WHAT IT IS: The Adidas Originals "Original Is Never Finished" campaign, which featured a re-mixed, modernized version of the Frank Sinatra classic "My Way," earned the Entertainment for Music Grand Prix. Created out of Johannes Leonardo and directed by RSA's Terence Neale, the anthem spot illustrated the idea of originality as a work in progress. It juxtaposed creative and cultural legends with up-and-comers: it paired skateboard legend Gonz with French pro-skater Lucas Puig, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with young Lakers pro Brandon Ingram. The effort also features artist Petra Collins' spin on Boticelli's "Birth of Venus" and Snoop Dogg's reinvention of his classic "Doggystyle" album cover. The wild "My Way" remix helps to dramatize and unify the dazzling array of imagery. The campaign also included three music videos that debuted online alongside the spot's appearance during the Grammys, as well as social media takeovers.
Music company Human created the remix, with sound design via Q Department and sound mix from Sonic Union.
WHY IT WON: According to Entertainment for Music Jury President Olivier Robert-Murphy, global head of new business at Universal Music Group, the campaign ticked off a number of boxes.
"It's a mantra of creativity, and that's what the Cannes Lions is all about," he said. "It took the most overused song, and totally reinvented it. The name of the shoes is 'Originals,' and they took that [idea] and turned it into a multiplatform success. It used a new generation of creatives to really find the meaning of originality which was a perfect fit."
CONTROVERSY OR CLEAR WINNER? Adidas had earned a unanimous vote on the Grand Prix, but at least one juror saw an interesting contest toward the end of deliberations: Adidas vs. Nike. Matt Eastwood, JWT global chief creative officer noted that Nike/Jordan Brand's "We the People," featuring Chance the Rapper performing a "Star-Spangled Banner"-inspired track, was one of the front-runners for the top prize. But in the end, Adidas' more universal message about creativity won out. "We loved the philosophy of 'Original Is Never Finished,'" he said. "You could put that under the Cannes logo and it would be a perfect fit. We loved the synergy of the mission of that festival and the mission of the campaign.' With "We the People," which earned a Gold and Silver Lion, he noted that some of the European jurors understood the meaning, but its message was more resonant for an American audience.