CumminsNitro snags third Grand Prix at the Cyber Lions

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Australian agency CumminsNitro 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. The multiplatform effort snagged the big Lion 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 "eco:Drive" campaign, out of AKQA London and the "Why So Serious?" ARG effort for Warner Brothers/The Dark Knight from Pasadena-based 42 Entertainment.

"What we really loved about ["Best Job in the World"] was that digital tied everything together," said jury President and Ogilvy North America chief digital creative officer Lars Bastholm, 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. It's very hard not to look at it and smile."

Fiat's eco:Drive, an application that allows Fiat drivers to monitor their driving technique and gives recommendations on how to drive more efficiently, earned the Grand Prix in the online advertising/innovative ideas category. Bastholm noted that the project reflected the deepening relationship between client and agency, another growing trend obvious in this year's awarded work. "This is one of the few things that really sends out a message to clients as well as creatives and agencies," added 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 went to 42 Entertainment's "Why So Serious?" Jurors praised the campaign for multiple reasons, including its ability to take ARG (alternate reality games) 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 storyline parallel to the Batman film over a period of 18 months. "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," notes 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."

Overall, the judges believed that the Grand Prix and other winners reflected the industry's stage of life. It has clearly matured, but "we're kind of entering our teenage years right now," observed Bastholm. "As we all know what happens with teenagers — 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 in 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," Bastholm said. Along those same lines, Denmark juror Jonas Lindell, CD at LBi Copenhagen, also noted that this year's winners, from Fiat and the "Why So Serious" ARG to the Gold Lion awarded Banner Concerts campaign for Axion from Boondoggle Belgium, 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."

As Grand Prix contenders, the jurors said there was plenty of discussion about the Gold-winning Crispin Porter + Bogusky's Burger King "Whopper Sacrifice" and Goodby's Hotel 626 campaign for Doritos. Both pieces revealed another characteristic of the year's work — greater 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 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 tenth 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," explained Tait. "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."

On the agency front, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners earned the honor of Cyber Agency of the Year, followed by Crispin Porter + Bogusky 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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