Close-Up: Cream of the Cannes crop

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 02 July 2010 12:00AM

After spending days in a darkened room, eight jury members reveal what judgments they made on this year's festival entries.

FILM - Mark Tutssel, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide

"Film" in all forms has taken on new meaning and importance in our industry. As the number of screens multiply, a new playground of opportunity opens up for us all. The abundance of screens has re-ignited our love affair with film. This year's Cannes Film jury unearthed 14 outstanding gold Lions from 3,191 entries and awarded 100 Lions in total.

The recurring theme this year was "men". The man who walked around the world. The most interesting man in the world. Men's love of soccer. Men's love of cars. Men's love of beer. A men's football match replayed. Dove men and men with balls.

But there was one man who stood out from the others. The man your man could smell like. A masterpiece by Tom Kuntz and Wieden & Kennedy Portland for Old Spice body wash. The spot features the finely sculpted male specimen actor Isaiah Mustafa in a cheesy, deadpan and very funny quick-fire monologue, extolling the virtues of Old Spice body wash.

This film has become a pop culture phenomenon. It took an old sleeping brand and woke it up. Isaiah captured the imagination of the world and his quirky patter has woven itself into the vernacular and spread like wildfire. This film proves that the classic commercial, updated for the online world, is still highly contagious and a powerful way to create participation in a brand. This turbo-charged film is a game-changer, and the best example of moving pictures that move people.

The reaction from the thousands of people assembled in the Palais des Festivals on Saturday night in Cannes was incredible. The audience roared with approval.

"I'm a man." The main man in Cannes 2010.

PRESS - Christoph Becker, global chief creative officer, GyroHSR

Despite glorious sunshine, an ominous cloud appeared over the press jurors; "Is press dead?" it asked. Three intense-days of judging later, the cloud and this naive question disappeared; replaced by: "What is the new role for press in this uber-digital world?"

Having joyfully scrutinised the best print work in the world with my colleagues, I realised that the answer lies in the purity and art of print.

We should celebrate the power of well-crafted copy and exquisite art direction, which, combined with brave ideas is still one of the most powerful tools we have. Print is one of the only media that can create an intimate connection with the reader - as you read it in your hands or as it stops you in your tracks.

What we might take from this is to be less digital and more analogue, more real. Print can inspire, intrigue and fill you with goosebumps. It creates more intimacy between the brand and the audience. That's the real opportunity for print. Our Latin American friends are still showing us where its future can go.

Billboard, Almap BBDO Sao Paulo; Scrabble, Ogilvy Mexico; St John Ambulance, Bartle Bogle Hegarty London; Volkswagen, DDB London, and Dixons, M&C Saatchi London prove this. Press is alive and flying high.

In the end, victory was Billboard's with its essence of a music piece. A concept born for press; but truly expansive beyond print. It celebrated the purity and unseen creative genius of press; pristine art direction, engaging copywriting and an ignitable concept. The campaign, a golden Lion winner in Design and a strong Cyber entry, is clear proof of how the new print can interconnect with other disciplines and be celebrated without losing power or uniqueness. Like the sunshine, pure print excellence shone in Cannes, too.

MEDIA - Nikki Mendonca, president EMEA, OMD

After five full (enjoyable) days, judging more than 2,100 entries from 70 markets across 30 categories, we came up with a worthy Grand Prix-winner in Canon EOS Photochains from Australia, entered by Leo Burnett. (Australia, incidentally, had the same number of entries as the UK - behind the US and Germany and just ahead of Brazil, where media agencies don't exist.)

Interestingly, a huge proportion of all entries viewed were actually entered by the creative and not the respective media agency. Why? Is it because media agencies don't think Cannes is important to them, or because they are drowning in more pressing priorities? Or maybe they just can't get the entry fees sanctioned by their CFO?

The other question, though, is does it actually matter? Maybe the entire Cannes Lions should be recategorised next year to fully reflect the accelerated integration of the media and creative disciplines in a digital age?

I was perplexed by some category definitions - I think it's time we changed Best Use of TV to Best Use of Screen (be it aircraft, mobile, tablet or train station etc.) and merge Best Use of Large and Small Scale Ambient with Best Use of Special Events and Stunt Advertising.

