Intel's "Beauty Inside" from Pereira & O'Dell, San Francisco, and Oreo's "Daily Twist" work from DraftFCB earned the Cyber Grands Prix at the 2013 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Wednesday.
The winning campaigns reflected interesting poles within the category; one was a sophisticated film effort, the other, a print/design campaign. But both were amplified by the power of social media.
What it is: "Beauty Inside" is a "social film" that followed the story of Alex, a man who wakes up every day in a different body, which becomes a problem when he falls in love. Alex was played by actor Topher Grace, as well as an extended list of acting talent pulled, via social media, from the film's online viewership. The idea was to celebrate that "it's what's inside that counts," a direct play on Intel's "It's inside" tagline. Like its predecessor, "Inside," a previous campaign starring Emmy Rossum as a woman trying to escape her kidnapper, the film took shape over the course of its run via the active participation of its audience. The campaign just last week won a Daytime Creative Arts Emmy in the category of Outstanding New Approaches.
Oreo's "Daily Twist" celebrated the brand's 100th birthday over 100 days by posting in social media daily pictures of the cookie, made over to reflect current events (such as Gay Pride week and the landing of the Mars Rover). The campaign kicked off with an image of the Oreo in rainbow colors to celebrate Gay Pride Week and ended with a stunt that showed the final cookie (a high-five) being made live in a virtual office in New York's Times Square.
The jury: The president was Bob Greenberg, founder, chairman and CEO of R/GA, who presided over a jury with members from 22 countries.
Why they won: According to Mr. Greenberg, the Intel/Toshiba campaign "was really about the incredible storytelling capability -- but it ties very specifically to the 'Intel Inside' campaign and the hidden value that Intel has in terms of the chips that they make."
Oreo's "Daily Twist" campaign "brought a brand back to life," he said. "It made people fall in love with a cookie. If you can do that for a brand that's been around for 100 years, that's interesting."
Both campaigns showed "how big a proposition it is when you merge web, mobile and social together."
Juror Flo Heiss, executive creative director at U.K. agency Dare, noted that the Grands Prix winners were "bookends of what's possible today," in the cyber category. While Intel/Toshiba was a "well-crafted, beautifully executed, deep engagement piece," Oreo was unabashedly a branding effort, created in a newsroom-like setting.
Controversy or clear winners? The winners were pretty clear-cut. Mr. Greenberg said the Grands Prix honorees clearly had the most votes, but the jury did consider other Gold winners for the honor. One -- the JFK Library's "Clouds Over Cuba" from the Martin Agency -- was eliminated because it fell into the charity category, but will be considered for the Grands Prix for Good.
Interesting trend: Mr. Greenberg said that the quality and number of the film submissions in the category have hit a high. "We have more videos than we've ever had before, and they're at a much higher quality," he said. "Some have been done by people in the digital space, some from traditional outbound marketing. The quality has gone up substantially and that's an interesting new phenomenon." That poses an interesting contrast to the film category, which saw a notable drop in submissionsthis year, from 3125 to 3475 in 2012.
Total number of Lions awarded: The jury can award as many as three Grands Prix in the category, in websites/integrated/banners/rich media, viral advertising and online videos, and other interactive digital solutions. This year the jury awarded 93 Lions, including 17 Gold, 25 silver and 49 bronze.
What the jury didn't like: James Hilton, co-founder and chief creative officer at AKQA said: "We saw a great deal of lazy work. Just because something is on Facebook or Twitter doesn't make it modern or social. You need to apply proper rigor and apply human protocols to the idea."
Looking to next year: Mr. Hilton also noted that the ubiquitousness of digital in advertising today demands a makeover of the awards show. "Cyber has become a Frankenstein's monster of an award as skills and applications expand. More stuff gets bolted onto the award, so I think it requires an entire rethink not just of cyber, but also the awards structure. We see films being voted for in cyber—what this shows is digital is everywhere and it's kind of redundant to talk about things in terms of digital. Also, we're seeing more and more products come to the fore. The word advertising for advertising's sake is hopefully going to die. Brands are producing things that contribute to people's lives and the time of advertising as interruption is very much over. It's time for festivals like Cannes to redefine what the word advertising means."