CANNES, France—It’s been a good day for Apple, which today claimed top honors in two categories at the Cannes Lions: first in Music and then in Brand Experience & Activation.
“Welcome Home,” the visually stunning Apple HomePod spot directed by Spike Jonze, starring FKA twigs and created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab, was honored with one of two Grand Prix handed out in Entertainment Lions for Music. The other winner was Jay-Z’s music video for “Smile,” directed by Miles Jay and created by Smuggler and Roc Nation.
Announcing the Grand Prix for the HomePod spot—anchored by an instantly popular Anderson .Paak track called “Til It’s Over”—Music jury president Lori Feldman said the work was a perfect intersection of art and advertising that kept its product at the heart of it.
“It’s an extremely complex film to make. The craft is undeniable,” said Feldman, evp of strategic marketing at Warner Bros. Records USA. “Probably most importantly for this category, the brand is at the center of the action in such a simple and unique way. It’s merely one sentence spoken to the HomePod that changes her entire world.”
Apple also took home Grand Prix in the new Brand Experience & Activation Lion category, which honored the “Today at Apple” in-store experience and related community engagement. An extensive integration of Apple Store surfaces and services, Today at Apple brings together education, product support and other aspects of the brand’s retail offerings.
“In a time where retail is dying, this brand is figuring out to be meaningful in people’s lives today and, I think, for another hundred years,” said jury president Rob Reilly, global creative chairman for McCann Worldgroup.
Reilly said Apple’s massive effort to reimagine the retail experience shows that the brand has grown beyond being a master of product design and has taken the idea of user experience to new horizons.
“Apple for decades was known as somebody who makes magical products,” Reilly said. “Now I feel they’re making magical experiences, and important experiences.”
Sharing the Grand Prix in Music was Jay-Z’s video for “Smile,” which tells the personal story of the rapper’s mother, Gloria Carter, who suppressed her homosexuality amid a lifetime of difficult relationships and life in the projects.
U.S. gold winners in Brand Experience and Activation were:
• Skittles, “Exclusive the Rainbow.” Agency: DDB Chicago. Media: Starcom
• MGM Resorts, “Universal Love.” Agency: McCann New York. PR: Sunshine Sachs & Associates, Your Majesty (Amsterdam).
• Jordan Brand, “A/R Jordan.” Agency: R/GA Portland. Production: Darkstore, Shopify.
• Downtown Records and The Atlantic, “Live Looper.” Agency: BBDO New York. PR: Shore Fire.
• Intel, “Intel Drone Light Show at the Olympics.”
• Microsoft, “Xbox Design Lab Originals: The Fanchise Model.” Agency: McCann London. Production: Helloworld, Ayzenberg, Microsoft Xbox.
Other notable winners in Brand Experience and Activation were:
• Burger King, “Scary Clown Night.” Agency: LOLA MullenLowe Madrid. PR: Weber Shandwick, Alison Brod Marketing and Communications.
• Diesel, “Deisel: Go With the Fake.” Agencies: Publicis Italy and Publicis New York. PR: Park Pictures.
• Palau Legacy Project, “Palau Pledge.” Agency: Host/Havas, Sydney. PR: Red Agency.