King of Cannes: BBDO Ranks as Biggest Winner

Omnicom Agency Receives 41 Lions; Saatchi Also Performs Well at Festival

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Omnicom Group agencies as usual dominated the top ranks of winners, but this year they shared some of the glory with Saatchi & Saatchi, ranked No. 2 by total prizes won at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
Very close
In a very close field, BBDO Worldwide was a consistent winner across all categories. Despite a poor two-bronze performance by BBDO's Brazil agency, Almap BBDO, Sao Paulo, usually one of the stars of the festival, other offices picked up the slack. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, London, scored six Lions and the film Grand Prix for Guinness' "NoitulovE" and Network BBDO, Johannesburg, won five Lions.

Saatchi & Saatchi's star office was New York, taking home three Gold and three Bronze Lions.

Among the two other Omnicom networks, TBWA Worldwide won more film Lions -- nine -- than any other network and DDB Chicago was the big winner in radio, with a Grand Prix for the second year in a row for Anheuser-Busch's "Real Men of Genius" campaign for Bud Light, featuring gems such as "Mr. Paranoid of the Ocean Guy" and "Mr. 80 SPF Sunblock Wearer."

In a creative sequel to the three-way fight for the Film Grand Prix among "NoitulovE," George Patterson Y&R's "Big Ad" for Carlton Draught beer, and Fallon London's acclaimed spot for Sony's Bravia TV, Fallon London has trumped its Omnicom rival in a different way, by poaching the creative team behind "NoitulovE."

Poached creatives
Matt Doman and Ian Heartfield picked up their Grand Prix for Guinness, and started work across town as a senior creative team at Fallon immediately after they got back from the Cannes festival. They will be working on the Sony account as well as France Telecom's Orange brand and the BBC.

The Cannes festival plans to continue its relentless pace of adding new contests, with design Lions making their debut in 2007. Promo Lions were added this year, following radio Lions in 2005. At this year's festival, there were four different evening awards shows, each packing in prizes for multiple competitions.

Some festival-goers think there are still gaps. David Lubars, president of the Titanium jury and chairman-chief creative officer of BBDO New York, said he will recommend to the festival that a category be created for campaigns since much of the work submitted is part of a broader campaign but juries can only judge one medium.

Lynxjet campaign
This year's Lynxjet work, for instance, won two Gold Lions for direct marketing, two promo Lions, a Gold Lion for media and the media Grand Prix. The Aussie campaign by Lowe Hunt and Universal McCann, both Sydney, created a fake airline called Lynxjet to promote Unilever's Lynx body spray for men. The campaign was integrated across multiple channels, but each jury had to judge individual pieces rather than the whole.

It was a poor year for the two biggest festival entrants, the U.S. and Brazil. The U.S. either won big-picking up 4 of the 9 Grand Prix-or was shut out. In film, for instance, the U.S. failed to capture any of the 12 Gold Lions. The U.S. didn't win Gold in the media Lions, either, and picked up just three of 36 media Lions.

The one contest the U.S. dominated this year was cyber, with both Grand Prix awards going to U.S. shops-Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, for Volkswagen and Droga5, New York, for a viral hoax for fashion brand Ecko. As the biggest winner in cyber, and a double Grand Prix winner-Crispin Porter also won the first promo Lions Grand Prix for Volkswagen-the single, medium-size agency ranked ninth among the most-awarded global networks at Cannes, ahead of Publicis Worldwide and just below Lowe Worldwide.

David Droga
The festival also saw the re-emergence of David Droga after a few uncharacteristically low-profile months as he set up his new Publicis-backed Droga5 shop in New York after leaving the Publicis Worldwide network. While Mr. Droga was chairing the press and film juries, his work for Ecko, practically the first campaign from his new agency, picked up a cyber Grand Prix and two of the three U.S. media Lions.
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