British agencies managed just two Golds at the Cannes Press and Cyber Lions, announced on Wednesday night. Cue much soul-searching on the Carlton Terrace.
Profero, for its Follow The White Rabbit ad (above) for the Mini Cooper in the Cybers and DDB for its Harvey Nichols Samurai Catfight campaign in Press (see below) were the honourable exceptions, everyone else was left to mutter darkly into their ludicrously overpriced lagers.
Grand Prix in Press went to a campaign for Ultra Tide stain remover from Saatchi & Saatchi New York (above), continuing a good year for the agency that won CR’s own Agency of the Year prize due to it having more pieces of work voted into this year’s Annual than any other agency. According to Press Lions jury president Bob Scarpelli, his judges wanted to send a message to young creatives “that it is not about the latest tools and techniques but, rather, about simple ideas based on powerful insights”.
His comments could be seen as a little pop at the digital guys with whom press now has to share the limelight of its Wednesday night spot. Here, in a stunning piece of generosity/wishy-washiness depending on how chairitable you feel, not one but THREE Grand Prixs were awarded. The lucky trio were R/GA (inevitably) for Nike+, Ogilvy & Mather Canada for the Dove Evolution film (which really seems to be just a good commercial and not particularly interactive) and FarFar in Sweden for Heidies 15mb of Fame for Diesel.
Awarding three Grand Prixs is just the latest in an increasingly inflationary trend in digital award-giving – at last month’s D&AD Awards 15 Silvers were dished out to online ads, virals and websites in a spirit of gay abandon. No doubt this is fuelled in part by the sheer enthusiasm of the digital disciples and their desire to celebrate the phenomenal growth of their medium, but it is raising eyebrows among the traditionalists who are used to meaner juries and is increasingly becoming a source of friction.
No doubt traditionalists will also be aghast at an idea that is gathering real momentum at Cannes – moving the Cyber Lions to the Saturday night. This coveted spot has always been the preserve of the Film (ie TV and cinema ads) awards but, as entries in the latter have fallen for three years in a row, while entries for digital have grown exponentially, the argument for positioning Film as the most important category is getting weaker.
Film now shares its night with the Titanium Award, which most creatives claim is the one to win rather than the previously much-coveted Film Grand Prix. It would be a real statement of the changing realitites in advertising if Film were to knocked off its perch and Cyber and Titanium became the grand finale.
PS, This year’s D&AD Gold winning War Orphans ads for Misereor (something of a bete noir here at CR) managed only bronze at Cannes. For what it’s worth.