Dentsu Tokyo Picks Up the Design Grand Prix at Cannes for Panasonic’s ‘Life Is Electric’

'A bridge between the digital tools and the analog world'

CANNES, France—A Dentsu Tokyo campaign for Panasonic that showed people the ubiquity of electricity in everyday life by charging batteries using 21 unlikely power sources was celebrated with the Design Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival here tonight.

"Because we can't see it, we often take it for granted. What if we could 'see' electricity?" the brand says in the campaign overview. "To answer this question, we charged 21 eneloop batteries in 21 different ways. The batteries are outwardly similar, but each contains a very different kind of electricity. Some are charged with hamster power. Others are charged with the power of romance, youthful enthusiasm or sheer joy. When you know how each one was charged, it changes the way you think about electricity."

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"This piece is, for all of us, a very special one," said jury president Tristan Macherel, executive creative director at Landor. "It managed to use the power of design to change the perception of a product that has become a commodity, by bringing storytelling in—in every space. It creates a bridge between the digital tools and the analog world. We will have a challenge in the next few years [as designers] going into new technology without forgetting the traditional way we do design. This specific piece managed to combine those things together with so much cleverness and beautiful craft. It ticks all the boxes for what we believe design should be today."

Macherel added that the jury wanted to make a statement with the Grand Prix choice.

"It celebrates, first, a big, international brand," he said. "That was important to us, to give a message about how design can be a holistic, media-agnostic force for brands. We wanted to give the Grand Prix to a big brand that has been brave, because we are also awarding the clients and brands, not just the agencies."

—U.S. Design Lions winners
The U.S. gold winners were: Listen New York for Microsoft's "Delqa" (which also won two silvers); McCann New York for Lockheed Martin's "The Field Trip To Mars" (which also won a silver); Ogilvy & Mather New York for IBM's "Art With Watson"; Intel Santa Clara for "The Lady Gaga + Intel Performance"; Leo Burnett Chicago for the Art Institute of Chicago's "Van Gogh Bnb"; RPA Santa Monica for Honda's "Paper"; and CAA Marketing Los Angeles for Canada Goose's "Out There."

U.S. agencies winning silver were: Havas Worldwide New York for Legacy Recordings/Sony Music's "Bob Dylan: Studio A Revisited" (two silvers); OgilvyOne New York for The Webby Awards's "Typevoice" (two silvers); Ogilvy & Mather Chicago for SC Johnson's "Museum of Feelings" (which also won a bronze); and Venables Bell & Partners San Francisco for REI's "#OptOutside." 

Bronze Lions went to: MullenLowe Boston for its own rebranding; FCB Chicago for Boeing's "Boeing Flypaper"; Carmichael Lynch Minneapolis for Subaru's "Who We Are Is What We Leave Behind: The Subaru Environmental Website"; Grey New York for Volvo's "Highway Robbery"; Johannes Leonardo New York for Adidas's "Strikethrough"; BBDO New York for Autism Speaks's "The World of Autism"; and McCann XBC New York for MasterCard's "New Year's Eve."