Cannes: The ‘Evolution’ of Advertising

CANNES, FRANCE “Evolution” was the watchword at the 2007 Cannes Lions, as 11,000 delegates from the ad industry gathered in the South of France to celebrate creativity and contemplate how the business and the award shows that honor it will evolve.

The Dove viral sensation “Evolution” took top honors in both the Cyber and Film categories, pointing to the colliding worlds of consumer-powered digital distribution and brand building. It’s the first time in the festival’s history that the same execution won in both categories.

“It’s a big idea, beautiful execution and a powerful story for Dove to tell,” said Bob Scarpelli, jury president of the Film and Press Lions and chairman and CCO at DDB Worldwide. “We believe in the power and the goodness of the idea.”

While the spot’s viral history-it began as an Internet video before being shown a limited number of times on TV -wasn’t the key factor in the Grand Prix discussion, Scarpelli, who prior to the festival encouraged organizers to recognize viral entries in the Film competition, noted that its viral beginnings were considered.

“The jury thought it was the best advertising in the whole show,” added Brazilian judge Celso Loducca, president of Loducca Publicidade in Sao Paulo. “It doesn’t matter that it got started on the Internet.”

In the double Grand Prix winner, the ad industry has a helpful guidepost to navigate the future where consumers will choose the brand messages they interact with and often power the distribution of. Ogilvy & Mather, Toronto, used time-lapse photography to show the transformation of an average woman into a glamorous billboard model using beauty stylists and Photoshop enhancements. Since Ogilvy uploaded “Evolution” to YouTube last October, it has been watched 3.7 million times.

“Evolution” won out over three more traditional TV gold winners in contention for the top Film prize: “I Feel Pretty” for Nike by Weiden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore.; “Paint” for Sony Bravia by Fallon London, in which explosions of color paint rip through an empty apartment building; and “The Power of Wind” for Wind Energy Initiative from Nordpol+, Hamburg, Germany, which visually represents the wind as a giant whose power is misunderstood.

Thor Santisiri, chairman and ecd of TBWA\Thailand, said Dove represents an idea that can travel well beyond the single execution. “It’s a bigger idea for a bigger brand,” he said. “It’s not advertising for a product. It’s a huge brand idea.”

In total, the Film jury awarded 12 gold Lions, 17 silver and 50 bronze. The U.S. took four gold, six silver and 16 bronze. U.S. gold winners were Coca-Cola’s “Videogame” from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland; Volkswagen’s “Safe Happens” campaign from Crispin; and Nike’s “I Feel Pretty,” which won two gold honors, one for best use of music and one in the clothing, footwear and accessories category.

The Titanium and Integrated Lions’ jury, led by jury president Alex Bogusky, CCO of MDC’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky, awarded the Titanium Grand Prix to Crispin’s Burger King-branded Xbox video games. Rather than give them away as a promotional exercise, BK turned them into a revenue generator, charging $3.99 for them. The game has sold over 3 million copies.

“Creatives from all over the world will look at it and say, ‘I wish I had done that,'” said Titanium and Integrated juror Colleen DeCourcy, chief experience officer at JWT in New York.

The Titanium and Integrated Lions jury also singled out another effort that began with a product enhancement with its Grand Prix choice for Integrated campaign. The top prize went to VegaOlmosPonce in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which helped Unilever not just market its new body spray, Axe 3, but create it. In addition to the top prize, the jury awarded three Titanium and three Integrated Lions.

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