Media Grand Prix Goes to Canon, Leo Burnett, Sydney

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'Eos Photochains' for Canon
'Eos Photochains' for Canon

CANNES, France (AdAge.com) -- An Australian ad campaign called "Eos Photochains" for Canon's Eos camera by Leo Burnett, Sydney, made social media into an art form with the creation of online photo chains, beating out three other contenders for the Grand Prix in the media category.

WHAT IT IS: Canon encouraged people to take a photo and select a detail that then served as inspiration for the next photograph, taken by another photographer. As the photo chain grew, photographers could upload their pictures and create or join photo chains. Billboards featuring a real photo from one of the photo chains, along with the photographer who created it, became a national ad campaign. And a social media platform grew. On the website, people could track their own or someone else's photos, follow the photographers they liked and view tutorials.

WHY IT WON: "It starts from a simple human insight -- people are interested in photography and not ... technology, and they're interested in inspiration," said jury President Laura Desmond, global CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group. "It was a terrific way of connecting people to people and inspiring them to share. I loved that the photographs themselves become the medium, that fueled even more interaction. It's the heart of what social media should be. And it strategically all held together." She noted that people spent an average of 12 minutes on the site, and that there was a great increase in market share "well above 50%."

THE JURY: Under Desmond, the media jury, criticized in the past because it was sometimes unclear how different criteria were applied to pick winners, awarded work that offered insight into simple human truths, provided an immersive experience and had measurable brand results.

CONTROVERSY OR CLEAR WINNER: A clear favorite after a couple rounds of voting, but not a unanimous choice. Another Grand Prix contender was Heineken Italia's "Auditorium," a clever trick by JWT, Milan, in which reluctant soccer fans were dragged by their girlfriends into attending a classical music concert that turned out to be a Heineken-sponsored live screening of the big soccer match they feared they were going to miss.

TOTAL NUMBER OF LIONS AWARDED: One Grand Prix, eight Gold Lions, 11 Silver Lions and 28 Bronze Lions.

WHO ELSE DID WELL: The other two Grand Prix contenders. "It's No Picnic" was another Australian entry, for Cadbury's Picnic chocolate bar, by George Patterson Y&R, Melbourne. In a strong TV idea, the challenge was how long it would take to eat a chocolate bar -- can it be done in the same amount of time as a 30-second film? The judges also liked CNN International's campaign "Go Beyond Borders," by Heimat, Berlin.

WHAT THEY DIDN'T LIKE: Award inflation. The 47 Lions awarded by the media jury were the fewest granted in any of the six contests held so far this week, except for public relations, with 44 Lions but far fewer entries than any of the other categories. The outdoor jury awarded more than 100 Lions.

LOOKING TO NEXT YEAR: Everyone always wonders why creative agencies trounce media agencies in the media contest. This year was no exception -- the Grand Prix went to a creative agency, as did seven of eight Gold Lions (Mindshare, London, took one), and nine of 11 Silver Lions (with Starcom, Melbourne, picking up both silvers that went to media agencies).

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