China has scooped a bronze lion on its first visit to the Cannes
advertising festival, with a prize in the press and poster section for a
Kit Kat ad produced by McCann-Erickson Guangming.
The ad, entitled ‘monk’, is a rear-view shot of a vast courtyard of
monks bowed over in prayer, all wearing bright red robes and kneeling on
circular red mats. A lone monk is seen standing up - revealing a Kit Kat
sign painted on to the mat - and tucking into the chocolate snack,
smiling broadly at the camera.
The award has delighted Chinese delegates who have come en masse to
Cannes for the first time. The nation has started big with a delegation
of 170 representatives and a total of 69 entries into the competition.
The Korean and Russian delegate numbers are also high, with 120 and 105
The festival president, Roger Hatchuel, urged Chinese agencies to make
their presence felt at Cannes.
According to Hatchuel: ‘The nation has a strong history of graphic
design in advertising and there is some wonderful work being produced
there. China is one of the world’s fastest growing markets and they are
now ready to present their advertising on a global stage.’
One juror, who wished to remain anonymous, suggested that the Chinese
entries still had a long way to go before becoming serious contenders.
‘The majority of the work is not particularly high calibre,’ the juror
confided to Campaign. ‘The main problem is that it is impossible to tell
the difference between work from China, Taiwan, Japan or Korea.’
As part of the organiser’s intention to applaud creativity in developing
markets, the juries are also awarding diplomas to the best ads that
failed to make the shortlist.