Cannes Lions 2017: The Winners

Find out all the major winners from this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity here.

Tonight saw the announcement of the final winners at this year’s Cannes Lions festival. The Oscars of the advertising world, a Cannes Lion Grand Prix is the most coveted of adland’s many prizes, a ticket to recognition across the industry and a shortcut up the career ladder. Below you will find details of all the campaigns that received this year’s top honours.

Like the Oscars, Cannes judges often eschew the more obviously commercially minded work released over the year, in favour of campaigns or projects that show social purpose or include a higher aim than mere selling. This is again strongly evident in this year’s winners, and, despite the desire by some for the industry to move on from this preoccupation, it shows no sign of abating.

What has changed this year though, is a move away from celebrating tech for tech’s sake. Advertising has long been keen to demonstrate its celebration of the new, which has occasionally meant that projects featuring the very latest technologies have been awarded over more conventional mediums. There was less of that this year – tech of course featured in projects, but ideas were awarded over gimmickry.

Of the festival itself, regular visitors would have recognised regular gripes, about the dominance of the tech companies (which this year included an incongruous ferris wheel from Snapchat directly outside the Palais), the hunger of the Cannes Lions organisers to control visitors and extract the maximum amount of money from them (hotel passes, anyone?), and the general corporate overload with little creativity in sight.

These complaints only matter when the big players start to wade in, and this year that began to happen with Publicis Groupe announcing it would not be taking part in the festival next year. It is also backing away from involvement in other ad shindigs and awards too, to focus instead on building an AI robot named Marcel (see para 3 above) so it is not a decision specific just to Cannes, but will no doubt make the festival organisers nervous, particularly when Sir Martin Sorrell starts to wade in too. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Cannes Lions has quickly announced the formation of an ‘advisory committee’, to help “ensure it continues to respond to the needs of the industry”.

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out over the coming year, but for now, let’s not think of the future, but instead of the glories of this year. Below are the 2017 Grand Prix winners, in alphabetical order by award:

Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix: Van Gogh BnB; Art Institute of Chicago

Last year, the Van Gogh BnB, where the Art Institute of Chicago joined forces with Airbnb to recreate Van Gogh’s Bedroom painting as a real room visitors could stay in overnight, won 14 Cannes Lions awards. This year it picked up the Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness. Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago

Cyber Grand Prix: Meet Graham; TAC Victoria

Meet Graham, the weird and wonderful campaign for TAC Victoria, which saw artist Patricia Piccinini sculpt a model of the type of body you need to survive on our roads (based on scientific evidence), won two Grand Prix awards at Cannes Lions this year, including this one in Cyber. Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne. Read our write up on Graham here

Do You Mean Mailchimp; Mailchimp

Also picking up a Cyber Grand Prix was this witty campaign for Mailchimp, which plays on people being unable to remember the brand’s name (most notably in an ad that was part of the 2014 podcast Serial) and takes this to the nth degree. Agency: Droga5

Aland Index/Baltic Sea Project; Bank of Aland

The third and final Grand Prix in Cyber goes to the Aland Index/Baltic Sea Project, which sees the Band of Aland provide its customers with an index showing how their spending effects the environment and how they might offset this. Agency: RBK

Design Grand Prix: The Unusual Football Field; AP Thai

Picking up the only Design Grand Prix was this non-rectangular football field, created by property developers AP Thai for teenagers to play on in an over-populated area of Bangkok. Agency: CJ Worx

Digital Craft Grand Prix: Not Get video; Björk

Björk’s ambitious real-time VR video for the song NotGet, directed by Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, which changes with each viewing, won the Digital Craft Grand Prix. Teaser shown above. Agency: Analog London

Direct Grand Prix: Google Home of the Whopper; Burger King

In an example of the old adage that all publicity is good publicity, Burger King’s intrusive ad campaign, which was specifically designed to activate Google Home devices to read from the BK Wikipedia page, won the Direct Grand Prix. It received a ton of negative press at its release but was praised to the skies by the Cannes jury. Go figure. Agency: DAVID, Miami

Film Grand Prix: We’re The Superhumans; Channel 4, Blink Productions

No huge surprises here as Channel 4’s brilliant trailer for its Rio Paralympics 2016 coverage picks up the Film Grand Prix. Agency: 4Creative. Production company: Blink Productions. Read our article on how it was made here

Film Craft Grand Prix: Territory video; The Blaze

The top honour in Film Craft went to this striking music video for Territory by The Blaze, directed by The Blaze. Production company: Iconoclast

