Cannes predictions

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This year, it's no contest.

Predicting which ad will walk away with the Film Grand Prix in Cannes is tricky. Picking accurately-as we, ahem, did last year-requires research, instinct and a little bit of luck.

But not this year.

This year, Wieden + Kennedy/London's animated/musical spot for Honda's diesel engines, "Grrr," will absolutely, positively win the Film Grand Prix. For sure. It has already won everything else-a Grandy, Best in Show at the One Show, the Grand Clio, and eight D&AD awards (two of them Gold.) It deserved those awards and it deserves the Grand Prix. It's a tour de force of Bernbachian insight- the tag might as well be "Think hate"-and aesthetic juxtapositions that still manages to deliver a bedrock USP. It's over. If "Grrr" doesn't win the Film Grand Prix, the jury will just be showing off. That said, here's some other work that could land in the Lions.


Who knew a year would come when Adidas' advertising surpassed Nike's in awards? Welcome to 2005. Star- and effects-driven work from TBWA/Chiat/Day/San Francisco has drawn lots of honors, including two Golds at the One Show and Gold from the Art Directors Club, while 180/Amsterdam earned a Yellow Pencil at D&AD. And the Spike Jonze-directed dreamscape "Hello Tomorrow" wasn't even eligible for any of those shows. Could Adidas pass Nike even on the global awards scene? We'll see. TBWA's John Hunt is this year's jury president, but-as many jurors will tell you-that can cut both ways.

After that, there has been little agreement among the various juries. Saatchi & Saatchi/London's "Ventriloquist" commercial for the NSPCC didn't scoop up as many awards as one might have expected, although it's still in the running for a Public Service Lion. TBWA/London's PlayStation 2 campaign, "Life on the PlayStation," was a hit at the Clios but nowhere else. Publicis/N.Y.'s "Very Funny" campaign for TBS, meanwhile, surprised with a Yellow Pencil at D&AD, which is perhaps the best predictor of success in Cannes. In other words, beyond "Grrr," nothing is certain.


For the Press Grand Prix, we like this clever campaign from FCB/Lisbon for Portugal's Grande Reportagem magazine, in which flags of the world are broken down like pie charts. It earned one of only two Gold Pencils for magazine advertising at the One Show. Will the world agree?


These categories would be so much easier if Crispin Porter + Bogusky's "Subservient Chicken" campaign were eligible this year. But it won its Cyber Gold last year. The problem with these categories is that while everyone is calling for work that makes creative use of all three- online, media and integration-jurors don't seem to like what they see (other than "Subservient Chicken"). The problem is that this new future of advertising is just being worked out, and every jury-and every juror-sees it differently.

The Cyber Lions have been plagued by this problem since BMW Films, when the jury spent a lot of time asking, "What is Cyber anyway?" The Media Lions competition has faced similar questions, which will only become more acute, and the reconfigured Titanium Lions competition, which is no longer an award for innovation but for integration-entrants must use at least three communications channels-will also face these problems. In these areas, the industry is moving faster than the shows. Hurray for the industry-but this means really creative "solutions," for lack of a better word, are likely to slip through these categories, as Mini's "Men of Metal" and Sega/ESPN's "Beta 7" did last year. And unless they want to add a category every year, the shows might never catch up.


Speaking of adding categories, this year's addition of the Radio Lions would seem to mean that DDB/Chicago will finally get some feline company to go with the rest of the awards it's won for Bud's "Real Men of Genius" campaign. But there's another important factor to consider: "Grrr" also has radio executions, and they were the only radio spots to earn pencils at D&AD. Mee-ow.

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