Fallon and Optimedia win debut Titanium Lion for BMW

CANNES - Fallon Minneapolis and Optimedia New York have won the first Titanium Lion for 'The Hire', their ground-breaking online series of short films for BMW starring British actor Clive Owen.

The Titanium Lion was created this year to honour work in any category that, in the words of the organisers, "causes the industry to stop in its tracks and reconsider the way forward".

"The Hire" campaign was such a success that BMW has continued with a series of three films involving big names such as the Hong Kong movie director John Woo, the soul singer James Brown and the actor Gary Oldman. All of the short films star Clive Owen, who is best known for 'The Croupier' and Robert Altman's 'Gosford Park'.

The Titanium Award is just one of the special awards handed out on the last night of the festival. TBWA\Paris Boulogne-Billancourt was named agency of the year, after winning the Grand Prix in the press category for a PlayStation2 ad showing a woman giving birth to a fully-grown man.

The UK production company Partizan, behind Gold Lion-winning films such as "cog" for Honda and "angry chicken" for Nike, won the Palme d'Or, beating off Morton Jankel Zander from the US.

Advertiser of the year was Nike's chairman and CEO Philip Knight, the second year running he has taken the title. Nike's advertising has been awarded prizes in numerous categories, including a fourth consecutive Grand Prix for its website.

The all-important journalists' award went to the Italian ad "the sculptor", created by Euro RSCG Mezzano Costantini Mignani, Milan for Peugeot. The ad shows a young man beating his car into the shape of a Peugeot 206 with the help of an elephant. "The sculptor" was awarded a Gold Lion in the main competition, but was beaten to the Grand Prix film prize by the Ikea ad "lamp", created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

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