While you'd be hard-pressed to find an advertising creative openly disappointed at winning a gold, silver or even bronze Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the grand prix awards are the ones that they all want. These elusive gongs are perhaps the most coveted perhaps in any advertising competition around the world, and winners over the preceding decades now stand as a veritable advertising canon, giving modern creatives the opportunity to take their place alongside the greats who came before. And as the festival's days roll on, 2015's generation of grand prix winners will simultaneously take their positions in the canon as they walk onto the stage at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes to collect their awards. Here is the list of Cannes Grand Prix winners thus far. This post will be updated throughout the week.
The innovation grand prix went to a stunningly ambitious effort by a small team of innovators to create a global grid of 57 trillion three-by-three-meter squares to ensure that every place in the world has an address. This initiative can be used to ensure that places that are poorly addressed can be located far more easily, making it possible to deliver much-needed supplies. And from a business perspective, having an accurate address also helps to improve business efficiencies by making it easier to deliver items to people.
The film category saw two grand prix awards handed out, with the pair of winners giving a nod to both the traditional and online iterations of video in the modern industry. In the TV/cinema -subcategory, the award went to the beautifully shot '100' video by F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi São Paulo, an entry which the judges were almost unanimously in favour of.
The other winner in the category was The Martin Agency Richmond's work for Geico's 'Unskippable: family long form' spot.
"This broke every rule that we know in filmmaking," said jury president Tor Myhren (president and worldwide chief creative officer of Grey). "In the least sexy media space available, pre-roll, GEICO made content so good they challenge you not to watch. But of course, you can't take your eyes off it.”
The annual John Lewis Christmas ads are always one of the highlights, and the most recent edition resulted in a grand prix for adam&eveDDB. This adds to the massive tally of grand prix awards the agency won for its 'Sorry I spent it on myself' campaign last year.
"Our decision is absolutely from the heart," said jury president João Daniel Tikhomiroff (the founder and partner-director of Mixer). "All of the Gold Lions were fantastically executed but this is the one piece that connected with us on a human level. It touched our hearts.”
Branded content and entertainment
There were no grand prix handed out in the category, with jury president David Lubars (the chief creative officer at BBDO Worldwide) saying that the jury was unable to find "a unique element that we will still be talking about in 10 years’ time".
“The lack of Grand Prix demonstrates that this is a maturing industry where advertisers and agencies are still learning how to make credible branded content.”
Titanium and integrated
There were only 16 lions distributed in these two categories, with the Titanium grand prix going to CP+Boulder for Domino's 'Emoji ordering' campaign while the integrated gong went to Wieden+Kennedy New York for Jordan Brand' 'RE2PECT'.
Following on from its win in the Facebook Awards, the ALS Association also picked up a grand prix in Cannes for the ridiculously viral 'Ice Bucket Challenge'.
Echoing the theme of diversity that has been an undercurrent of the festival so far, the Cyber Grand Prix went to Droga5 New York for Under Armour, “Gisele Bundchen - I Will What I Want”.
"It demonstrates how well-crafted digital experiences create the uplifting impact to bring a brand closer to its people, from the point of engagement to the point of transaction," says jury president Jean Lin, global chief executive officer, Isobar. "It demonstrates how real-time data enhances creativity and tells a beautiful human story to empower its audience."
Volvo UK and Grey London took their second grand prix of the week with 'Lifepaint'.
"Our job is to make things better. Understand the status quo, challenge the status quo, change the status quo," says jury president, Andy Payne, global chief creative officer, Interbrand. "That’s what design is."
Grey Germany Dusseldorf/Grey Germany Berlin and Soundcloud collected the Grand Prix for “The Berlin Wall of Sound – The Most Unbearable Radio Ad”.
“In some ways it was more like walking through an audio museum than listening to a spot," said jury president Paul Reardon, executive creative director, Whybin\TBWA group Australia. "It's macabre. It's somber. It's uncomfortable. It's 7 minutes and 32 seconds long. But conversations surrounding traditional radio, the rise of new radio and audio platforms are making headlines every second week. So strategically, the timing is perfect. As is the historical timing of the subject matter."
'The Lucky Iron Fish Project’ from Geometry Global, Dubai was a simple solution to the problem of anaemia and it stood out as an example of the wave of “bottom-up thinking” that had returned product design to its roots in user-experience.
“Cannes Lions contains outstanding examples of our ability to use high-tech tools to output the best in creative video, digital and print," said jury president Dan Formosa. "Yet at the basis, what really makes it work, is our ability to understand people and to communicate. The fact that the product design jury selected a low-tech product, using a manufacturing process that has been in place for centuries, in the end, surprised even us. Yet, we were unanimous in our decision."
