By Barbara Lippert
No Grand Prix was given at the Radio Lions here in Cannes on Tuesday night. But in a strong showing, American agencies earned eight gold Lions—with the Most Interesting Man in the World supplanting the Real Men of Genius as the category's big winner.
The Dos Equis beer campaign from Euro RSCG alone won four golds. The other big winner was Young & Rubicam in New York for Sears Craftsman Tools. The Dos Equis campaign, featuring "The Most Interesting Man in the World," was uniformly applauded by the judges. Jury head Paul Lavoie, chairman of Taxi, said that the jury particularly liked the end line, "I don't always drink beer. But when I do, I drink Dos Equis," which allowed Mr. Interesting to stay in character. He said the Craftsman ads, about a bottomless pit, were inspired, and that in general the work was diverse and Cannes-worthy. "It's an older medium in the shadow of newer, digital work," Lavoie said. "But for the listeners, radio is always participatory. … It's theater of the mind."
No Grand Prix was given in the category, according to LaVoie, because the work that would have earned it was from Leo Burnett Bogota for the Colombian Red Cross. As a charitable organization, it can not be awarded a Grand Prix. (This is why the rules were changed this year to include a Grand Prix for Good, in which the Titanium jury will select the best of all pro bono golds given in every category.) The Colombian Red Cross spots, all very stripped down, simple and moving, earned three gold Lions. Radio work for P&G's Bounty paper towels won awards for two separate agencies: Lapiz in Chicago and Leo Burnett Puerto Rico.
A gold winner from Israel, via Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R Interactive in Tel Aviv, was a song created to be played on the radio for National AIDS Day. Only after the single gained traction and went into regular rotation on radio stations did the public find out its true purpose.
No work was submitted for Budweiser's "Real Men of Genius," from DDB Chicago, which is perhaps Radio's most awarded campaign ever.