In the esteemed opinion of the Film Lions jury and the Film Craft Lions jury at Cannes, these are the best commercials of the past year—15 individual spots, along with four campaigns of more than one spot. We hadn't seen several of these before this week. They're all worth watching.
Droga5 in New York ruled Cannes on Saturday night, adding its second and third Grand Prix of the 2011 festival—an Integrated Grand Prix for its Jay-Z Decoded work, and a Film Craft Grand Prix for its Puma spot "After Hours Athlete."
The Decoded campaign, which had won the Outdoor Grand Prix earlier this week, involved a 13-city scavenger hunt with a strong digital component. The agency hid all 320 pages of Jay-Z's autobiography (mostly blown-up versions) in unexpected outdoor locations—at the bottom of a pool in Miami, on cheeseburger wrappers in New York, etc. The people who discovered the pages first, and checked them in on a Bing-sponsored website, got a chance at Jay-Z concert tickets for life. There was a lot more to the campaign, as you can see in this video:
Droga5's 90-second "After Hours Athlete" Puma spot was the centerpiece of an integrated campaign aimed not at sports enthusiasts but at casual, nocturnal athletes—those who bowl, play darts and pool, throw back shots and sing karaoke until the sun comes up. The spot is exquisitely shot, in keeping with the Film Craft Lions' goal of honoring the craft of filmmaking—i.e., production design, direction, copywriting, cinematography, editing, use of music, sound design, effects and/or computer graphics and animation.
There was no Titanium Grand Prix bestowed. Droga5's Decoded campaign did win a Titanium Lion, one of three given out in that category.
Along with the Grand Prix, three Gold Lions were awarded in Integrated, along with six Silvers and three Bronzes.
In Film Craft, a total of 11 Gold Lions were handed out. Puma's "After Hours Athlete," Nike's "Write the Future" and Chrysler's "Born of Fire" spots each won for two different entrants—Droga5 and Smuggler, Wieden + Kennedy and Work Post, and Wieden and Serial Pictures, respectively.
See winners lists in those categories after the jump.
Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam, won the Film Grand Prix at the 2011 Cannes Lions festival on Saturday for its electric Nike "Write the Future" spot, made for the 2010 World Cup. An extravaganza of a soccer commercial, the three-minute ad featured the world's biggest stars dreaming of glory on and off the field if they triumph at the tournament—and ignominy and scorn if they fail.
Among the Gold Lion winners were two favorites from this year's Super Bowl: Volkswagen's "The Force" spot with the little Darth Vader, by Deutsch, Los Angeles; and Chrysler's "Born Of Fire" ad, from Wieden + Kennedy's Portland, Ore., office. Eight other individual commercials won Gold Lions, as did four campaigns. See a full list of Gold Lion winners after the jump.
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO in London took home the first-ever Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness at the Cannes Lions festival on Saturday, honored for its work on behalf of Walkers potato chips.
AMV was tasked with getting more people to eat Walkers potato chips at lunch, with their sandwiches. So, to prove that Walkers can make any sandwich more exciting, the agency held a series of surprise events in the sleepy Kent village of Sandwich. The events galvanized the locals, and through a PR strategy combining traditional and social media, engaged millions of people across Britain. The campaign included 26 separate pieces of content, earned 1.6 million views on YouTube (the equivalent of 3 million minutes), generated more than $5 million worth of media coverage, and helped boost sales by 15 percent.
The Creative Effectiveness Lions were introduced this year to recognize work that has shown a measurable and proven impact on a client's business. In addition to the Grand Prix, five other Creative Effectiveness Lions were handled out. There were no golds, silvers or bronzes—simply Lions. See those winners after the jump.
Carl Johnson, co-founder of Anomaly, a marketing communications firm and advertising agency, isn’t actually staying in Cannes. He’s staying at the historic Hotel du Cap in Antibes, an extravagant celebrity destination since the early days of Hemingway. Johnson has a bit of the Hemingway in him himself, insofar as he has a gut and some stubble, curses somewhat liberally, and actually says what he thinks. In a town—he drove in to Cannes for our interview—where so many people are repeating variations on familiar themes, he made for a refreshing lunch partner.
Johnson, now in his early 50s, hadn’t been to Cannes for over a decade. After Sept. 11, 2001, the then-COO of TBWA\Worldwide packed up the family and moved from New York to Sydney, where he spent two years “on the beach.” He only got back into advertising in 2004, when he started Anomaly: the firm or agency or whatever you want to call it—he prefers “a place for clients to go when they don’t know where to go”—that is responsible not only for successful Budweiser, Converse, and Sony campaigns, but for the Emmy-winning television show Avec Eric, the experience of flying Virgin America (down to the interior, the uniforms, and the entertainment), and all the posters and stickers around New York City for a soccer team that doesn’t even exist . . . yet. In 2010, Adweek picked Anomaly as one of six top insurgent agencies to watch.
In an interview at Cannes Lions that may have outraged the animal kingdom, rapper and producer Pharrell Williams said that "great ideas come from human beings, not archetypes," and that "humans, ultimately, at the end of the day, are the purchasers, and the customers, and the audience."
On stage Wednesday at Cannes Lions, Eric Schmidt seemed like the kind of man—perhaps the only man, other than Steve Jobs—who could effortlessly convince an international crowd of 20- and 30-somethings to join a suicide cult and ascend with him to the heavens. Google’s executive chairman has that wealthy California brand of optimism that is as infectious as it is understated. He describes the future of human existence in the same calm way chef Thomas Keller might describe his roast chicken. Yes, it will change your life. But it’s only chicken.
What does Schmidt’s future look like? “So I'm in Cannes and I want to buy a T-shirt,” he said. “My phone should be saying, ‘You can turn left here and go get 30 percent off your favorite brand.’ Then I go to the store and pay for it on my handset.”
In other words, your phone will know what you want and it will allow you to pay for it without a credit card. “The best thing would be if Google knew what you wanted without you having to type it in,” Schmidt said. “With your permission, with a mobile phone we can trigger search queries about where you are.”