Sportswear brand Nike and a Swedish tourism campaign have scooped the top digital prizes at the 59th Annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the largest and most coveted awards in the industry’s calendar.
Curators of Sweden from the Swedish Institute and Nike+ Fuelband from Nike and R/GA were revealed as the two Grand Prix winners for the Cannes Cyber Lions category, marking them out as the best digital marketing initiatives that the brand world has to offer.
A key theme that the judges found this year was a shift from storytelling to behaviour, with the most successful campaigns showcasing what a brand can do, rather than via ‘stunts’ or clever messages that create buzz but have little substance or relation to the brand.
Commenting on the two winners, jury president and Google Creative Lab executive creative director Iain Tait said: “Both pieces are about brands behaving a certain way. They’re not about what they say and noisy messages, they’re about what brands do and that’s what we’re excited by.”
Nike Fuelband is a wristband that allows its wearers to track the calories they burn not just through their workouts, but with any activity they do during the day in order to assess and improve their overall fitness through the Nike+ platform. They can also set daily goals for themselves and track their activity levels throughout the day. Data visualisations show where you were most active daily, weekly, monthly, and beyond. The deveice features Bluetooth synch technology so Fuel is wireless synced to the platform.
Watch the Nike+ FuelBand team talk about the inspiration behind the campaign here:
Curators of Sweden
The Swedish Institute’s “Curators of Sweden” campaign, launched at the end of 2011, handed over Sweden’s national Twitter handle (@Sweden) to Sweden’s natives in order to showcase the diversity of the Swedish national character, in effect, launching “The world’s most democratic Twitter account.” Each week, a new curator was chosen to man the account, including a writer,teacher, priest and lesbian trucker. The campaign sparked recent controversy for featuring an irreverent young mother namedSonja Abrahamsson who expressed anti-Semitic remarks but also inspired (American) comedian Stephen Colbert petitioning to be the first non-Swede to take over the account. The campaign attracted 26,000 followers from 120 countries in six weeks, and inspired 21 countries and cities to do the same. The media coverage generated a PR value above $19,800,000.
Both winners “almost bookend the industry,” said Tait. “At the one end @Sweden is very simple, very smart, very brave. Handing over the voice of Sweden to the people says so much about Sweden as a country. It doesn’t have many layers in terms of complexity of message, but the more you think about it, the more exciting it is. It doesn’t necessarily look like a Grand Prix winner, but it was very unanimous in that we all had a lot of love for this piece of work.” Nike Fuelband was the polar opposite, ” a huge, ambitious piece of work that had a lot of research and software development, but again, it’s something that is part of people’s everyday lives and really changes the relationship people have with Nike as a brand.”
Rei Inamoto, another juror and Chief Creative Officer of AKQA , commented further on the winning selections: “I was a little bit skeptical coming into this jury about finding anything groundbreaking and game-changing this year, but I think, after we went through the judging process this is a really pivotal, critical year, where, as Iain said, where brands have to shift from storytelling to behaving,”
“These two pieces aren’t about storytelling. It’s about brands behaving in certain ways and embracing consumers. This shift is more clear than any other year that I’ve seen, and I think the Sweden piece represents an aspect of it really well. It may be controversial but it’s the behavior of the brand that people appreciate.”
Other Cyber Lions winners
The awards event is currently taking place in France and attended by over 11,000 delegates, recognising excellence in communications and creative advertising.
This year’s competition has seen over 34,000 entries from 87 countries, divided in 15 categories.
While the two winning pieces showcase brand behavior, Tait noted that there was some exceptional craft in the Gold-winning pieces before adding, “We just felt these two pieces represented the kind of work that people should be creating.”
In the Cyber Lions category, UK agencies bagged five Silver Lions with Wieden & Kennedy London winning two for its ‘bespoke album creation experience’ for the Kaiser Chiefs.
Ogilvy & Mather, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and OgilvyOne all received one Silver each. ‘The Dove ad makeover’ for Unilever won for Ogilvy & Mather, AMV won for ‘you’re not you when you’re hungry’ for Mars Snickers, and ‘the gnome experiment’ for Kern & Sohn won for OgilvyOne.
The UK also won four Bronze Lions, Ogilvy & Mather again won for Dove, two went to Bartle Bogle Hegarty for its asos.com work and W&K also won for Honda Civic.
Mobile gets standalone awards for first time
A new category for 2012, Mobile received 965 entries from 47 countries. Leading the jury for the inaugural category was Tom Eslinger, Digital Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi. 99 entries were shortlisted with 11 going on to win Gold, 14 Silver and 28 Bronze.
While many are still grappling with what to do with the mobile medium, the winners showed the exciting possibilities. Grow Interactive Norfolk / Johannes Leonardo New York took home the first Mobile Grand Prix for their Google entry ‘Hilltop Re-imagined for Coca-Cola’.
The Creative Effectiveness Lions category, which saw 92 entries, was led by David Jones, Global Chief Executive Officer of Havas & Euro RSCG. 13 entries were shortlisted with 5 winning Creative Effectiveness Lions and BBH London taking home the Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix for their Unilever entry ‘Axe ‘Excite’ – Returning to Universal Truths to Create Global Hits’.
The Media Lions jury, led by Mainardo de Nardis, Chief Executive Officer of OMD Worldwide, voted and deliberated on a total 3247 entries and selected 11 Gold, 28 Silver and 67 Bronze winners from a shortlist of 281. The Jury decided to award the Media Grand Prix to Manning Gottlieb OMD London for their Google entry, ‘Google Voice Search’.
Duval Guillaume Modem Antwerp were presented with the prestigious Media Agency of the Year award during the ceremony. Second place went to Jung von Matt Hamburg and third to Manning Gottlieb OMD London.
Of the 4,843 entries in the Outdoor category, 588 made it to the shortlist with a total of 112 selected as winners of which 25 were Gold, 35 Silver and 50 Bronze. Two Grands Prix were awarded in the Outdoor category. In the Billboards & Street Furniture and Posters category the Grand Prix was awarded to Ogilvy Shanghai for ‘#cokehands’ for The Coca-Cola Company. The second Grand Prix, for Ambient, went to Jung von Matt Hamburg for ‘The Invisible Drive’ entry for Daimler. Sheung Lan Yo, Executive Creative Director, North East Asia; Chairman JWT presided over the Outdoor jury.
Also honoured at the Awards ceremony were the Gold winners of the Young Lions Media Competition which went to the team from the Czech Republic. Silver place went to the UK and Bronze to Portugal.
Meanwhile, Facebook launched two initiatives at the event. Facebook Creative Council will comprise several of industry’s top creative minds. It’ll work on and highlight the creative possibilities that Facebook can offer advertisers. They also launched Facebook Studio Edge, a 7,50,000 strong community that celebrates design, advertising and marketing campaigns on Facebook.
For a full list of winners as they emerge, click here.