Promo, Direct Lions Roar

CANNES, FRANCE TBWA\WHYBIN in Auckland, New Zealand, won the Promo Grand Prix for Nzru/Adidas’s “Bonded by Blood,” and Shackleton in Madrid won the Direct Grand Prix for Banco Gallego’s “Lopetegui Deposit” in the first set of awards handed out at the festival here today.

This is the second year for the Promo Lions, and there were no gold, silver or bronze medals awarded among the 786 entries.

According to the jurors, until the category reaches critical mass, which is defined as roughly 1,000 entries, there should only be a Grand Prix winner.

“Bonded by Blood” chronicled on the Internet and through posters the members of New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team giving blood used to make limited edition illustrated posters.

The Promo Lions can be an amorphous category owing to the difficulty in defining what, exactly, makes something a “Promo” piece, as opposed to fitting into the other more rigid categories. Geraldo Rocha Azevedo, the Promo Lions jury president and president of integrated solutions at Neogama BBH in Brazil, defined it this way: “It’s a great idea that engages the consumer with the brand.”

While there were no gold, silver or bronze medals, 20 Promo Lions were awarded. Excluding the Grand Prix, New Zealand and Australia had the most wins with three apiece. The U.S. had one winner, for New York agency Deep Focus’ “That Girl Emily,” made for Court TV. “That Girl Emily” was a series of billboards, Internet videos and blog postings in the form of messages from a spurned wife to her philandering husband. The effort touted the cable channel’s Parco P.I. series.

“I was in Brazil when someone sent me a picture of the billboard,” said Azevedo. “It engaged consumers—and did it well.”

“Lopetegui Deposit,” the Direct Grand Prix winner, is based on the story of Julen Lopetegui, a former goalkeeper for the Barcelona soccer team, who fainted during the last global World Cup broadcast. Why, exactly, did he faint? Countless viewers asked that question as they shared the video. The answer was revealed months later via print, a microsite, mailings and point of sale collateral. It turns out Banco Gallego’s latest product, the “Lopetegui Deposit,” sent the star tumbling to the ground. (Print showed a pair of legs wearing slacks and dress shoes with the words “Discover why Lopetegui fainted” above it.)

Germany copped the most gold Lions in Direct with two: “Shark” from Springer & Jacoby for Olympus Imaging Europa and “Clio Speed” from Nordpol + Hamburg for Renault. The U.S. won one gold, for Arc Worldwide Chicago’s “Verb Yellowball,” which touted a multimedia game site through the distribution of some 500,000 yellow balls with various instructions.