It is true that as the role of media migrates from messaging and "insertion" to creating conversations and experiences between brands and customers, we really do need to create categories that make it easier to enter the right one - especially as we were not allowed to move them.

To all those entering next year - be sure to "sell" effectively in your three-minute video as to why your work should win. That will make all the difference - if you don't create a "wow" factor in the first 60 seconds, with sound rationale as to why you should win the category, you won't.

So get thinking now about next year and make the media industry and your clients proud.

CYBER - Matt Powell, creative director, Profero

To open, a sobering lecture about the dangers of Twitter, and how our every vote would be monitored. Thankfully, we had Jeff Benjamin as our jury president to counter this. In Jeff's mind, anything is possible - welding two Grands Prix (DDB Stockholm's "fun theory" and Wieden & Kennedy Portland's "chalkbot") together to make a Grand Grand Prix, for example. Early on he spoke about looking for work that makes you happy - and with good reason. The jury acts as one enormous filter, removing 90 per cent of the work with each round. It can be deflating.

Is there a template for case study videos? There must be, because there were hundreds that sounded identical. By the 150th boasting "blogs everywhere lit up with our story", you are ready to suffocate yourself with your delegate bag.

With the shortlist published, judging suddenly took on a different atmosphere. Jeff took delight in shouting "Is it a gold?", "Is it a silver?", "Is it a bronze?" until enough hands went up. The process was amazing and what I learnt was this:

First, good work makes you think, makes you talk even. But really great work makes you feel - feel emotional, feel proud.

Second, technology should be seamless. It should just make the whole thing magical (I might be quoting Jeff there).

Third, strong digital work fuses real life into the solution. There will always be brochure sites - but we as a jury got more excited when something was a physical or environmental influence, too.

Finally, we all need to invent new stuff. "Innovative" is a very overused word, but there was an expectation from Cyber judges for entries to show off new inventions this year.

OUTDOOR - Jon Williams, chief digital officer, Grey EMEA

Ahhhh, Cannes. The sunny place for shady people. La Croisette, the beach, the bars, the girls ...

our jury could see all of that through our window as we slogged through nearly 4,000 entries working 12 hour days in cryogenically air-conditioned semi-darkness.

Judging there is always an honour, but like childbirth (so I'm reliably informed), you conveniently forget the pain when the excitement of the next one comes around. Only for it all to come flooding back when it's too late to stop. Our 12 (well, 13, actually) good men and true, bonded well over hard work and Bandol. We had some fairly pointed debates but no-one actually threw a punch.

Outdoor is brilliant though, isn't it? It's the purest distillation of our art. If we were poets it would be our Haiku, with its own rules and rituals. We all got into this business with the pantheon of iconic posters firmly in our sights, but it's changing.

This year, ambient was strong. So strong that it got its own Grand Prix (which was awarded to Del Campo/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, for its Andes Teletransporter campaign for Cerveza Andes beer). Once our canvas was flat, but now it is life itself. It's no longer enough just to talk to people; you've got to involve them.

During the shortlist selection, it was heartening to see that during these recessionary times, the market for indigestion remedies and environmental charities is still strong in some corners of the globe. And it was surprising to see how some clients are very happy to make their logo smaller. Those died early on.

The ones that remained were cracking. We had Diesel "be stupid", which we also awarded a Grand Prix, but other standout stuff for me ranged from the pissed babies for L'univers de Chocolat, to the umbrella bags for the Lotus Charity Society, via "need for speed" for Xbox driving games.

Outdoor has changed. It's where ideas meet the real world. And with mobile pouring fuel on the fire, it's now set to go off big time.

PR - Michael Frohlich managing director, Resonate, Bell Pottinger

The mood among the PR jurors and delegates at this year's Cannes Lions was the competitive spirit of the World Cup combined with the flair of Eurovision.

The PR Lions are still in their infancy and finding their feet, so much of the early discussion among jurors was what makes a PR campaign worthy of a Lion, exploring the four judging areas of: strategy; creativity; execution; results.

The disappointing issue for the PR category is the lack of entries from PR agencies - 90 per cent of entries were from creative agencies. This means FMCG and consumer categories were strong but few entries came from PR heartland categories: media relations; internal comms; crisis; public affairs. The category entries were up 32 per cent at around 570, but, of these, disappointingly only a handful from the UK.

