A mixed-media music video experience for William Patrick Corgan, a simple, long-copy print ad for shoe polish and a heart-rending film about finding medical care in a war-torn environment took home the top Craft honors at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Wednesday night.
The Digital Craft Grand Prix winner was Aeronaut VR, a mixed-media VR experience created for Corgan, aka Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame. Filmmaker Danny Bittman, Viacom Next and Isobar created a hologram of Corgan's three-and-a-half minute performance of the "Aernoaut" tune in volumetric video. It then used the Unity and Tilt Brush to create a fantastical environment around him and those elements were rendered in a 2D film teasing a virtual reality experience.
Digital Craft Jury President Jean Lin, global chief CEO of Isobar, said, "We [wanted] to choose something that rewards technology and artistry that connects to the story." The jury also wanted to honor "craft with purpose, rather than craft for craft's sake. ... The whole process also made us think of how we wanted to inspire more clients to be brave. "
On the winning work, she said, "It's very difficult to reward a piece of work that can represent the totality of the diverse world of digital craft. From the start of judging, 'Aeronaut' stirred our emotions."
The Film Craft Grand Prix went to "Hope," work for the International Committee of the Red Cross by Spanish agency Sra Rushmore and directed by James Rouse via Blur Productions. Shot in Beirut, it tells the story of a father rushing to drive his critically wounded daughter to the hospital. He struggles to keep her conscious, positive and alert as blood seeps from her wound, but sadly the hospital is no longer there -- it's a casualty of their war-torn environment.
Film Jury President Diane McArter, founder and president of Furlined Productions, said, "We looked for deeper meaning, the ways in which craft truly engages us in an empathetic connection. That's the pinnacle of great craftsmanship—a piece of work that connect us to our humanity to our deeper truth." The Grand Prix film "plunged us into another world and put us into the shoes of others."
This year, the Cannes Lions also introduced a new craft category, Industry Craft, which celebrates the artistry, talent and skill required to deliver a beautifully executed solution to a brand's problems. Yang Yeo, Hakuhodo Asia Pacific chief creative officer, led a diverse jury selected for their own craft expertise, including Cannes Lions' first juror from Kenya, Osborne Macharia. For this honor, they selected a simple print ad for Kiwi Shoe Polish from Ogilvy Chicago, which features a full page of tiny copy that sits behind a striking image of famed boxer Muhammad Ali's shoes.
"I can't remember the last time we got touched by a long-copy ad," Yeo said. "When I read it, I can feel him dancing in the ring. I can smell him. And that is the power of beautiful copywriting, the power of craft. That's what we want to encourage in this category—you don't need fancy movies or a Hollywood budget."