The Cannes Lions Festival 2012: Highlights

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the largest and most prestigious annual awards in the advertising industry, culminated on Saturday, June 23, after announcing all winners in 15 categories. Traditionally, the festival is not only the platform for celebrating achievements in the industry for the past twelve months, but also a space where creative professionals come to debate, learn and get inspired via numerous creative exhibitions, seminars, screenings and workshops for both experts and emerging professionals.

This year, the festival’s jury viewed a record 34,301 entries than last year from 87 countries—there was an overall increase of 19%, with the PR Lions category seeing the biggest increase (+38%) and the Effective Creativeness getting 35% less entries. For the winners, shortlists and all entries in each of the category (Creative Effectiveness, Cyber, Design, Direct, Film, Film Craft, Media, Outdoor, PR, Press, Promo & Activation, Radio, Titanium & Integrated and the new Mobile and Branded Content & Entertainment Lions), visit the dedicated page on the official website. In this piece, Popsop is highlighting a few of the winners, with all respect to other projects, awarded or not.

Creative Effectiveness Lions Grand Prix was handed to one of the most powerful campaigns of the last year, AXE ‘Excite,’ devised by BBH London. The campaign for the controversial male body care brand was focused on the idea that even heavenly creatures come down and crash their halos, being tempted by a guy who used AXE. “Our campaign took a globally recognised, iconic representation of male fantasy and made the biggest claim possible: ‘AXE Excite is so irresistible, even angels will fall’,” says the description of the entry.

R/GA New York was awarded Cyber Lions Grand Prix and Titanium Grand Prix (which celebrates “groundbreaking and innovative concepts in the world of advertising and marketing”) for helping create and promote Nike’s revolutionary sports product Nike+ Fuelband, aimed to bring everyday workout to the next level. “Two years ago, Nike came to us with an idea: a device that tracks your daily activity and a common, universal metric called Fuel for every active body out there. They asked us to design the entire user experience,” writes the brief on the product. “We ensured ease of use: set your goal, and get from red to green. If you meet your goal, animations celebrate your performance. Hit a streak and Fuelie shows up to cheer you on. Data visualisations show where you were most active daily, weekly, monthly, and beyond. We created Bluetooth synch technology so when you finish your day, your Fuel is wireless synced to the platform.”

Media Lions Grand Prix went to Manning Gottlieb OMD London for their great Google Voice Search promotion. The agency was tapped to create an outdoor campaign to be run in London that would promote the service and invite people to change their behavior, they way they search information. “By taking a key strength of digital—hyper relevant context—and marrying it with the scale and ubiquity of outdoor we did something that had never been done before: a broadcast outdoor campaign where every creative execution was relevant to the poster site that it ran on. Posters in the Square Mile ran ‘foot-see wun-hun-dred’. Sites outside stadia carried ‘ley-tist skohrz’. Sites at Baker Street carried ‘Shur-lok Hoemz.’ Difficult to pronounce stations carried the phonetic spelling as the copy… in total 150 pieces of bespoke pieces of copy across ten different poster formats,” says the agency on the entry form. This hilarious campaign is also positioned as the most complex outdoor promotion in the UK so far.

Press Lions Grand Prix was awarded to Fabrica Treviso, Italy for their splendid UNHATE campaign for Benetton. The series posters featuring kissing political leaders generated much buzz last fall and even lost one piece, the one with the kissing Pope, after a note from Vatican. The new visuals, which are spreading the message of love, unity and friendship beyond all the geographical, political and religious borders, are a new step in the ‘all you need is love’ narrative started with bespoke ‘united colours’ prints.

Photo: Benetton’s UNHATE campaign

Advertiser of the Year trophy was handed to Mars Incorporated for the company’s commitment to promoting its products with engaging and inspirational activations across the globe and encouraging creative work in agencies it works with. Wieden+Kennedy, the Portland-based advertising agency, was named the Advertising Agency of the Year and independent agency of the year at the 59th annual Cannes Lions , the Network of the Year award was presented and the Holding Company of the Year went to Ogilvy & Mather and WPP correspondingly.