Apple's iPad Mini campaign by TBWA Media Arts Lab won the Grand Prix in press, a category that the tablet once seemed designed to kill but now is offering what jury president Marcello Serpa described as redemption by enabling readership of print products.
What it is: Each of five print ads features a different magazine's cover at the left, and the same cover within an iPad Mini at the right, with a small Apple logo and the tiny words iPad Mini at the bottom. The covers, from real issues of Time, Surfer, Wired, the New Yorker and Wallpaper, are stunning.
The jury: Marcello Serpa, partner and chief creative officer of Almap BBDO, Sao Paulo, and an art director, presided over a category he loves. "Print is a magical medium, inside a frame," he said. "If an idea is there, it pops up. There's no case video, no music." He has been a judge twice before, in 1995 when the festival consisted mostly of film, print and the beach, and in 2000.
Why it won: "It has a kind of guerrilla feeling," Mr. Serpa said. "It's a product that goes inside the media and says I'm going to kill you, [then] I'm going to save you. Let's embrace. It's redemption."
Controversy or clear winner: Picking the Grand Prix was a long, long process with many votes and endless discussion, especially when it got down to the final three: iPad, the much-awarded Ogilvy Brazil "Sketches" campaign for Dove, and a dark horse contender from China for Beijing Sports Radio that shows fans at sports events with their eyes closed, because they are listening to the radio. That's an Ogilvy ad, too, from Hong Kong.
There were originally six Grand Prix contenders, with India, Dubai and Argentina all in the running for the top prize. Judges really liked a campaign by Grey Worldwide in Mumbai for Procter & Gamble's Duracell batteries, a lovely ad called "Pelicans" for department store Harvey Nichols' annual sale by Y&R Dubai and a branding campaign for cable channel Comedy Central from Grey Argentina.
At one point the vote was almost deadlocked between iPad with 10 votes and Dove at eight, with judges changing their votes as they listened to each other's arguments, but Apple prevailed.
"Dove is a beautiful, emotional piece and a beautiful insight and it's going to win a lot," Mr. Serpa said. "In the end we were looking at a piece that makes print, the category itself, a hero."
Number of Lions awarded: The U.S. won the Grand Prix, but picked up only eight other press Lions (three Silver and five Bronze). Brazil won six of the 25 press Gold Lions, including one from an agency in northern Brazil's Bahia, far from the Sao Paulo agencies that dominate the market. Brazil in general is having a phenomenal year at Cannes. Ogilvy Brazil alone had won 28 Lions by Wednesday, including 12 for its Dove "Sketches" campaign, which has been a Gold-winning contender for the Grand Prix in multiple categories.
Advice for next year: "We were questioning what print really does today," said Steve Simpson, chief creative officer for North America at Ogilvy & Mather. "Print is threatened. We fight the temptation to turn print into a tactical vehicle. Print can do branding really well. Juries in the future ought to consider how we bring that exquisite craft into the future."