CANNES, France (AdAge.com) -- As predicted, the first two awards handed out at the 57th annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival today set the stage for Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles, to be a big winner in 2010. "Replay," a campaign for PepsiCo's Gatorade brand, netted not one but two Grand Prix trophies in the promo and PR categories.
WHAT IT IS: "Replay" saw Gatorade and TBWA reunite two high-school football team rivals 15 years later. The agency followed players for four months leading up to the game, with documentary episodes appearing online and the game airing on Fox Sports Net.
JURY PRESIDENTS: Tina Manikas, global retail and promotions officer, DraftFCB, for promo; Paul Taaffe, global chairman-CEO of Hill & Knowlton, for PR.
WHY IT WON: Using descriptors such as "authentic," "real," "true" and "not contrived," the judges seemed to like that "Replay" created a lasting conversation around a big brand idea for Gatorade rather than being a one-off execution.
CONTROVERSY OR CLEAR WINNER? There appeared to be little disagreement among members of the juries in deciding the Grand Prix winner. While the PR jury's decision was not unanimous, "Replay" carried a "very strong majority" of votes, Taaffe said.
TOTAL NUMBER OF LIONS AWARDED: 55 for promotion and activation; 44 for PR. "Replay" was the single Grand Prix winner in the promo and PR categories. Though TBWA was responsible for both, Paragon Marketing Group pitched in for the promo win. The promo category gave out eight Gold Lions, 20 Silver Lions and 26 Bronze Lions. The 2-year-old PR category saw a 32% increase in the number of entries this year, and as a result the festival decided to give out Gold and Silver Lions for the first time. In addition to the Grand Prix, 11 Gold Lions and 32 Silver Lions were awarded. "We tend to allow the category to grow before we expand the metal," festival CEO Philip Thomas remarked during the press conference, suggesting perhaps next year Bronze Lions will be doled out too.
WHAT THEY DIDN'T LIKE: The entry that most antagonized the PR jury was one in which the agency and client stated that "we had no money, so we turned to PR." (Despite the best efforts of the press, the jurors wouldn't reveal who was responsible.)
LOOKING TO NEXT YEAR: Judges predicted that traditional PR firms will fight back next year against advertising agencies that are entering and prevailing in the PR category. Still, they seem to now favor earned media that is spread via peer-to-peer sharing rather than paid advertisements that are then promoted ("Replay" was also a winner earlier this year in the International Andy Awards' new earned media category).