Cannes 2008

'Uniqlock' Wins Cyber Grand Prix, and 'Voyeur' Snags More Gold

Also: 'Year Zero' Wins for Viral and 'Sol Comments' for Online Advertising

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CANNES (AdAge.com) -- At the 2008 Cannes cyber awards ceremony, "Uniqlock," for Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo from Projector Tokyo, capped off its winning run on the awards circuit with a Grand Prix for best website/interactive campaign. Earlier in the season, the site also earned Best of Show at the One Show Interactive and a D&AD Black Pencil.
Uniqlock
'Uniqlock,' for Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo from Projector Tokyo, capped off its winning run of the awards circuit with a Grand Prix for the online campaign.

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Other top winners
42 Entertainment's "Year Zero" campaign for Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails also earned the top accolade for viral advertising, and "Sol Comments," a banner campaign for Scandinavia Online from Mediafront Oslo, earned the Grand Prix for online advertising.

"We put an incredible amount of thought into the Grand Prix this year," said cyber Lions jury president Colleen DeCourcy, who is also TBWA Worldwide's chief digital officer. "I don't think it's possible to overthink the Grand Prix ever, but this year we decided we wanted to be forward facing and try and figure out what we wanted to hold up as an example of what we really viewed as progressive work."

Progressive might be an understatement when it comes to "Uniqlock," which hinges on an unusual clock widget that synchronizes sound, time and live-action dance video -- all while showcasing Uniqlo's fashion. Ms. DeCourcy called the effort a "beautiful piece of work with an ingenious approach to using fairly analog media." Jonah Bloom Reports From Cannes: Cranky Americans Crave Showers and Starbucks

The deceptively simple "Sol Comments" campaign used handwritten banner ads that copywriters created in real time, responding to content on the sites in which the banners lived. "We liked the comment it made about the enduring value of real creativity in the medium," Ms. DeCourcy noted.

As for 42 Entertainment's viral winner, "Year Zero," an alternate reality game that incorporated websites, e-mails, merchandising and pre-recorded phone messages to expand the dystopian storyline behind Trent Reznor's concept album of the same name, she said that "if the conversation has been ongoing about the blurring of the lines between mediums, what we need to come out of this was a way forward. In this piece what we have is just that. It takes every medium, every skill at its best -- print, outdoor, design, events. It couldn't exist without being virally spread. It's this collaborative development where there's a skill and a craft around engaging audiences."

U.S. rakes in Lions, finally
The U.S. was the most-awarded country in the category, with 16 Lions, including four Golds, for HBO's "Voyeur" from BBDO, New York, continuing its strong run at the ad festival this week; "AAATown" from Publicis & Hal Riney; Apple's "Don't Give Up," from TBWA Media Arts Lab; and Burger King's Whopper Freakout from Crispin Porter & Bogusky. Japan and the U.K. followed, with 11 Lions each.

London's Lean Mean Fighting Machine was named Cyber Agency of the Year, with Crispin Porter in second place and Projector, Tokyo, in third.

Overall, Ms. DeCourcy noted that the entries were being submitted by a broader range of talents, including more traditional ad shops. "It wasn't just the creative technologists, the digital natives anymore," she added. "That made for a real variety in the quality of submissions, but at the end of the day we found just as much fabulous work as other years. Maybe our signal-to-noise ratio was a little off, but we found some things we really loved."

She also said that during this year's judging, the categorization of the work proved as perplexing as ever, with the jury seeing work that could easily have been assessed in other categories. "It became sort of a joke -- can we re-categorize this?" Ms. DeCourcy said. "What it came down to is that as what we do becomes more and more ubiquitous, it becomes part of every other jury that we've got here -- film, direct, promo, design, media. It's a really transitional and important year for this jury and the industry at large."
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