Titanium Jury Awards Four Lions

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Mini "Counterfeit Minis"
The first Titanium jury, meant to reward innovative work across integrated media, awarded four Titanium prizes at the closing awards show at the International Advertising Festival on Saturday night. The jury skipped a Grand Prix with the feeling that none of the 133 Titanium entries were as good as the earlier BMW Films work that inspired the Titanium category.

One U.S. agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky/Miami, won a Titanium Lion. It was for the Mini Cooper “Counterfeit” campaign, which warned about fake Mini Coopers and sent people to a Web site where they could buy a real DVD about fictitious counterfeit cars and use their mouse to slap buyers who had been duped into buying suspiciously cheap Minis.

“The Mini is transformational work that is a new way of talking to consumers,” said Jeff Goodby, president of the Titanium jury and chairman of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. “And there’s a use of irony, an assumption that people will understand the joke. It presumes they know about Rolex knockoffs.”

The three other Titanium Lion winners are:

--The Honda U.K. “Grrr” campaign by Wieden & Kennedy/London, which also won the film Grand Prix for the “Grrr” TV spot that has been sweeping awards shows all year.

--Virgin Mobile Australia’s “5 Cent” campaign by The Glue Society/Sydney featuring a dwarf rapper, a play on U.S. rapper 50 Cent, and the selling point that all calls cost five cents.

--Volvo’s “Life on Board” project by Havas’ Fuel Europe/Amsterdam, consisting of seven Internet films -- also shown as trailers on TV -- featuring meaningful conversations in cars between unlikely pairs of people. One pairing is a female jockey and Bethany Hamilton, the teenage surfer who lost an arm in a horrific surfing accident.

Goodby said the kind of campaigns that compete for Titanium awards -- judged this year by a small group of ten very senior judges -- are the future for the industry and Cannes.

One Titanium judge, Daniel Morel, chairman and CEO of Wunderman/New York, predicted a move from mass to personal advertising, which people will consume on their cell phones and laptops.

Goodby repeatedly referred to Titanium-type awards -- innovative, multi-channel concepts that connect with consumers who can increasingly tune out media messages they don’t want -- as “the way forward.” It may not be exactly the way forward that the festival had in mind, however.

Cheryl Berman, another judge and chairman-chief creative officer of Leo Burnett/Chicago, said at the Titanium press conference that the festival already has too many categories. (This year there were three awards nights, covering seven separate contests -- Media, Direct, Cyber, Press & Outdoor, Film and this year’s new Radio and Titanium awards.)

“There’s too many and people are tuning them out,” Berman said. “There should be less, because we believe there are too many over a number of nights.”

Next year, there will be two more competitions. The festival plans to add Design and Promotions Lions in 2006. -Laurel Wentz

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