Cannes 07

'Evolution' Win Marks Dawn of New Cannes Era

Dove Viral Video Takes Film Lion in Festival Where New Media Stole the Show

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CANNES ( -- The film winner at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival was Dove's "Evolution" from Ogilvy, Toronto, a 60-plus-second spot that barely qualified for the category. Famous for going viral on the web and garnering more impressions than a Super Bowl ad, it made the cut because someone at one point had the foresight to run it once on TV.
Photo: Pat Denton

Cannes do: A swell of revelers broke boundaries between bars.

Cannes is changing. And if "Evolution" isn't indication enough, consider that for most of the week there was more excitement among delegates about the cyber, integrated and titanium categories than there was about film. Instead of momentum building toward Saturday, festival goers increasingly follow something resembling a MyCannes, arriving and departing throughout the week, schedules dictated by their interests in specific categories.

And while the most-buzzed-about entry in the most-buzzed-about category was Nike Plus from R/GA, the titanium Grand Prix went to Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, and Burger King for "Xbox King Games." Nike Plus, though, did garner a titanium Lion.

The integrated Grand Prix went to Argentine agency Vegaolmosponce, Buenos Aires, part of the Lowe network, for a campaign for Unilever fragrance Axe 3.

P&G cleans up
On the marketer end, package-good giant Procter & Gamble enjoyed its best-ever year at Cannes. With only the film contest left to decide, P&G already had picked up 12 Lions plus the press Grand Prix for Ultra Tide Stain Remover, up from nine Lions in 2006.

"We're exhilarated," said Procter & Gamble's Chief Marketing Officer Jim Stengel, who was hanging out in the Majestic hotel's lobby. "To me it's very symbolic to do this [well] on a big brand in a big country. It's the creativity, the business and the culture that all goes together."

As P&G happily counted its Lions for detergent and dental floss, the marketer's happiest agency was Saatchi & Saatchi, winner of the press Grand Prix and nine of the 12 other P&G Lions. P&G's 30-strong delegation wrapped up with a Saturday lunch at the Majestic to "capture the energy and ideas," Mr. Stengel said, and return to their countries inspired.

Increasing relevance
The ascendancy of the titanium and integrated categories wasn't the only change. Once upon a time, much of the week at Cannes bordered on irrelevant -- an excuse to party for five days. That's all changed. This year, Al Gore spoke at Cannes, and Havas Chairman Vincent Bolloré presided over press conferences at his own Havas Café. The president of the cyber jury -- Tom Eslinger, Saatchi & Saatchi's worldwide creative director for interactive and emerging media -- addressed the issue of ad dollars shifting into his category from traditional media. And the media Grand Prix went to a purely digital product -- an electronic wallet called Pago from New Zealand's ASB Bank for transferring cash by messaging from one cellphone to another. Cannes attendees even developed an entire currency tied to the price of beer (one media judge quipped that a consumer-generated spot for Doritos cost about $12 to make -- or "less than a beer at the Carlton"). That spot, which ran during the Super Bowl, took home a media Gold for OMD USA.

Savvy marketers such as Microsoft Corp. are making major investments to reach the Cannes contingent. Microsoft this year dispatched more than 400 people between staff and clients -- one of the largest delegations -- and entertained on a big yacht rented for the entire week rather than the one-day hire most agencies opt for.

In other trends, Al Gore's popular Friday-afternoon seminar " Y&R and Al Gore Discuss a Climate in Crisis," in which the former vice president discussed the role the ad industry can take in bringing about change, highlighted a growing emphasis on social responsibility.

Pro-bono work for groups such as the World Wildlife Federation, Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders picked up Gold Lions across categories. One titanium Lion went to Unicef work from Droga5, New York, and another to the WWF's campaign against global warming from Leo Burnett, Sydney.

Social conciousness
Paid advertising for companies promoting socially or environmentally responsible practices also gained recognition. NedBank's solar-powered billboard, which generated energy for community buildings in South Africa, won Network BBDO, Johannesburg, the outdoor Grand Prix.

In other award wins, BBDO Worldwide was named Network of the Year, a new award this year based on total Lions won in all nine competitions during the week. DDB placed second, followed by Saatchi & Saatchi.

This year's Agency of the Year award went to Saatchi & Saatchi, New York.

But if anyone thinks Cannes changed drastically this year, it should be pointed out that the Agency of the Year award is given to the shop with the most total Lions won in four contests -- film, press, radio and outdoor.
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