Cannes Lions

Burger King's Google Home Hack Wins Cannes Grand Prix in Direct

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WHAT IT IS: Burger King's "Google Home of the Whopper" campaign, created out of David Miami, took the Grand Prix in the Direct Category. It featured a 15-second TV spot in which a BK server calls on Google Home devices to elaborate on the Whopper, via its Wikipedia entry. Soon after the ad aired, Google disabled it, but BK and David went on to release tweaked versions of the ad that would trigger the device once again.

The idea's rogue approach of "hacking" new technology was reminiscent of a previous and much-celebrated Burger King campaign, the Titanium-awarded "Whopper Sacrifice" out of Crispin Porter & Bogusky.

WHY IT WON: The direct category, according to festival organizers, celebrates "targeted communication designed to generate a direct response between customer and company." Jury President Ted Lim, chief creative officer, Dentsu Brand Agencies APAC, said the jury was looking to award innovative business solutions, and going into deliberations asked four questions: Is it different? Does it make a difference? Does it move people? Does it move business?

The Burger King campaign, he said, "gets to you in your living room and messes with you. It was outstanding, outrageous, and we loved it to bits." Quoting another juror, he said, "It's the best abuse of technology."

CONTROVERSY OR CLEAR WINNER: "We had a solid jury -- a solidly divided jury," Lim said. The other big contender was the already much-decorated "Fearless Girl" for State Street Global Advisors out of McCann New York. "We were equally passionately in love [with both] so much so that we fought and fought. Only after five rounds, close to midnight and when one of us was dying, the scale tipped in favor of the braver piece of work. Both were innovative business solutions that redefined direct marketing. They were direct in an indirect way." Burger King won with a difference of one vote.

This year, entries to Direct were down at 2,719 compared to 3,097 last year.

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