Nike's 'Beautiful' Is the Runner-up; U.S. Fares Well Overall
CANNES--A year after honoring the artistry of Lowe Howard-Spink's spot for London newspaper The Independent, the film jury at the 47th International Advertising Festival went for the funny bone here last week, picking DDB's "Whassup?" Budweiser campaign for the Grand Prix award.
The campaign, featuring the now-famous "Whassup?" cry among Bud-drinking friends, garnered nearly twice as many votes as the runner-up, Wieden + Kennedy's "Beautiful" TV spot for Nike, celebrating athletes' battle scars.
"Whassup?" was born outside the ad world--in a short film by Charles Stone III--and some here questioned the merit of handing it the top prize. But the jury heartily embraced it. "It's very likeable. It's just fun," said Jim Ferguson of Young & Rubicam, New York, one of two film judges from the U.S. "It really hit a nerve with people."
Earlier in the week, during screenings of 5,757 total spots, delegates (topping 9,000 from 75 countries) greeted the five-spot campaign with glee and boisterous applause. Stone himself arrived midweek, becoming a celebrity of sorts, with some bowing in "We're not worthy" respect and others mobbing him for pictures.
The U.S. fared well, claiming 12 of the 25 gold Lions in film. Wieden led with five: for its "Beautiful," "The Morning After" and "Driving Range" Nike spots and AltaVista and Stamps.com campaigns.
Fallon won two golds, for its "Jukka Bros" campaign for MTV (out of New York and Minneapolis) and its work for FX Network poking fun at what men really think. New York's Cliff Freeman and Partners also won two golds, for its campaigns for Budget (with executives contemplating exaggerated promotional ideas) and Fox Sports Net ("If only every question was a sports question.") The other U.S. golds went to San Francisco's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for its Super Bowl "Monkey" spot for E*Trade, and Katsin/Loeb for its Cybercash campaign "Partnership for a Filthy Rich America."
The film jury awarded 32 silver and 45 bronze Lions. Silver winners included Fallon's "Cat Herders" for EDS and Wieden's "Hackeysack" Tiger Woods spot for Nike.
The U.S. won 29 Lions in all, followed by the U.K., with 21. "The U.S. is by far in front of everyone in terms of production and ideas working together," said jury president Marcello Serpa of Almap/BBDO in Sao Paulo, Brazil. "Americans are having fun doing advertising again."
A U.K. judge, Mark Wnek of Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, added, "The U.S. taught everyone else a lesson. ... Humor is the most powerful [tool] and most difficult to do well."
Jurors also praised Serpa's no-nonsense approach. "It would have been total chaos without him," noted Wnek.
Almap/BBDO was named Agency of the Year, based on total prizes gained, including short-list. The Palme d'Or for production companies went to Propaganda/Satellite Films, New York, for the second straight year.
Lowe Lintas, London, won the Grand Prix in press and poster for a campaign for Whitbread's Stella Artois beer. The six ads show damaged high-ticket items that have been used as bottle openers. "It is clever, and there is irony in it," said Serpa.
Juror David Lubars of Fallon called it "flawless execution."
Other top ads included Audi's "Cheetah" (Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London) and BMW's "Shark" (SCPF, Barcelona).
A total of 29 golds, 40 silvers and 63 bronzes were awarded in print among 9,040 entries. The U.S. won two golds--Fallon for Sports Illustrated and The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., for the Virginia Holocaust Museum--plus two silvers and eight bronzes.
In media, a newspaper spread for the Multiple Sclerosis Society from Saatchi & Saatchi, London, captured the Grand Prix. It shows jumbled newspaper copy on one page revealed in its proper layout on the second. Copy explains, "MS scrambles messages between the brain and the body."
Jury president Jack Klues of Starcom MediaVest Group, Chicago, called the ad "elegant" and "very clearly a positioning story."
U.S. winners were The Media Edge, New York, for AT&T's tie-in to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Wieden for a live TV effort for Nike. Seventeen Lions were awarded among 502 media entries.
Two Grand Prix awards were given in the cyber competition: to a Web site for Nike Football out of Framfab, Copenhagen, and to a banner ad for the Sao Paulo Eye Bank from AgenciaClick, Sao Paulo.
Among the 20 Lions awarded, a gold went to a Vir2L Web site from ZeniMax Media, Rockville, Md.; a silver to the Whitney Museum of American Art Web site from Razorfish, New York; and a bronze to a San Francisco International Airport site out of marchFIRST, San Francisco.