Cannes 2009

Tourism Queensland's 'Best Job' Picks Up Its Third Grand Prix

Fiat's EcoDrive, 'Dark Knight' Alternate-Reality Game Also Take Top Cyber Honors

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CANNES (AdAge.com) -- Australian agency Cummins Nitro emerged victorious once again during the Cannes Cyber Lions ceremony, claiming its third Grand Prix at the 56th International Advertising Festival for the Tourism Queensland "The Best Job in the World" campaign.

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Tourism Queensland: The Best Job in the World

The multiplatform effort snagged the big Lions in the direct and PR categories earlier this week, and tonight earned the top award in the cyber website/interactive campaigns category. Joining it on the Grand Prix stage were Fiat's EcoDrive campaign, out of AKQA, London, and the "Why So Serious?" alternate-reality-games effort for Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight" from Pasadena, Calif.-based 42 Entertainment.

"What we really loved about ['Best Job in the World'] was that digital tied everything together," jury president and Ogilvy North America Chief Digital Creative Officer Lars Bastholm said at the Cyber Lions press conference. The campaign promised one lucky winner a six-month-long salaried stint as caretaker and promoter of Queensland's Hamilton Island and solicited online auditions from promising guides around the globe. "It was about asking a question -- Do you want the best job in the world? -- in a few strategic places, and then digital basically took over and ran with the entire campaign." Moreover, the campaign "was just plain fun," he said. "It's very hard not to look at it and smile."

Fiat's EcoDrive application allows Fiat owners to monitor their driving techniques and gives them recommendations on how to drive more efficiently. It earned the Grand Prix in the online advertising/innovative ideas category. Mr. Bastholm said the project reflected the deepening of relationship between client and agency, another growing trend obvious in this year's awarded work.

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Fiat: eco:Drive

"This is one of the few things that really sends out a message to clients as well as creatives and agencies," said juror Iain Tait, creative director at Poke, London. "I can only imagine the number of people that had to be involved in that project to make it happen, and I think it takes someone really brave at a senior level to get all those people working in that way to deliver a project like that."

The Grand Prix winner in the viral category was 42 Entertainment's "Why So Serious?" Jurors praised the campaign for multiple reasons, including its ability to take alternate-reality gaming and storytelling in general to the next level. Through multiple websites, user-generated content, live events and variety of other vehicles, the game unfolded its own story line parallel to the Batman film during an 18-month period.

Movie was 'as good as the game'
"We made a joke that at a certain time you hoped when the film finally arrived it should have been as good as the game, which is a striking conclusion," said Belgium juror Samuel De Volder, creative director at These Days. "Luckily for them the film was as good as the game."

Jurors also lauded the reach of the campaign, in both metrics and geography. "This was actually the first global campaign that was really global," said Brazilian juror and Wunderman Creative VP Eco Moliterno. "Every time you see these 'global' things, they don't actually come down to Brazil. This one did."

The Grand Prix and other winners indicate that the industry clearly has matured, Mr. Bastholm said, but "we're kind of entering our teenage years right now. As we all know, what happens with teenagers is looking for their place in the world, trying out different personas, trying to realize 'Who do I want to be when I grow up?' That's pretty much where the digital industry is. It's a little bit all over the map, and I think that's what makes this industry and the judging this year interesting. I guess that also reflects the fact that we're the only category that awards three Grand Prix."

Another pattern reflected by the top winners is that digital no longer lives in a vacuum. "It's very much a part of larger campaigns, and there's a lot of real-world engagement that really emphasizes how digital can play a role collaborating with other branches of marketing," Mr. Bastholm said. Along those same lines, Denmark juror Jonas Lindell, creative director at LBi, Copenhagen, said this year's winners made even more evident the trend of the "digital meeting the physical. A lot of the pieces are interesting because they add the physical element. That's really been galvanized."

Other buzzworthy contenders
The jurors said there was plenty of discussion about Gold Lion winners "Whopper Sacrifice," from Crispin Porter & Bogusky for Burger King, and "Hotel 626," from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for Doritos, as Grand Prix contenders. Both pieces revealed another characteristic of the year's work: emotional impact.

"People who say that websites can't convey emotion, I urge them to play 'Hotel 626' at night and not be scared," said Poke's Mr. Tait. As for "Whopper Sacrifice," "it made people feel something they never could have experienced until right now with that one campaign, which is what it feels like to be dumped by a burger. Being on the receiving end makes you feel a certain way, and being someone who's sitting there deciding which of your friends you're going to sack for a 10th of a burger, doing that weird cognitive gymnastics, that's a really, really interesting state of mind you're putting people in. I think there are some things in there that are really, really important. It's a worthy gold."

In deciding the top winners, however, the jury ultimately honored "things that live out on the real internet and aren't things that sit there in a microsite," Mr. Tait said. "It's a really important signal to send to the industry that we need to be doing things that are out there, propagating the entire internet, not singularly trapped on a microsite."

Goodby earned the honor of cyber Agency of the Year, followed by Crispin and Belgium's Boondoggle, in third place. The U.S. was the most-awarded country, earning 21 Lions. The U.K. was runner-up, with 12 Lions, followed by Sweden, which earned nine awards.

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