NEC, DoubleYou Win Cyber Grand Prix Honors

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NEC's "Ecotonoha Project"
Today at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes, the Cyber jury awarded two Grand Prix awards to a Japanese website and a Spanish online campaign that jurors said were vastly different in stylistic and technical terms but similarly focused on strong ideas. Japan's NEC captured its Grand Prix with a site for the NEC "Ecotonoha Project" website, designed by Yugo Nakamura, which was also named Best of Show at the One Show Interactive awards earlier this year. DoubleYou/Barcelona, meanwhile, won for its San Silvestre Vallecane integrated interactive campaign for Nike, in which the bear from Madrid's celebrated statue of a bear and a Madroño tree escapes and becomes motivation for a runner. (Both can be viewed at www.adcritic.com/interactive.)

"We were trying to come up with two winners that were different but represented the best of what we think is happening in our field," said jury president Robert Greenberg, CEO and chief creative officer of R/GA.

U.S. work was prominent among the 102 Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, with American work capturing a total of 22 Lions, including eight Golds. Among the Gold-winning efforts were Crispin Porter + Bogusky's wildly popular "Subservient Chicken" site, which many had pegged for the top honor this year. The site also claimed a Bronze Lion. Crispin was also recognized for its work on Virgin Atlantic Airways, which was awarded a Gold prize for online advertising. Goodby Silverstein & Partners won Gold for its comically simple series of "Rejected Ad" online spots for Budweiser. Goodby also won Gold for the online ad "Bouquet" for HP and a Silver award for a campaign for Discover Card. San Francisco's Venables Bell & Partners won Gold for its Napster campaign as well as a single Gold for the "It's Coming Back" execution for Napster. Greenberg's R/GA was cited for two Gold Lions -- for the Nike Lab Holiday 03 and Nike ID sites. The shop also won two Bronze Lions in the website category -- for Nike Lab Spring 04 and Nike Lab Comic Book -- and a bronze for the "Lebron/Vince Carter" internet campaign.

Nike's bear banner
Judges emphasized the differences between the two Grand Prix choices but said both of them stood out for primacy of the idea. The NEC site supports the tech company's Ecotonoha environmental initiative, through which NEC plants trees on Australia's Kangaroo Island. Visitors to the site may add leaves, in the form of comments, to a virtual tree, and NEC plants a tree for every 100 leaves added. Juror Sasha Kurtz of Dotglu noted that while the NEC site was "explosive in its use of technology," the Nike site was "technologically small," but equally effective. The Nike campaign features banner ads and a website that employ basic Flash animation and a race between man and bear to convey a compelling idea about running. DoubleYou's Nike effort was "exciting, visually and emotionally," said juror Kevin Flatt of Fallon. "It rewarded on numerous levels. You can put it against any campaign out there -- TV, online, print, whatever." The winning NEC site represented "beautiful visual implementation but also the building of a community," said Greenberg, and the Nike San Silvestre site, had an effective simplicity and an emotionality that he said had been missing from the category up to only a few years ago. -Teressa Iezzi
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