Cannes: Cadbury, Xbox Take Film Kudos

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CANNES, FRANCE Four Grand Prix Lions were awarded at the final prize ceremony at the 55th International Advertising Festival here tonight, with two top honors given by the Film jury and two by the Titanium & Integrated jury.

The top Film winners were Cadbury’s “Gorilla” by Fallon, London, and Xbox Halo 3’s “Believe” by T.A.G./McCann Worldgroup, San Francisco.

The Titanium Grand Prix went to Uniqlo’s “Uniqlock” from Projector Tokyo, which also won the Cyber Grand Prix earlier this week.

The Integrated Grand Prix was awarded to the Xbox Halo 3 effort.

Agency of the Year honors went to BBDO in New York, with Almap BBDO, Sao Paulo, and DDB London coming in as runners-up.

BBDO was named Network of the Year, with DDB and Saatchi & Saatchi placing second and third, respectively.

The Palme D’Or, which honors the production company of the year, went to MJZ.

Mark Tutssel, Titanium & Integrated Campaigns Lions jury president and global chief creative officer of Leo Burnett, said the jury, which considered 432 entries this year, sought to “discover the finest, freshest thinking that charts a new territory and inspires the industry.”

The Uniqlo widget features entertaining videos of women wearing the retailer’s clothing and is focused on the concept of time. Tutssel said the effort “embraced everything that is new, entertainment, utility, interactivity and brought it together in a fresh, new, nimble way that captured the essence of the brand.”

In Integration, Xbox Halo 3 “stood head and shoulders above the rest” of the contenders, said Tutssel. “The variety of the work they produced was so surprising and so new and so engaging,” he added. “It is breathtakingly beautiful in its craft, thinking, its execution and the way it connected with people. It’s game-changing in its thinking.”

The Cannes delegation may be surprised to see that the cross-competition winner of the week did not receive an honor in the Integrated contest. That campaign, HBO’s “Voyeur” by BBDO in New York, won the Grand Prix in both Promo and Outdoor and won Lions in the Media, Cyber, Design and Film contests as well.

Titanium juror Nick Law, evp, chief creative officer North America of R/GA, said that the campaign was a “beautiful case study,” but the jury felt that the outdoor projection was its “most wonderful” component and had been rewarded by another jury.

“From a digital perspective, my feeling was that it was brilliant, but it wasn’t very deep. It was deep in the sense that there were stories to follow, but it’s an entertainment brand and the writing on the HBO TV shows are so beautiful and so deep,” he said. “The feeling was that that should have crept more into the digital experience. The struggle we have with digital is it doesn’t have a great tradition for narratives and while this is a leap forward, I don’t think it’s there yet.”

Storytelling in the Film competition. however, is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, thanks to advances in digital technology.

“Film is back in a big way,” said Craig Davis, Film and Press jury president and worldwide chief creative officer of JWT.

While Dove’s “Evolution,” a spot that was produced for the Web and migrated to broadcast, was the Film Grand Prix winner last year, this was the first year that the 21-member jury considered film entries created for distribution on screens other than TV and cinema — Internet film, integrated film and film for “other” screens.

Because those additional entries were so strong, said Davis, the jury awarded more golds than it had in recent years. In 2008, 21 golds, 33 silver and 52 bronze were awarded.

Explaining why the jury deemed two efforts worthy of the top prize, Davis said comparing broadcast and online film is “a little bit like apples and pears,” noting the fixed time lengths and regulations that broadcast spots have to contend with and the luxury of long-form that online film has. “But the fundamental difference is between push and pull. Online is more about ideas that the audience seeks,” he said. “There was tremendous work of both types this year. It was a pioneering year to embrace other film content.”

With two strong Grand Prix contenders in the running, the jury “exhaustively debated” the choice and ultimately decided to honor both. “In the end, it was impossible to reconcile,” he said. “What you’ve got is fantastic work in both places,” and the jury didn’t want to penalize one over the other. And Davis added, the decision to do that was unanimous: “First and foremost this is a festival and it’s meant to be festive and celebrate extraordinary work. We felt it was much better to celebrate both pieces.”

The Cadbury “Gorilla” spot, created by Fallon, London, is a one-and-a-half minute “glass and a half production,” as the opening credits note — referring to the amount of milk found in the chocolate bar — and features a gorilla drumming along to Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.”

The jury said that the spot “defies the conventions of the category,” by not showing the chocolate and simply demonstrating the sheer pleasure the product brings consumers. “It’s a courageous piece of work,” said Davis.

The winning Halo 3 campaign, from T.A.G/McCann Worldgroup, San Francisco, included three-minute online executions — “Enemy Weapon,” “Gravesite,” “John 117/Monument” and “Combat” — that delved into the story of the legendary battle between humanity and aliens using documentary-style interviews set 500 years in the future. Another commercial in the campaign, “Diorama,” also received a gold and a bronze Lion. The jury praised its unique approach in the category and the deep level of the storytelling. “You became quite emotional about the pieces as you are moving through the touch points,” said South African juror Paul Warner, founder and executive creative director of MetropolitanRepublic.

While the Film competition opened up to include other film content, which added 15 hours to the assessment of the 4,626 entries, the judges said mobile and interactive TV fell short of prizes, citing the fact that the platforms are still young and few entries were received.

The jury also addressed the fact that by awarding two Grand Prix, one acknowledging a broadcast execution, another a video campaign, the work was again being segmented rather than brought together under one banner.

But Davis said it was more about making sure two deserving pieces of work were honored. “The lines will continue to blur,” he said. “And there will be challenging discussions around the work every year.”

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