McCann Melbourne, last year's big winner at Cannes, began this year's Cannes Lions by winning the first Grand Prix awarded at the 2014 festival. The agency won the top prize in the Creative Effectiveness category for "Guilt Trips," a campaign for Victoria's regional public transportation authority, V/Line. Coincidentally, the agency swept the shows last year for another piece of work for a transportation company, with "Dumb Ways to Die" for the Australian Metro.
What is is: Parents living in small country towns in Australia wanted to get their kids to come visit. So V/Line created prepaid train tickets for parents to send their children -- along with a healthy dose of guilt. Parents were given guidebooks, while how-to videos on YouTube showed the most effective way to make kids feel guilty. "What we loved was the insight was so fresh and so universal," jury president David Sable, global chief executive officer of Y&R, told reporters at a press conference. He went on to mention how easy to expand the campaign could be -- you could sell this to every train company in the world, he said.
Why it won: Creative Effectiveness only considers work that has previously been shortlisted or awarded. Mr. Sable said that the jury's job was not to judge whether the work was creative -- his peers last year already did that. "Our job was to follow the category definition," he said.