Ad Age and Creativity polled leading creative execs from around the world about which work (other than their own) will take home a Grand Prix at this year's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Not surprisingly, one business-to-business campaign starring a famous action hero in a daredevil gymnastics pose rose to the top. But a few others -- ranging from the digitally daring to the socially startling -- also struck a chord.
Paul Brazier, chairman, chief creative officer, AMV BBDO, London
Volvo's "Epic Split" [via Forsman & Bodenfors] has done well in many of the awards so far and I can't see any reason why it wouldn't do so at Cannes. It's very visual, proves a point and made me wince!
At heart I'm a craftsman. That's why I appreciate Honda "Hands" [from Wieden & Kennedy, London]. But who knows if it will reach the dizzy heights of "Grrrr" and "Cog." I think "Sweetie" for Terre des Hommes [via Lemz] and Google+ "Same Sex Marriage" [from Ogilvy, Paris] are very powerful pieces of digital work.
Rosie Bardales, exec creative director/partner, BETC, London
To Volvo's "Epic Split," I'd add the rest of the integrated campaign. It's all beautifully crafted and written with the same surprising and consistent intelligence. It's great work and I think it should be recognized as a campaign.
Bjorn Engstrom, creative, Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg (and one of the creators of Volvo's "Epic Split")
My personal favorite is the "Climate Name Change" [for 350 Action, from Barton F. Graf 9000]. That said, I still think that too many awards go to public-messages campaigns. In most cases it is much harder to come up with a great idea for a commercial product, and the advertising industry should recognize that.
Andreas Combuchen, chairman-CEO, Atmosphere Proximity
The "Google Self-Driving Car Project" [should win] in the Titanium category because it's cool, it's progressive, it's bigger than advertising and it casts a halo over the entire Google brand.
Tay Guan Hin, Southeast Asia exec creative director and global exec creative director for lux, JWT
"Sound of Honda Ayrton Senna 1989." If you are an F1 fan, you will love this. [The effort] collected data from 24 years ago to bring an Ayrton Senna race back to life using sound and light by installing huge speakers and LED lights along the Suzuka circuit. The world's fastest lap by Senna in the qualifying round for the F1 Japanese Grand Prix in1989 was digitally reconstructed using Honda's car-navigation system, which designs drivers' journey using their vehicle log data. This is a great example of how harnessing data in the right way can create inspiring experiences.
I applaud the brave approach by Pro Infirmis [and Jung von Matt Limmat], who created a series of
mannequins based on real people with physical disabilities. A deeply moving documentation captured the emotions of Ms. Jasmine Rechsteiner, a Miss Handicap winner who has spine malformations, and Erwin Aljukic, an actor with brittle-bone disease. The actual mannequins were placed in store windows in shop fronts on Zurich's main downtown street, Bahnhofstrasse, in honor of International Day of Persons With Disabilities. If this doesn't win, I don't know what will.
Claudio Lima, VP-creative director, Y&R/Bravo, Miami
One of the pieces that really caught my attention this year was an outdoor campaign for British Airways in London, featuring billboards [via OgilvyOne U.K.] that would interact with planes that fly over them. To me it is simple, clever, modern and a perfect use for Outdoor and doesn't require a two-minute-long case to sell itself. Should be the Grand Prix on the Outdoor and maybe Media categories.
Feng Huang, partner-creative director, Fred & Farid, Shanghai
I'd love to see Tesla win in the PR category. It revolutionized advertising by letting its fans do the communications work -- there was even an ad made by two fans. That's a strategy that's modern, new and intelligent.
Chacho Puebla, partner/exec creative director, Lola Lowe, Madrid
Volvo has all the elements to win big, and if it doesn't, then something is wrong. A campaign that I love and think has a really strong chance of winning is from Lowe, India, for Unilever. It's a mobile, media and PR idea called Kan Khajura Station.
In parts of India, people go without electricity for up to eight hours a day, so there is very limited entertainment during those hours. The agency created a radio station that gives you 15 minutes of free content. All you have to do is place a free call and the station calls you back connecting you to the content. [It's] a brilliant idea that has real value.