Cannes Lions 2008 – The Winners

Gorilla for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk by Fallon London
Well, it’s all over for another year, after this evening’s award ceremony in Cannes revealed the winners of the Film, Titanium and Integrated Lions, ending the speculation on the Carlton Terrace. Taking a Grand Prix in Film was Fallon London, whose Gorilla commercial for Cadbury’s has drummed its way to the top of yet another awards ceremony. So far, so predictable you might think. But wait… this year Gorilla wasn’t the only one to enjoy Cannes Film glory, when the jury took the unprecedented move of awarding not one, but two Film Grand Prix honours.


Gorilla for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk by Fallon London

Well, it’s all over for another year, after this evening’s award ceremony in Cannes revealed the winners of the Film, Titanium and Integrated Lions, ending the speculation on the Carlton Terrace. Taking a Grand Prix in Film was Fallon London, whose Gorilla commercial for Cadbury’s has drummed its way to the top of yet another awards ceremony. So far, so predictable you might think. But wait… this year Gorilla wasn’t the only one to enjoy Cannes Film glory, when the jury took the unprecedented move of awarding not one, but two Film Grand Prix honours.

The second went to the Xbox Halo 3 films, a set of shorts that form part of the integrated Believe campaign (more on that shortly). These couldn’t be more different to Gorilla in their approach. Instead of Gorilla’s traditional TV format, the Halo 3 films were released to their audience online, and formed part of a far more elaborate campaign.


Enemy Weapon film, part of the Halo 3 launch, by TAG/McCann Worldgroup San Francisco

It was for this reason that the decision to award two Grand Prix awards was made, according to Craig Davis, JWT’s chief creative officer worldwide, and this year’s Film jury president. “They are two different pieces of work, one’s funny and the other one’s not,” he said succinctly, before going on to explain how the jury all felt that it was important not to feel they had to pick between a traditional TV campaign or a viral campaign, and that to reflect the current state of the industry both needed to be recognised.

Further insights from Davis came when he directly addressed the debate around allowing viral films to be entered in the Film category this year, for the first time. This followed last year’s somewhat controversial win for Ogilvy Toronto’s Dove Evolution, which won the Grand Prix in the Film category despite being originally created as a viral. Davis admitted that the wider entry options had created over 15 hours more viewing for the jury, but was very positive about the development, which surely brings Cannes more closely in line with the rapid evolution of the advertising industry. “The lines between internet and film work will continue to blur, and this will cause challenging discussions every year,” he commented.

Somewhat surprisingly, despite its undeniable success, Gorilla has been the subject of much debate on the Croisette, where it appears to have inspired either love or hatred but not much in between. Davis defended the decision of the jury, stating “it is a courageous piece of work, which defies many of the conventions of confectionary advertising”. He also reflected on the infectiousness nature of Phil Collins’ drum-tastic track, commenting that everyone at the award ceremony will be dying to indulge in a spot of air-drumming when the ad plays.

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Uniqlock website by Projector. From here, users could download a clock to be installed on their blog. Charming videos of dancers marked each hour. For more on Uniqlo see our earlier post

And so now to the Titanium awards, perhaps the most interesting of the categories at Cannes. As was the case last year, this section was divided into the Integrated and Titanium categories, with the distinctions still causing some confusion. Jury president Mark Tutsell (chief creative officer, Leo Burnett Chicago) explained that the aim of the jury this year was “to discover the freshest thinking in the world right now”. No mean feat. The Grand Prix in Titanium went to the Uniqlock blog part project, from Projector in Japan, which had already picked up a Cyber Lion Grand Prix earlier in the week, while the Integrated Grand Prix went to the Halo 3 Believe launch, making it a double whammy for McCann Worldgroup San Francisco in both Film and Integrated. Both are worthy winners, but the fact that they had both already won big in other categories perhaps highlights the overlap (and confusion) of the festival’s sections now.

Tutsell sees the Titanium and Integrated awards as the ones that are charting the future of the advertising industry. “The Titanium awards chart new territory for the industry,” he said. “and most importantly inspire. The work was thought-provoking, fresh and new. The campaigns had a comprehensive understanding of human behaviour.”

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Coca-Cola identity by Turner Duckworth

Earlier this week, the first ever Design Lion awards were handed out, with the jury president Rodney Fitch commenting of the new award category that “this is a historical moment for designers – they now have a place they can meet together and see and compare work in the wider communication context”. (Um… is this not what D&AD already does though?) It will be interesting to see if Cannes is successful in coming years at luring the design industry into the whirl of the festival, and whether it will be able to attract design entries of the same creative calibre as it does within advertising. The winner of the inaugural Design Lion Grand Prix was Turner Duckworth for its work for Coca-Cola’s brand identity, a solid if rather safe start to the new category.

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Energizer campaign by DDB Johannesburg

Alongside Uniqlock’s Grand Prix win in the Cyber category, Cyber Grand Prix awards were also given to MediaFront Oslo for its online advertising SOL Comments for Scandinavia Onlinem and 42 Entertainment in the US for the website Year Zero for Nine Inch Nails. In Press, DDB Johannesburg was awarded the Grand Prix for its Energizer campaign, while the Outdoor Grand Prix was picked up by BBDO New York for its Voyeur Projection Installation for HBO, which also won a gold in the design category.

To view all the winners, visit canneslions.com.

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