One of the big ones at Cannes, and a worthy winner with Volvo Trucks' 'Live Series' by Forsman & Bodenfors.
Jury President Wendy Clark, president sparkling brands & strategic marketing, Coca-Cola North America, called the campaign “a gift to the industry” that demonstrated the power of creative bravery as a conduit to exceptional effectiveness. “This was unapologetic advertising, proud to communicate its message."
A new category in partnership with Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In that awards work "that implicitly or explicitly addresses issues of gender inequality or prejudice, through the conscious representation of gender in advertising" and Procter & Gamble Whisper's 'Touch the Pickle' by BBDO India, Mumbai took the Grand Prix.
"Ultimately we unanimously agreed on work tackling a gender issue that impacts every single woman worldwide; does it in a way that is innovative and disruptive while entertaining and engaging; comes naturally from a brand for whom effecting change in this area is not only its innate social responsibility but of tremendous business benefit; and which has achieved amazing results in one of the most conservative markets in the world," says jury president Cindy Gallop, founder and CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld/MakeLoveNotPorn.
Apple and TBWA/Media Arts Lab Los Angeles have been using its users' photos (and now video) in its advertising to show how good the cameras in its phones are. And the 'World Gallery' iPhone 6 integrated campaign took top honours.
Jury President Juan Carlos Ortiz, president and CEO of DDB, said it was a ground-breaking blend of innovation and simplicity-of-thought that made the jury’s choice easy.
“We didn’t choose the Grand Prix – the Grand Prix chose us,” he says.
Procter & Gamble added another Grand Prix to its haul with Always “#Like A Girl”, which was created by MSL Group NY and Leo Burnett Toronto.
“There were two jury members who had showed it to their children, and they will never know ‘like a girl’ to be a put-down,” said PR Lions Jury President, Lynne Anne Davis, president & Senior Partner Asia Pacific, FleishmanHillard said. “This is a campaign that marries a brand promise with brand purpose and commercial pursuit. It’s not just counting the people reached, but reaching the people who count.”
Vodafone's Red Light Application/Between Us took via Y&R Team Red, Istanbul took top outdoor honours.
“It embraces the best of both a corporate campaign and the originality of an NGO approach," said Nick Emery, global CEO, Mindshare. "Technology was at its heart and it also has an adaptable and flexible media approach, personalised to the women of Turkey.”
Promo and Activation
From a total of 3,196 entries in Promo & Activation this year, the 'Lifepaint' campaign produced by Grey London for Volvo UK won the major gong, with jury president Matt Eastwood (who serves as the worldwide chief creative officer of J. Walter Thompson) saying: “[The campaign] reinforces a life-long commitment to a strategy of safety and then elegantly turns that to a guiding purpose not just for the cars, but for all of society. It’s a simple, easy to apply solution that will genuinely save lives.”
Last year, Volvo caught the attention of the judges with the 'Epic Split' and the car brand has maintained its strong creative form adding another grand prix to the one won in the Promo and Activation category. In the direct category, which was contested by 2,813 entries, Volvo picked up a second grand prix for the 'Interception' spot, which was created by Grey New York and effectively cut through the advertising clutter at the Super Bowl by getting viewers to think about Volvo while watching other car ads.
"Smart, strategic, creative and real-time, Volvo zagged and created a new conversation which hijacked The Superbowl," said jury president, Judy John (chief executive and chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Canada). It pushed and rethought what you can do in direct. 'Interception' is a deep example of what’s going on. It’s an exciting time in the category and the business.”
Mobile is becoming an increasingly important space for advertisers to show their nous, and Google is opening some interesting new possibilities through innovations like Google Cardboard. In this instance, the creative innovation was in creating a platform that allowed developers to experiment with an entirely new form of creativity.
“The jury believed that this is a game-changer since it democratizes VR," jury president Joanna Monteiro (vice president creative director of FCB Brazil). "Cardboard costs about $20 and will allow brands to engage many more consumers, offering them a different level of experience.”
And for this reason Google's entry pipped 1,246 others contenders in this category to claim the grand prix.
4,470 entries were entered into the press category, but none caught the attention of the judges quite as much as the quirkily illustrated 'Dog', 'Baby', 'Squirrel' and 'Moths' campaign for the City of Buenos Aires by The Community/La Communidad Miami.
Jury president Pablo del Campo (the worldwide creative director for Saatchi & Saatchi Argentina) said: “There were other great ideas that we loved, but we thought that this one was the most challenging and farthest away from the comfort zone.”
- This story will be updated as the results come in.