NEWS FLASH: The Cannes report: Media, Outdoor, but no Radio

Canada scored its first gold of the 2007 Cannes Lions, and it was in media.

And the Gold winner for media at this year’s Cannes Lions is: zig, with ‘Get Scared More Often’ for Scream TV. Zig also took a Silver Lion for its work on behalf of Corus’ Scream channel, and tied for third place as Media Agency of the Year. OMD USA was named top media agency, but then again, that’s all they do.

Jury president David Verklin, CEO of Carat, said that the 190 finalists were scrutinized for five elements: consumer insight; clear and obvious strategy; brilliant and clear execution; innovation; and results – plus one final criterion, inspiration. He went on to say that media today may be the most dynamic part of the business, and that the quality of entries was really quite good, resulting in more Lions than any media jury has ever given.

The jury was also looking for ‘significant brilliant ideas you’d never seen before,’ according to Uri Levron of ACW Grey Israel, who cited the ghost in the Scream campaign as a prime example.

The $50,000 campaign created by Aaron Starkman and Stephen Leps – who also won a Gold at Cannes in 2004 for ‘Prison Visit’ – starred a female ghost appearing in an old Toronto house. Illuminated by a holographic projector and programmed to perform 40 different actions, she appeared to thousands of onlookers at different times through the night. The buzz grew when video of the house hit the web, its address was leaked and online discussions started. Finally, the ghost revealed a message on a sign, ‘Get scared more often – Scream TV.’

For a meagre budget, 2.1 million people discovered the haunted house online, thousands of onlookers visited it in person, there was national coverage in the National Post and Scream TV saw a 29% increase in subscriptions.

The never-been-done-before element was also evident in the Grand Prix winner. The ASB Bank effort, out of OMD New Zealand, involved a peel-off sticker on an actual bank note, promoting its Pago money transfer service. Verklin joked that the jury was really impressed by the negotiation work that entailed.

Overall, the media jurists were impressed by the creativity of media coming out of Japan, specifically the approach to mobile and the QR work.

Canadians also displayed well in the Outdoor Awards, scooping three Cannes Lions for their OOH efforts. DDB Canada won a Silver Campaign Lion for its Braintrust Canada work out of Vancouver. ‘Let there be Zenon’ for Mini Canada, out of Taxi, took a Bronze Lion. And Campaign Bronze went to JWT Toronto for

Outdoor jury president Jean-Remy von Matt, founder of Jung von Matt, Germany, commented on the history of the category and its continued relevance today, saying: ‘These days, the ad world is amazed by the digital age of communications. They tell us about interactive relationships with the consumer, and that they can reach him wherever he is, even walking down the street. They forget a medium is already there, a huge and emotional one.’

The OOH jury awarded 19 Golds, 24 Silvers and 47 Bronzes, drawing attention to both brilliant, classic OOH and innovative ideas that show how the category will evolve.

The Braintrust billboards depict a construction worker, a cyclist and a skateboarder lying (presumably dead) on the ground after accidents, their heads replaced with a jigsaw puzzle box showing their faces. The message: ‘Wear a helmet, protect your head.’ Credit goes to CD Allan Russell and copywriter Paul Little.

To illustrate one of the new features available in a Mini – Xenon headlights – 2500-watt light bulbs were installed in a replica of a Mini mounted on a billboard facing upwards. Its lights seemingly shone right to the lower levels of the atmosphere, thanks to CD Lance Martin and copywriters Jordan Doucette and Ryan Wagman.

The effort was a side effect of SARS. After the scare, the Toronto Restaurant and Bar Association launched a series of PSAs to encourage people to wash their hands after using the washroom. Life-size decals of men were positioned on bathroom doors with the door handle positioned at an open fly. Martin Shewchuk CD’d with group creative head Don Saynor and copywriter Sean Gallagher.

There were several strong contenders for the Grand Prix, and the jury spent 90 minutes arguing prior to choosing Net#work BBDO Johannesburg for Nedbank of SA. It won for being ‘an idea that’s more than just advertising,’ according to von Matt, who defined the entry by saying, ‘It’s help and it’s hope.’

The winning billboard hosts 10 solar panels that power the kitchens of a township primary school in South Africa, feeding 1,100 kids and saving the school 2,200 Rand in electricity each month. The board for Nedbank reads: ‘What if a bank really did give power to the people?’

South African judge Porky Hefer, of Lowe Bull Cape Town, added that, ‘There was a hope that it would give other corporations the idea. If an ad can change people’s lives, then that’s good advertising.’ He has hopes that the win will spark even farther-reaching, positive ROI: ‘When the winners come out, the youth copy the star – so we do have a responsibility to not reward frivolous ads. We’ve got to set the standard for the future.’

Canada had no winners in Radio, and the Grand Prix went to a Masterfoods Snickers spot by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne. Set to a background of fiddles and banjos, the spot’s protagonist sings about his massive hunger by telling the tale of an unusual horse who ate a chicken, who ate a cat, who ate a dog, who ate a frog . . . then a Swedish futon, the Great Wall of China, Gary Busey and Lou Gossett Jr. Get the picture? It wraps with a throw to ‘Aussie Bill,’ who replies: ‘Well, I was so hungry, I ate a Snickers.’ Funny, and catchy.

Canadians also made a good showing on the Cyber short list. Finalists include:

Unilever’s ‘Evolution’ for the Dove Self Esteem Fund, out of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto; Mini ‘Turbovision’ out of Taxi Toronto; ‘See More Side Effects’ for Reversa, by Taxi Montreal (which got two category nods); Nokia’s ‘Push To Start’ campaign from Lowe Roche Toronto; out of Burnkit Vancouver; The MGM Grand website by Sid Lee Montreal; The Worker’s Compensation Board of Nova Scotia’s ‘Not Worth It’ campaign by Extreme Group Halifax; Rethink Breast Cancer’s ‘Check out My Breasts’ from zig; ‘Cold Shots Amped Up’ for Molson Canada by Henderson Bas Toronto; Deadwood‘s ‘Dead Man’s Hand’ for HBO by Fuel Industries Ottawa; Nestea’s ‘Plunge and Play’ by Lowe Roche; and COCQ-SIDA’s AIDS awareness campaign by Marketel Montreal.

with files from Claire Macdonald

Continuously updated lists of winners are available at: