By Eleftheria Parpis
CANNES, FRANCE — South African agencies won two of three Grand Prix awards bestowed at Cannes on Tuesday night: TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris in Outdoor for a campaign for a Zimbabwe newspaper, and Net#work BBDO in Radio, for Virgin Atlantic. The Grand Prix for Media went to JWT Japan for a Kit Kat campaign.
TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris's winning Outdoor campaign, created for the Zimbabwean newspaper, featured ads printed directly on Zimbabwe's devalued currency. JWT won in Media for a Kit Kat campaign that turned the candy bar into a mailable greeting card. And Net#work BBDO won the Grand Prix in Radio for a series of absurdist scripts for Virgin Atlantic.
The Outdoor jury, led by Dentsu global ecd Akira Kagami, awarded 11 gold, 11 silver and 37 bronze Lions to traditional and non-traditional executions in the media space. Kagami said the jury felt the TBWA campaign, which was critical of Zimbabwe's Mugabe regime, was courageous and demonstrated that "outdoor can do something" for social causes. U.S. agencies BBH New York and BBDO New York both won gold: the former for a NYC & Company and Warner Brothers' "Oasis Dig Out Your Soul" campaign; the latter for an HBO campaign that used audio mural installations to advertise Big Love. "It was a great interactive piece," U.S. Outdoor judge Jose Molla, founder and ecd of La Comunidad, said of the HBO work. "It takes a traditional format and goes well beyond that. It becomes a dialogue not a monologue."
Molla was also impressed with the BBH campaign, which introduced a new Oasis album by having New York street musicians perform the songs two weeks before the release. "I fought for it [for the Grand Prix]," he said. "It was one of those examples that makes you rethink what outdoor could be."
AFTER THE JUMP: More on the Media and Radio winners.
The Media jury also liked the Zimbabwean campaign, awarding executions from the series two gold and two bronze Lions. But jury president Nick Brien, CEO of Mediabrands, said the Kit Kat campaign achieved the Grand Prix criteria of creativity, scale, execution and ROI. "The focus here was solutions that work," he said.
The Kit Kat campaign "evidenced everything we were looking for in terms of progressive media communication," said Brien. "We see a level of innovation through the power of using mail as a distribution system, a new media device and a level of brand engagement around a business model that didn't exist before."
Brien said the jury eliminated many strong entries that displayed creativity but did not show results, and that the Grand Prix winner also demonstrated "powerful business results that has an enduring power for the brand, the media and the consumers."
The Media jury awarded a total of 20 gold, 30 silver and 71 bronze Lions. The U.S. gold winners were Team One in El Segundo, Calif., for Lexus ("Reinventing the Magazine"); DDB West in San Francisco for Clorox Green Works ("Reverse Graffiti Project"); Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Boulder, Colo., for Burger King ("Whopper Sacrifice"); and Mediavest USA in New York for Walmart ("Sustainability").
Dentsu in Tokyo was named Media Agency of the Year, with Famous in Brussels and Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R Interactive in Tel Aviv coming in second and third place.
Matthew Bull, CCO of Lowe Worldwide and chair of the Radio Lions jury, said the Virgin campaign was selected for the top prize because it was engaging, entertaining, informative and a "fabulously written campaign that in our opinion had an exceptionally brave client to buy the work." (Read the scripts for the three ads here.)
The jury awarded only one gold Lion, to DeVito/Verdi in New York for a National Thoroughbred Racing Association campaign.
In addition to the Grand Prix and one gold, the Radio jury awarded two silvers and 11 bronzes. The U.S. radio winners were DDB Chicago, which won a silver for Bud Light ("Mr. Golf Tournament Quiet Sign Holder"), and Young & Rubicam in New York, which won a bronze for an Office Depot campaign.