Glass Grand Prix: Fearless Girl; State Street

The Fearless Girl statue, created to honour International Women’s Day (and asset management company State Street), won three Grand Prix awards this year, including the Glass Lion. Read our report on it here. Agency: McCann New York

Integrated Grand Prix: Boost Your Voice; Boost Mobile

This is the first of three Grand Prix awards for Boost Your Voice, a project that saw Boost Mobile stores in the US turned into voting booths for the Presidential Elections last November. As Boost stores are located in communities with fewer polling stations, Boost Your Voice allowed more equal voting access. Agency: 180LA, Santa Monica

Lions Entertainment/Entertainment Lions Grand Prix: Beyond Money; Santander

In a surprising moment where a branded film is actually incredibly good, this film from Santander is a Black Mirror-esque exploration into our relationship with money. It’s totally gripping. Agency: MRM/McCann Spain

Lions Entertainment/Entertainment Lions For Music Grand Prix: Original is Never Finished; Adidas Originals

This spot for Adidas Originals features a remix of Frank Sinatra’s iconic song My Way. Agency: Johannes Leonardo, New York

Lions Health/Health & Wellness Grand Prix: Meet Graham; TAC Victoria

It’s Meet Graham again. Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne

Lions Health/Pharma Grand Prix: No winner

No Grand Prix awarded.

Lions Innovation/Creative Data Grand Prix: Care Counts; Whirlpool

In the project Care Counts, Whirlpool installed washers and dryers in schools to see how having clean clothes effects attendance rates. Agency: DigitasLBI Chicago

Lions Innovation/Innovation Grand Prix: Humanium Metal Initiative

The Humanium Metal Initiative is a weapons destruction programme that sees illegal firearms recycled into units that are then made available for commercial production. Agencies: Åkestam Holst, Stockholm and Great Works, Stockholm

Media Grand Prix: Innovating Saving; Jet.com

Ecommerce company Jet.com picked up the Media Grand Prix for its witty and clever ways of spreading its money-saving message to customers. Agency: R/GA New York

Mobile Grand Prix: The Family Way; Seem

The Mobile top prize went to Seem, a device that allows men trying for children to check their sperm count with their smart phone, in the privacy of their own home. A bit icky maybe, but kind of brilliant. Agency: Dentsu Y&R Tokyo

Outdoor Grand Prix: Prince, Cannabis etc; Twitter

Twitter won the ‘traditional’ Outdoor Grand Prix with this strikingly simple billboard campaign (two examples shown above, there are many more). There is some gentle irony in a tech company (like Apple before it) recognising the power of a great poster campaign where so many other brands have forgotten this trad medium. Agency: Twitter San Francisco

Fearless Girl; State Street

Fearless Girl took the ‘non-traditional’ (I don’t know if these are official distinctions within the category or not) Outdoor Grand Prix. Agency: McCann New York

PR Grand Prix: Fearless Girl; State Street

Groundhog day! Fearless Girl also picked up the PR Grand Prix. Agency: McCann New York

Print & Publishing Grand Prix: Pennsylvania, Aviano etc; Burger King

Burger King picked up a second Grand Prix with this clever and bizarre print campaign, which shows actual Burger King stores on fire and them stamps them with a ‘Flame Grilled since 1954’ logo. Agency: DAVID, Miami

Product Design Grand Prix: The Payphone Bank; Tigo-Une

The Tigo-Une Payphone Bank aims to offer micro-banking options to Colombians currently unserved by the major banks. All transactions are carried out using the humble payphone. Agency: Grey Colombia, Bogotá

Promo & Activation Grand Prix: Boost Your Voice; Boost Mobile

Boost Your Voice picked up a second Grand Prix in Promo & Activation. Agency: 180LA, Santa Monica

Radio Grand Prix: The Sad Man Meal; KFC

The Radio Grand Prix went to KFC for its witty campaign The Sad Man Meal, where a voiceover laments various minor acts of daily sadness, such as when the toilet paper tears up instead of across or when you’re angry and you don’t know why, or when a KFC meal deal ends. Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg

Titanium Grand Prix: Boost Your Voice; Boost Mobile

You’ve made it to the end – woo hoo! We wrap up with a third Grand Prix for Boost Your Voice. Agency: 180LA, Santa Monica

Fearless Girl; State Street

… And an incredible fourth Grand Prix for Fearless Girl. That’s the close, folks. Agency: McCann New York

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