Judges at this year's new Craft Lions category, charged with focusing on execution rather than the creative idea, awarded the first Grand Prix to a French music label that celebrated its tenth anniversary with sounds and artwork from its archives.
In the case study for client Because Music submitted to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity jury, French agency 84.Paris described its idea behind "Because Recollection": "What if, instead of just listening to music, you could play with it?"
The jury: Jury president Wesley Ter Haar, founder and chief operating officer of MediaMonks, said his nine-person jury had the task of defining a new Cannes category. "The baseline was exquisite execution. We had to talk about the core craft of a piece of work, and that's not easy in digital. We had deep discussions about VR, UX, overall craft, use of data. It was a close vote on the Grand Prix, down to the absolute wire."
Why it won: "Because Recollection" uses a decade of Because Music's videos, music and new artists to create an interactive musical experience.
"It combines some of the best sound design and imaging we've seen, " Mr. Ter Haar said. "It brings a collections of this magnitude to life and lets you interact with it. It's what we should be awarding."
Other Grand Prix Contenders: But another campaign came close. Judges also liked "Falters Inferno," a journey through the nine stages of hell created by Jung von Matt for Vienna newspaper Falter that was awarded three gold Lions in Digital Craft. "It was small in size but not ambition," Mr. Ter Haar said. "It was crafted with love, to promote a newspaper. A description of going to hell and back told a story in a beautiful way."
A new Cannes category: "As cyber and mobile grew, the craft categories within those sections were growing and growing," said Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions. He said juries had been telling the festival for several years that as a group of largely agency creatives, they didn't feel qualified to judge the craft aspect, and that specialists were needed.
The first Digital Craft jury included digital creative directors from agency networks and digital shops as well as a client, Katie Dill, head of experience design at Airbnb in the U.S.
Mr. Thomas said the creation of Digital Craft was similar to the festival's addition of a Film Craft category years ago to complement the Film category. With one focusing on execution and the other on ideas, Mr. Thomas noted that the two film categories rarely pick the same winners.
Lions awarded: In its first year, Digital Craft drew 1,150 entries. The jury awarded nine gold, 15 silver and 25 bronze prizes.