The overweighting of creative agency entries was highlighted when the judging debates kicked in. The creativity, as one would expect, was of a very high calibre but many of the entrants didn't have PR at their heart and were "push" campaigns - pushing the brand's message out, without having the ability for consumers to "pull" the messages in and create ongoing dialogue, campaign build and behaviour-changing results. There was also too much creative style over substance. In addition, those campaigns that were simply "PRing" an ad shoot were marked down, as they were not PR centric.

The trends were campaigns that take consumers on nostalgic journeys, firing up old emotions to galvanise a nation. And those that lobby individuals to help deliver results.

The Grand Prix was awarded to "replay" for Gatorade, by TBWA\Chiat\Day in the US - a big idea about giving people a second chance. It had all the elements of a superior campaign, tapping into the emotions of a new audience, creating multiple channel conversations, being the start of a long-term campaign and engaging with a nation.

DIRECT - Jamie Bell, creative director, CMW

Is it good? Is it new? Did it work? Is it better than the rest? These were the judging criteria laid down by the Direct jury president, Pablo Alzugaray. Following these simple rules we whittled down almost 1,500 entries. The work was a mixed bag but, by day six, we'd arrived at a group of worthy winners - all with work I wish I'd done.

This year's pride of Direct Lions is the largest-ever awarded, and the majority of winners had one thing in common - creative freedom. Direct mail, TV, press, digital, social media, mobile marketing, guerilla and ambient, 2010 saw the reinvention of direct as we in Blighty know it.

The only thing that mattered was unfettered thinking with outstanding results, something that the Grand Prix winner, created for Orcon Broadbrand by the Australian agency Special Group, had in abundance.

Four out of every five entries were fully integrated solutions, seamlessly blending traditional advertising, hard-working direct response with cutting-edge digital components to deliver the kind of work that made the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

And it wasn't just the ideas that exemplified the power of integration. The very best ideas on show came from Antipodean agencies who live and breathe integration, unencumbered by the demarcation of disciplines and the limitation of a narrow remit.

Cannes 2010 will stand as a necessary reveille for the UK marketing industry. We still have many of the very best creative thinkers in the world, but their creativity is being impeded by outdated barriers erected between our disciplines decades ago.

Charlie Wilson hit the nail on the head: "The UK pigeonholes agencies." And this narrow-minded approach has left us with a creative industry playing catch-up behind countries unencumbered by the restrictions that keep our local industry segregated. Hopefully, the dominance from Down Under at this year's D&AD and Cannes Lions will prove to be the wake-up call we so desperately need.

RADIO - Tony Hertz, owner, Hertz Radio

Campaign's morning-after headline moaned "UK didn't show up in unremarkable Radio Lions".

The first half is true and I'll come back to that. As for the second, I'm baffled how 16 well-earned golds (last year there were two) is unremarkable.

I suppose it's the absence of a Grand Prix, so let's start there. We unanimously felt there was one - the Colombian Red Cross campaign was standout radio in every respect. But under Cannes' no-charity rules, it wasn't eligible. Damn.

Lots of discussion, but a compromise Grand Prix just didn't feel right, to any of us. We believe the decision testified to the jury's integrity, and to the Festival's for supporting it. Unremarkable? I don't think so.

The winning work - from shortlist to gold - absolutely deserved to win. And the Palais crowd clearly liked what they heard (which shouldn't matter, but does).

Reservations? Only that for me, too many winners - excellent as they were - sat firmly in the radio comfort zone of well-written narratives and/or immaculate sound design. I want to see more stretch, less linearity, more exploration of radio's remarkable visual possibilities.

Does the Brazilian language school spot using RDS to display live translations of song lyrics count as visual? It was certainly great use of new technology, as was the engaging Indian commercial for a food mixer that featured different tracks played simultaneously on two stations and invited listeners to mix themselves.

And the UK? Campaign grumbled that we: "didn't show up ... despite the number of UK entries rising from 27 to 42, its second-highest showing of the past five years."

Forty-two, wow!

There were 81 radio entries from Australia, 82 from Canada, and South African creative directors fancied 122 spots enough to enter them.

And, oh yes, 43 from Belgium and Norway.

Wanna win more Radio Lions? Maybe start by doing more radio.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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