By Brian Morrissey
The merging of digital technologies with the real world swayed this year's Cyber jury, which gave out two Grand Prix—to Wieden + Kennedy in Portland. Ore., for Nike Livestrong's "Chalkbot," and to DDB in Stockholm, Sweden, for Volkswagen's "The Fun Theory" campaign.
Both efforts meshed technology with physical installations while using online networks to amplify the message. With Chalkbot, Wieden collaborated with hobbyist firm Deeplocal and Standard Robot to create a Zamboni-like machine that sprayed inspirational messages in chalk along the streets of the Tour de France course. The public could submit messages through a Web site, banner ads and Twitter. People then got photos of their chalked messages sent to them.
"The Fun Theory" promoted VW's blue-motion technology by using it to help people find the fun in mundane situations. DDB turned a set of stairs in the Stockholm subway into a giant keyboard, reminiscent of the move Big, in order to encourage people to walk rather than take the escalator. A video of the project became a viral phenomenon online, garnering 12 million views on YouTube since October.
Both campaigns were a sign that digital is breaking out of the computer screen and into the real world, said Jeff Benjamin, Cyber jury president and chief creative officer at Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Boulder, Colo. They also succeeded in making technology essential to the creative process while at the same time invisible to those interacting with the campaign, he said.
"It's creatives working with technologists," he said. "It points to a new way of how we work together."
According to Wieden, some 36,000 images were submitted during the Chalkbot campaign, although only a fraction of those ended up on the streets. An added benefit was the real-time distribution that the Web gave the campaign, Benjamin said. A similar dynamic was at work with "The Fun Theory," which, thanks to the Web, took a campaign in a relatively small market and turned it into a global phenomenon. "If you weren't part of that moment, you could still be part of it," Benjamin said.
The jury veered from years past by awarding two rather than three Grand Prix.
In all, the jury awarded 15 gold Lions, 32 silvers and 56 bronzes. Among U.S. shops, BooneOakley garnered a gold for its agency Web site. The Martin Agency got a gold for "We Chose the Moon" on behalf of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. Crispin Porter + Bogusky won five Lions recognizing campaigns for Burger King, Best Buy and Bramo. Young & Rubicam New York also picked up five Lions, all for Virgin America work. Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Martin and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners won three each.
Some notable U.S. shops were blanked. R/GA didn't win any awards. AKQA's U.S. offices were shut out. (AKQA London won a bronze for Nike's "True City.") SapientNitro picked up a silver and a bronze.