One of the festival favorites, R/GA's Nike +
Fuelband, won the titanium Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival
after picking up a Cyber Grand Prix earlier in the week. The Nike
work was also awarded one of two integrated Gold Lions; there was
no Grand Prix in the integrated category, which is judged along
with titanium by the same jury.
WHAT IT IS: The basis for the campaign is that
everything you do counts. The simple wristband lets people track
the "fuel" they use in every activity during the day through a
single button, measuring calories, steps and timing, and tracking
their performance on the Nike + platform.
From an ad for Fuelband
WHY IT WON: "When Nike + was introduced, it was
for runners," said Jury President Rob Reilly, chief creative
officer and partner at CP&B. "Nike + Fuelband takes a thing
that was for runners and makes it into a mass product. It's such a
THE JURY: The 10-person titanium and integrated
jury is the festival's smallest, and the only one, said festival
CEO Philip Thomas, chosen by the festival based solely on the
individual's track record in the industry, without the usual
deliberate balancing of holding companies, agency networks and
CONTROVERSY OR CLEAR WINNER? For titanium, Nike
+ Fuelband was a clear favorite, although the "Virtual 2Pac" entry
in which long-dead rapper Tupac Shakur gave a new live performance
thanks to technology, was lauded as a concept that might help
re-invent a troubled music industry. In general, though, the
discussion was more about how "so many more were close to being
titanium, at least 10," Mr. Reilly said.
TOTAL NUMBER OF LIONS AWARDED: Nineteen. A
titanium Grand Prix, four titanium Lions, and 14 integrated Lions,
including two Gold, five Silver and seven Bronze Lions.
WHY WAS THERE NO INTEGRATED GRAND PRIX?: In a
somewhat odd rationale, Mr. Reilly said both Nike + Fuelband and
Droga5's Prudential campaign highlighting the first day of
retirement were equally strong in different ways as integrated
campaigns, so it was decided to give neither one the Grand Prix,
and instead make them the only two Gold Lions.
WHO ELSE DID WELL: Although Mr. Reilly
highlighted that the 19 winners came from 12 countries, the U.S.
won eight Lions, including the titanium Grand Prix, two of the four
titanium Lions, and both Gold Lions in the integrated category.
Colombia, where the country's Armed Forces have emerged as a
surprising award winner over the last few years, thanks to
campaigns designed to encourage armed fighters to desert the FARC
guerrilla movement, was singled out for "Rivers of Light." At
Christmas, DDB Colombia sent thousands of small transparent
balls filled with messages and small gifts down the rivers
traversed by the guerrilla forces that hide out in the jungle to
remind them of the families and homes they miss.
"The only way to reach guys in the middle of the jungle is using
the rivers," said Fernando Vega Olmos, a judge and chairman of
JWT's worldwide creative council. "They don't have smartphones, or
The Armed Forces campaigns are a striking contrast to the many
technology-heavy winners at the festival. Another campaign by
won a Silver Lion in the new branded-content category by embedding
a morse code message in radio programs to reassure hostages taken
prisoner by the FARC guerrillas that they have not been forgotten
(the guerrilla forces do have radios). Hostages who knew morse code
passed along the message of hope to fellow prisoners.
The jury also loved Kraft's Titanium-winning rescue of homeless
man and former radio announcer Ted Williams, who was made the voice
of Kraft's macaroni and cheese in an effort by CP&B. Judges
admired as "incredibly brave" the way Kraft stuck by Mr.
Williams, rather than dropping him from the campaign, after he
lapsed and ended up back in rehab.
WHAT THEY DIDN'T LIKE: When a journalist asked
why so many winners are from the U.S., Brazilian judge Mario
D'Andrea, partner and chief creative officer of Fischer &
Friends in Sao Paulo, cited three reasons: "The amount of entries
-- it's mathematical; the quality of the idea; and time. You have
to dedicate time to develop the idea, and we're not doing that in
Brazil. Some countries are." The U.S. accounted for 136 of the
category's 517 entries, three times as many as the U.K., with 45
entries, but no winners.
LOOKING TO NEXT YEAR: Rob Schwartz, chief
creative officer of TBWA/Chiat/Day,
predicts a steady climb in Titanium-worthy ideas from around the
world. He especially liked the number of ideas the jury saw that
are trying to solve real human problems, such as promoting
GRAND PRIX FOR GOOD: The Grand Prix for Good,
which the titanium/integrated jury selects from the Gold winners
across all categories, went to Help Remedies' "Help I Want to Save
a Life," created by Droga5 copywriter Graham Douglas. A new
addition to the pharmaceutical company's design-minded product
line, it unites band-aids and bone marrow donor kits in attempt to
make the most of an otherwise forgettable incident -- the idea
being, you've already cut yourself, so why not put that drop of
blood to good use? The project earned awards in the
promo/activation and direct categories earlier this week. Douglas
was inspired to create the idea by his twin brother, who went
through his own struggle to find a bone marrow donor. The Festival
added the Grand Prix for Good award in 2010 to honor charity and
public service work, which is not eligible to earn the Grand Prix
in the other categories.
Laurel Wentz is Ad Age's Global and Multicultural Editor, responsible for international and U.S. Hispanic coverage. She is based in New York. She previously covered Europe from Ad Age's London bureau, and before that was Latin America editor, based in Sao Paulo. The best way to reach Laurel is by email at [email protected].