Cannes 2008

Uniqlo, 'Halo' Take Top Titanium and Integrated Honors

Selections Emphasize a 'Glimpse of the Future' and a 'Rewarding Experience'

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CANNES (AdAge.com) -- A flashy widget and a wildly imaginative campaign built around a gorgeous film took top honors in the titanium and integrated category at the Cannes International Advertising Festival today.
Projector, Tokyo's work for Uniqlo took the titanium Grand Prix.
Projector, Tokyo's work for Uniqlo took the titanium Grand Prix.

Uniqlo and agency Projector, Tokyo, followed their cyber victory by taking the titanium Grand Prix, reserved for the campaign that gives the a world, as jury president Mark Tutssel put it, "a glimpse of the future."

The integrated Grand Prix went to "Believe" by McCann Worldgroup's TAG, San Francisco, for the Microsoft Xbox video game "Halo 3." "Believe" was also one of the winners of the film Grand Prix.

Titanium Lions
The two titanium Lions were for New York-based Droga5's "Million," a new program created for the New York City Department of Education that attempts to get children excited about education by creating mobile-phone rewards, and "Black Boy Wanting Water," by MortierBrigade, Brussels for Studio Brussels' "Music for Life Charity Event." The two Integrated Lions went to Burger King and Crispin Porter & Bogusky's "Whopper Freakout" and "Lead India" from JWT India for "The Times of India," which already picked up the direct Grand Prix, the nation's first ever top prize at the festival.

Both the Droga5 and Crispin work were called out as big ideas. But of still-in development "Million," Mr. Tutssel said that "it's not fully fleshed out yet."

The fact that the titanium winner lives entirely online begged the question of whether the formula for the category, which many argue is the most important in the festival, has boiled down to being digital. Not so, said juror Sergio Valente in a press conference this afternoon. "We didn't award something because it's digital," said Mr. Valente, president-CEO of DDB Brazil. "We did it because it's great."

Juror Paul Woolmington repeated that sentiment. "It's not just about technology. It's about that glimpse of the future."

Both big winners come from intensely different sensibilities and approaches. Uniqlo's "Uniqlock" is a widget that shows off the retailer's fashion by synchronizing time, sound and a dance video. "This is viral, branded utility," said juror Matias Palm-Jensen, creative president at Farfar. "This is the future."

Extended into countless media
The "Halo 3" work, on the other hand, was driven by in imaginative, immersive narrative around a monument to the action of the "Halo 3" game that was extended into countless media, from TV and the web to executions in the physical world.

The judges routinely referred to the importance of utility, as evinced by the Uniqlo work as well as Droga5's "Million," demonstrating that creating value for consumers is increasing in importance next to media choice, as well as aesthetic and craft considerations. This is an important acknowledgment as more and more marketers are trying to replace or at least augment interruptive marketing approaches with executions that actually create value for consumers. Today's winners suggested that integration, which used to mean little more than checking off media boxes, is getting redefined around experience.

"Now everything is integrated," said Mr. Tutssel. "The level of integration is what we were looking for. How did it touch people? And how did it create the most rewarding experience?"
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