CANNES -- Old screens merged with new in the Cannes International Advertising Festival's Film category, with a first-ever dual Grand Prix between Cadbury's "Gorilla
" TV commercial and Microsoft's Halo 3
web film campaign.
"They're both phenomenal pieces of work," said JWT chief creative officer and jury chair Craig Davis before screening "Enemy Weapon
" from the Halo 3
web film series and "Gorilla" at the press conference, the latter provoking air drumming and applause inside the packed meeting room. "[Choosing one over the other] was a little bit futile when essentially you've got fantastic work in both spaces," Mr. Davis said.
Halo's win includes the web films, from T.A.G. at McCann Worldgroup, as well as "Combat
," a live-action, direct-to-client web film directed by RSA's Neill Blomkamp with effects from Weta Workshop.
Campaigns drove business
The ape and the Chief are two of the biggest icons of advertising this year but have one key similarity -- both are linked to business successes. The Halo 3
web work was the deep content within a full-on, integrated rollout campaign keyed to the biggest video game launch in history. Fallon, London's "Gorilla" features an actor wearing an animatronic gorilla outfit emoting and drumming along to Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight," a spontaneous outburst of branded joy which the candy maker says led to sales gains.
For all the talk of Cadbury's polarizing nature, jury members said it wasn't difficult to award it the Grand Prix along with "Halo."
"There were good arguments made for both 'Halo' and 'Gorilla,'" said Canadian juror Aaron Starkman, creative director at Zig in Toronto. "But there have been rules in place for television forever, and it's a tight box, so I'd argue it's harder to do something amazing in television and Cadbury's done it." Mr. Starkman said that halfway through the process the judges thought about the kind of message it would send if "Gorilla" wasn't given a Grand Prix and rallied behind it.
"It's an extremely impressive piece of footage," said South African juror Paul Warner, founder and ECD of MetropolitanRepublic. "I think that's clearly what made it stand out."