Last night was the Cannes Lions awards event for Design, Press and Cyber efforts. As always, for the full list of winners, go hithery-dithery. But here are the Grand Prix winners for each category:
For DESIGN: "Paper Battlefield" for Nike Hong Kong by McCann Worldgroup/Causeway Bay.
For PRESS: "We Are Animals," that creepy bejeaned-human-meets-carnal-instinct campaign by FRED & FARID/Paris for Wrangler.
For CYBER: "Best Job in the World" -- which is seriously cleaning up this year -- by Cumminsnitro/Brisbane for Tourism Queensland.
"Eco:Drive" by AKQA/London for Fiat also scored a Cyber Grand Prix, as did "Why So Serious?" for Warner Bros.' The Dark Knight. The latter campaign is a typical piece of elaborate genius by the folks at 42 Entertainment/Pasadena, whose every project is not so much advertising as it is grand oeuvre.
Hey, Cannes Lions delegates! Have a big heaping slice of buzzkill, brought to you by Weisser Ring!
I get that these are for a good cause. Given the appropriate context, these particular pieces are damn stirring.
But given that this image ornaments the exterior of the Palais and these ads plaster the interior, you gotta wonder: which sadistic member of the ad festival planning committee picked out this year's damaged kids motif?
At 72 Croisette (the so-called Gutter Bar) last night, Shannon Stephaniuk introduced me to the members of Ogilvy Stockholm, which won a Gold Lion for its work for UNA Sweden.
Their objective was to raise funds to support the war victims of Georgia (the country, not the state); and to do this, they spoke with the locals and gathered small, specific and personal items that belonged to people affected by the war.
See Shoes, Sweater and Sheet; I found the sight of those scorched, warped items physically painful, and the stories still more moving.
It's my strong feeling that the work deserved a Grand Prix, but apparently you can't win one if the effort is nonprofit. Weird logics. In any case, I hung out awhile and talked to the guys about the work, what they did and how it made them feel in general.
Video interviews below. Given that it's the Gutter Bar at 2:00 AM and not, say, an Embassy lobby, try to bear with the background noise. Better yet, imagine you're there, stumbling around with your third vodka tonic, playing guess-the-accent with your group of chums-for-the-week.
This year was the first year Cannes recognized PR's role in getting a brand message across, so PR people just about creamed themselves getting here. Even Hill & Knowlton couldn't help but say something smug about it before passing the mic to Biz Stone this afternoon.
Yeah, you guys are in the door, woo woo.
We're not gonna sit out and type the full list of trophy bait; that's what the Cannes Lions awards subsite is for. But here are the Grand Prix winners in all three categories, and a few nice PR Lion winners, too.
For PROMO: "Yubari" for Yubari Resort (Japan), by Beacon Communications/Tokyo.
I didn't really understand the beauty of this campaign until it was explained to me in full. Apparently Yubari used to be a miner town, and when the mines closed and all the miners left, the city was hurting for cash.
Beacon was enlisted to address the problem. In its research of Yubari it discovered something compelling: that its inhabitants do not divorce. Ever. For whatever reason, probably having to do with that it was damn-near deserted, marriages there maintain a 100% success rate.
Silver bullet in tow, Beacon immediately positioned Yubari as the place to insure your happily ever after. The campaign was ridiculously successful in the first year, with newlyweds angling from far and wide to visit. And that's how a small minor town became Japan's City of Love.
For DIRECT and PR: "Best Job in the World" for Tourism Queensland (Australia), by Cumminsnitro. Well-deserved -- this was truly ambitious work from an agency that was hardly on the radar before this year.
So there you have it. Now see below for some nice PR Lion notables.
Maybe it's our short attention span. Maybe it's our overly simplistic mind. Maybe it's our aversion to creative full of distracting hack job jumble cuts and irrelevant metaphors. Whatever it is, we had to watch these two DDB West-created, Epoch Films-produced Wells Fargo commercials a few times before we realized they touted the organization's online banking services and automatic savings programs.
Come one Epoch! You guys did that awesome JCPenney commercial. Granted you submitted it illegally to Cannes last year but still. Who got their hands on this Wells Fargo work? Your interns?
- Six Apart offers VideoEgg's scroll-proof Twig ad unit to bloggers.
- How not to be an idiot at PR as illustrated by an idiot doing his own PR.
- So yea, everyone loves Crispin Porter + Bogusky's work for Burger King. Great stuff, right? Wins lots of awards. All good, right? Well, no. From 2003, one year before Crispin took on the account, to 2008, the chain's market share fell to 14.2% from 15.6% while McDonald's grew from 43.6% to 46.8%. draw your own conclusions.
- Under Armour is out with its first football work this week. Its UA Create and UA Dominate boots hope to compete with Nike and Adidas premium boots.
First ad I saw upon entering the Palais. Where better than a sweltering, decadent vacation spot to remind us of the dire consequences of climate change?
Somewhat less depressing than the wrist slitter cause ad that appeared on BART trains during New Years Eve '06.
Throw open that beach towel, get a public service announcement: "You're probably not expecting to drown today." Not especially, no.
Other fun-tastic messages in ideal places include "You're probably not expecting to need a helmet today" and "Being run over while jaywalking only happens to other people."
And here are some highly depressing, but decidedly effective, TV spots. Sobering stuff for preventable.ca by Wasserman + Partners/Vancouver.
It's not as bad as it sounds. To encourage women to get regular Pap smears, and to promote its Cervical Cancer Screening Program, BC Cancer Agency partnered with Cineplex Odeon Theatres to air "Eye of the Cervix" in theatres.
Friendly enough ad. The curtain opens to reveal a pretty, congenial doctor. She asks if we're comfortable, does a quick swab and decisively says, "And we're done."
Closing lines bring it home: "It doesn't take long to prevent cervical cancer. Remember to have regular Pap tests."
We like it just fine, and it even made us feel productive, but here's where wanky boyfriends turn to their partners and go, "When was the last time you got checked?"
"V-Day" kicks off a new online video effort by Tampax that follows the story of Zack Johnson, a guy who woke up one morning to find he has a gaping vagina where his second head should be.
Don't know how it'll all pan out, but it promises to be occasionally funny in a banal teen angst kind of way. Follow the progression at Zack16.com, a site reminiscent of a teenage boy's notebook, complete with videos, a blog, Polaroid-styled images and a Twitter feed.
The tweets are kind of funny and appear to be getting progressively more emo. Apparently he's already had a period and now feels every guy should experience one.
Hear, hear. Although to be frank, marvelous breakthroughs in birth control make it so even real women don't have to endure random visits from Aunt Flo anymore.
Work by Leo Burnett/Chicago.