OMD Wins Media Grand Prix

CANNES, FRANCE OMD in Santiago, Chile, won the Media Grand Prix at the International Ad Festival here tonight for inserting CCU’s Cristal Beer in the Star Wars saga.

The Omnicom Group shop placed the beverage in various Star Wars scenes, repackaged as commercials within the broadcast, in an attempt to circumvent typical movie sponsorship and generate likeability for the brand. For instance, in one scene, Ben Obi-Wan Kenobe is seen holding a Cristal bottle.

Media Lions jury president Alexander Schmidt-Vogel, chief executive officer of Grey Global Group’s MediaCom Worldwide in Dusseldorf, Germany, called the product placement, “brilliant” and “attention-getting, enjoyable and smart.”

The 16-person jury awarded 16 Media Lions from a pool of 875 entries at a ceremony held at the Palais des Festivals.

Universal McCann in San Francisco was the only U.S. Media Lion winner for its effort on behalf of Microsoft’s MSN Direct, which enables consumers to receive information like weather and stock updates on certain watches. The Interpublic Group shop staged a “product demonstration” by syncing up the watch message in newspaper ads to content on that particular page. On the weather page, for example, the watch in the ad carried the Boston forecast that mirrored the editorial on the page.

Procter & Gamble took home three awards for Vidal Sassoon, Bonux Washing Detergent and Pampers. For the latter, Publicis Groupe’s Starcom in Mexico partnered with a popular baby care radio talk show to broadcast a program that encouraged mothers to submit their bedtime baby stories.

P&G, the largest global advertiser, is becoming less dependent on broadcast, said juror Bernard Balderston, associate director of U.K. media at P&G in London. “We need to reach consumers in different ways at different touch points because if we don’t, we won’t be winning as a company. It’s as simple as that,” said Balderston, one of three client executives who sat on the jury.