CANNES, France—The Philippines, which before this year had won just one Gold Lion and a handful of silvers and bronzes, nabbed the Grand Prix in Mobile here tonight for an inspired campaign by DDB-owned DM9 Jayme Syfu that turned old cellphones into school textbooks.
The Philippines lacks the resources to migrate heavy physical textbooks over to tablets and e-readers, as more developed countries are doing. But the country does have plenty of old mobile phones. Over a six-month period, DM9 and Smart—the country's largest telecom—worked with textbook authors and publishers to translate schoolbooks into 160-character text messages, programmed them into thousands of surplus SIM cards, inserted the cards into old handsets and branded them as TXTBKS.
Thus, even the oldest analog phones became a new kind of e-reader, and old SIM cards became a new kind of textbook.
The most honored U.S. campaign was The Martin Agency's immersive "Clouds Over Cuba" effort documenting the Cuban Missile Crisis for the JFK Presidential Library and Museum. That campaign picked up a gold Lion, a silver Lion and a bronze Lion.
The U.S. received four other silvers and four other bronzes.
AKQA in Washington, D.C., won a silver and two bronzes for its "WWF Together" campaign for the World Wildlife Fund.
The other silvers went to AKQA in San Francisco for its "Mobile Orchestra" holiday card; R/GA in New York for MasterCard's "Miyamo"; and Mirada in Los Angeles for its iPad app bringing to life the MirrorWorld series of young-adult novels by Cornelia Funke.
The other bronzes went to Brooklyn, N.Y., creative collective Raul X Mihai X Mihnea for its "Instagram Menu" for New York restaurant Comodo, and AKQA in Washington, D.C., for its "Fly Delta" app for Delta Airlines.
See a gallery of some of the winning U.S. work below.