. But it doesn’t demean in any way the work or the award.” The ad originally ran as a viral (also presently excluded form the Film category) but qualified due to having run subsequently on TV.

king games

The Titanium Grand Prix winner also paid testament to changes occurring within advertising and the increasing rise of branded content. The gong was picked up by Crispin Porter & Bogusky for their XBox King Games Games Innovative Campaign, which saw Burger King team up with Microsoft to create a series of Xbox games featuring characters from BK’s advertising. The games were sold in BK stores for $3.99 with the purchase of a BK value meal and the campaign was a runaway success, selling 2.4 million games in just five weeks.

The final Grand Prix to be awarded last night went to Vegaolmosponce in Buenos Aires which won the Interactive Grand Prix for its campaign for Axe 3, a new range of the deodorants that allows users to mix two Axe fragrances to create a third one. The campaign was based on the idea that “mixable Axe fragrances would give guys mixable women” and began with a TV spot that saw different types of women “mixed”. This was followed by billboards and leaflets continuing the mixing theme and later by an interactive billboard allowing men to vote for their favourite combinations of women online and via phone, with the final winner displayed on billboards.

The Agency of the Year award, given to the agency that obtains the highest score for entries in the Radio, Press, Outdoor and Film Lions sections, went to Saatchi & Saatchi New York (also winners of Creative Review’s agency of the year for having most pieces of work in our Annual, while BBDO is Network of the Year. The Palme D’or, awarded to the production company of the year, went to Smuggler in the USA.

The British agencies that did find Film success on the night were BBH, which won a Clothing, Footwear & Accessories gold for its Levi’s Dangerous Liasons spot, directed by Ringan Ledwidge at Rattling Stick;

Fallon, whose Sony Bravia Paint spot, directed by Academy’s Jonathan Glazer, picked up a Home Electronics & Audio-visual gold;

and M&C Saatchi, which won a Public Health & Safety gold for its chilling spot The Day You Went To Work for TfL, directed by Vince Squibb at Gorgeous Enterprises.

Fallon London also picked up an Integrated Lion for its Tate Tracks project, which saw musicians including The Chemical Brothers and Graham Coxon invited to create a piece of music inspired by pieces of art at the Tate Modern. The resulting tracks were then placed on listening posts for Tate visitors to listen to while viewing the work.

A more unusual Lion award appeared away from the awards ceremonies and was presented instead at a seminar on Friday held by Y&R where Al Gore made an impassioned speech imploring the advertising industry to pledge their support and influence to fighting climate change. In return he was presented with a rather fetching green Lion. Gore’s speech recognised the increased “brand loyalty” that would come to companies from consumers as they began to adopt more environmentally ethical practices. He went on to state that the force for change came most powerfully from the young – “young people are asking their parents to explain why it is not unethical that we are destroying this planet” – and that the US had a responsibility to lead the world in instigating new practices, rather than deflecting the attention away onto India and China. Gore’s green Lion may have been a one-off this year but with the advertising industry finally becoming aware of the role it can play to develop new, more environmentally sustainable behaviour, perhaps it will be one that will reappear in the future.

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