Online Exclusive: Report From Cannes

FOUR TITANIUM LIONS AWARDED

But No Grand Prix; Cheryl Berman Criticizes Festival Categories

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CANNES, France (AdAge.com) -- The first Titanium Lion jury, meant to reward innovative work across integrated media, announced four prizes at the closing awards show at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival this evening.
Judges of the first Titanium Lion jury awarded four lions but no Grand Prix for innovative work used in integrated media campaigns.

But the jury skipped a Grand Prix, indicating that none of the 133 Titanium entries were as good as the earlier BMW Films work that inspired the creation of the new category.

Crispin Porter & Bogusky
One U.S. agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, won a Titanium Lion. It was for the Mini Cooper “Counterfeit” campaign, which warned about fake Mini Coopers and sent people to a Web site where they could buy a DVD about fictitious counterfeit cars and use their mouse to slap buyers who had been duped into buying suspiciously cheap Minis.

“The Mini is transformational work that is a new way of talking to consumers,” said Jeff Goodby, president of the Titanium jury and chairman of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. “And there’s a use of irony, an assumption that people will understand the joke. It presumes they know about Rolex knockoffs.”

The other three Titanium Lions are:

  • Honda U.K.'s “Grrr” campaign by Wieden & Kennedy, London, which also won the film Grand Prix. The TV spot has been sweeping awards shows all year.

  • Virgin Mobile Australia’s “5 Cent” campaign by the Glue Society of Sydney, featuring a dwarf rapper -- a parody on U.S. rapper 50 Cent -- using the selling point that all calls cost five cents.

  • Volvo’s “Life on Board” project by Havas’ Fuel Europe of Amsterdam, consisting of seven Internet films -- also shown as trailers on TV -- that feature meaningful conversations in cars between unlikely pairs of people. One pairing is a female jockey and Bethany Hamilton, the teenage surfer who lost an arm in a horrific surfing accident.

The ad industry's future
Mr. Goodby said the kind of campaigns that compete for Titanium awards are the future for the industry and Cannes.

The category this year was judged by a small group of 10 very senior judges. That's less than half the size of an average Cannes jury, normally comprised mostly of CEOs of ad agencies and related disciplines such as digital and direct marketing agencies.

One Titanium judge, Daniel Morel, chairman-CEO of Wunderman, New York, predicted a move from mass marketing to personal advertising, as people will consume more content and advertising on their cell phones and laptops.

Mr. Goodby repeatedly referred to Titanium-type awards -- innovative, multi-channel concepts that connect with consumers who can increasingly tune out media messages they don’t want -- as “the way forward.”

But it may not be exactly the way forward that the festival had in mind.

Cheryl Berman: Too many awards
Cheryl Berman, another judge and chairman-chief creative officer of Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, said at the Titanium press conference that the festival already has too many awards shows. (This year there were three awards nights, covering seven separate contests -- Media, Direct, Cyber, Press & Outdoor, Film and this year’s new Radio and Titanium awards.

“There’s too many and people are tuning them out,” Ms. Berman said. “There should be less, because we believe there are too many over a number of nights.”

Next year, there will be two more competitions. The festival plans to add Design and Promotions Lions in 2006.

Shift in emphasis
There is already a shift in emphasis from the film awards being the main focus of most Cannes-goers’ attention.

For Tim Ellis, Volvo’s worldwide advertising director, for instance, the film shortlist shown Friday morning is no longer the highlight of his week. (Volvo’s “Life on Board” won three Cyber Lions as well as a Titanium this year).

“Before, if I’d had to go home before I got to see the TV shortlist, I’d be very upset,” said Mr. Ellis, who left early Friday morning. “Now I think the Web stuff is much more grounded in big ideas.”

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