Cannes 2013

'Dumb' Dominates Cannes Lion Hunt

Three of the Six Grands Prix Won By the U.S. Came From One Agency: Pereira & O'Dell

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Small-budget marketers from small countries stood tall at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Marketers made up 25% of head count at Cannes this year.
Marketers made up 25% of head count at Cannes this year.

Metro Trains' "Dumb Ways to Die" and McCann Melbourne won five Grands Prix, including film, PR, direct, radio and integrated (the integrated category is judged by the titanium and integrated jury). The Philippines won its first Grand Prix, in the mobile category, for "TXTBKS" by DDB DM9 JaymeSyfu, which condensed scarce schoolbooks into text messages. And Dutch funeral-insurance company Dela and Ogilvy & Mather Amsterdam snagged the media Grand Prix with the insight that people shouldn't wait until loved ones die to share their feelings with them.

The U.S. won six Grands Prix -- half of them from Pereira & O'Dell and the Toshiba laptops with "Intel Inside" campaign, for branded content and entertainment, film and cyber. The U.S. dominated the dual-Grands Prix cyber category, with the other Grand Prix going to DraftFCB for Mondelez International's "Oreo Daily Twist."

Barbarian Group won the innovation category, new this year, for pioneering technology that makes ideas possible, with an open-source platform for creative coding called "Cinder." The other U.S. Grand Prix was in the press category, for Apple's iPad Mini ads featuring magazine covers on the device by TBWA/Media Arts Lab .

Pereira & O'Dell scored its third Grand Prix in the film category when that jury, in an unusual move, awarded two Grands Prix, one to the Toshiba laptop campaign and one to the single-film "Dumb Ways to Die," the entry Cannes juries just couldn't get enough of last week. "Dumb Ways to Die" is an Australian train-safety-themed music video that went viral and inspired karaoke-style parodies; was sold on iTunes; and featured various digital components, including a mobile game.

The festival has only awarded two film Grands Prix once before, in 2008 to Cadbury Dairy Milk's "Gorilla" spot by Fallon , London, and the "Believe" video-game campaign for Xbox 360/Halo 3 by T.A.G/McCann Worldgroup, San Francisco.

The Ogilvy network parlayed a massive number of festival entries into four Grands Prix. Ogilvy Brazil's Dove "Sketches" was a perennial bridesmaid, with eight Gold Lions, before nabbing the titanium Grand Prix at the end of the week.

Besides the Dutch winner, Ogilvy won Grands Prix for an Ogilvy France campaign for IBM, "Smart Ideas for Smarter Cities" (outdoor); and Ogilvy Brazil's organ-donor campaign, "Immortal Fans," for a Brazilian soccer team (promo and activation).

The U.K. picked up one Grand Prix, in film craft, for on-air promo "Meet the Superhumans," created in-house for Channel 4.

The Red Bull "Stratos" campaign that many were waiting for never appeared; the festival-averse marketer apparently didn't enter.

Marketers made up 25% of the 12,000 delegate count (although that includes tech companies like Facebook and Google, which have swarmed Cannes in recent years). Advertiser of the Year Coca-Cola snared 14 Lions -- including five Golds -- for six campaigns by Thursday. Heineken sent daily press releases trumpeting its total Lion tally, also up to 14 by Thursday, including the creative effectiveness Grand Prix for "Legendary Journey" with Wieden & Kennedy, Amsterdam.

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