Only 3 Lions for U.S.
The campaign by Universal McCann, Sydney -- the Media Lions Grand Prix winner -- and Lowe Hunt, Sydney, beat out two other Grand Prix contenders, a U.K. entry by OMD U.K. and DDB, London, for Hasbro, and a Telecom New Zealand entry from Saatchi & Saatchi, Auckland. The U.S., which never performs very well in the Media Lions, picked up just three of the 36 Lions awarded -- two Silvers and a Bronze.
The "Lynx Jet" work started with the insight that young 18- to 25-year-old men in Australia traditionally take an international trip to see the world. The two agencies fed their fantasies by creating a fake airline called Lynx Jet with sexy airline hostesses dubbed "Mostesses." The whole campaign cleverly mimics airline advertising and marketing.
Australian rite of passage
"They did an exceptional job of taking a great insight about young males and encouraging product usage," said Renatta McCann, president of the Media Lions jury and CEO of Starcom Mediavest Group, Chicago. "As a rite of passage, Australian young men take their first flight. And they framed their campaign to be similar to an airline campaign."
Another juror, Eddie D'Sa, managing partner of Naked Communications in Oslo, Norway, pointed out an additional insight the campaign plays on: "If you wear Lynx, you'll get laid more."
A TV spot featured the fake airline's "Mostesses," who were also part of street teams, and newspaper ads included Lynx Jet airfares. The lynxjet.com website featured a mock booking and check-in system and there was even a mobile "Mile High Club" lounge. A real plane belonging to a real airline, Jetstar, was painted to become a Lynx Jet plane, but the carrier hastily pulled out when its own flight attendants threatened to go on strike, generating valuable PR for Lynx Jet.
According to Universal McCann's Media Lions entry, sales of Lynx body spray grew by 20% in four weeks to reach the brand's highest-ever market share of 84.2%.
Chasing wireless consumers
Like many of this year's winners, the two Gold Lion winners who were contenders for the Media Grand Prix were created for consumers who increasingly live online. Saatchi invented the Rubbish Film Festival to encourage young New Zealanders to use their mobile phones even more. Users had to shoot their own 20-second movies on their mobile phones and upload them to rubbishfilmfest.co.nz for the public to watch and vote on. Winners won a trip to Hollywood. The result was remarkable for a small country: The festival drew more than 1,000 entries, representing one out of every 25 video-capable handsets in New Zealand, and the website got 1,850,000 user visits from a population of 4 million people.
The other contender, OMD and DDB in the U.K., celebrated the 70th anniversary of Hasbro's Monopoly game by creating an online version people could play using real London taxis. The agencies fitted 12 London taxis with GPS devices to act as playing pieces. Players chose properties online, and collected Monopoly money as the taxi drivers passed them during their normal business day. The game attracted 190,000 players in 28 days, and 100,000 opt-ins for more information from Hasbro. Sales rose by 30% year-over-year.
36 Lions awarded
The Media Lions jury handed out 36 Lions, with seven Golds, 11 Silvers and 18 Bronzes. The three U.S. Lions went to a small agency -- a Silver for Wongdoody, Seattle, for Alaska Airlines -- and to a smaller agency, David Droga's New York-based startup Droga5, which picked up a silver and a bronze for a stunt called "Stillfree." The push was for fashion brand Ecko, in which the agency pretended that someone had sneaked into a U.S. Air Force base and painted graffiti on the president's airplane. (Mr. Droga, a former worldwide creative director at Publicis Worldwide who started Droga5 this year, is in Cannes chairing the film and press jury.)
"'Stillfree' was a wonderful case study of taking content and spreading it virally," Ms. McCann said. The video of the supposed graffiti attack was sent to 10 underground websites, and was eventually seen by 23 million unique visitors.
Ms. McCann said her jury was looking for work that offered clear insights into consumers, hadn't been done before, took even traditional media to new levels, and could be extendable to other countries. "And we were ruthless about ensuring the work had results," she said.