***FLASH*** Canada snags Film Silver and Bronzes, but shut out of Integrated/Titanium

The 55th annual Cannes International Advertising Festival is over, and Canadians are headed home with Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions.

In the original Cannes category, Film, Canada took a pair of Silver and Bronze campaign Lions, as well as a Single Bronze Lion at the closing awards show.

Film jury president Craig Davis, JWT CCO Worldwide, says that with 4,626 Film entries, ‘to make the short list is some accomplishment; to be elevated anywhere from the short list is extraordinary.’
And the work deemed most extraordinary from Canada was Pepsi-QTG Canada and BBDO’s Diet 7UP efforts, which scooped up silver campaign Lion hardware for ‘Elevator Small Talk Tony’ and ‘Emoticon Susan.’

A Bronze campaign Lion went to DDB Vancouver and Pacific Blue Cross for ‘Elevator’ and ‘Metal Shop.’ And a Bronze Lion also went to ‘Nail’ for Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia by Extreme Group.

Davis says the jury found the calibre of work high: ‘Film is back big time; as a consequence, this year there are more Gold awards – 21- plus 33 Silver and 52 Bronze.’ And largely due to the impact of ‘Evolution’ last year, there are new categories: Internet film, mobile film, integrated film and films for other screens. He says this entailed 15 additional hours of first-round judging.

To help sort through the new non-broadcast categories, the jury took what Davis calls a ‘unanimous landmark decision’ to award two Grand Prix. Explaining the decision, he says that in the broadcast world you deal with fixed time lengths and regulations, which isn’t the case in online, making comparison tricky. He added that the ‘fundamental difference is push and pull. The online world is ideas that the audience seeks, and actually discovers.’ Consequently, it’s a ‘very buoyant time to be making film in the advertising world.’

One Grand Prix nod went to Microsoft’s powerful and cinematic series of online films for Halo 3. ‘Enemy Weapon,’ Gravesite,’ ‘Combat’ and ‘John 117/Monument’ for XBox 360 out of McCann Worldgroup, San Francisco, took Grand Prix campaign. The other Grand Prix went to Cadbury’s ‘Gorilla’ broadcast spot for Dairy Milk, out of Fallon London.

Davis says ‘Gorilla,’ in which the product does not appear save for a closing screen logo, was brave in that it ‘defies conventions of confectionery.’ The spot instead focuses on a gorilla waiting for his drum solo to begin, then banging away blissfully. As to its magic, Davis says, ‘If you watch the audience tonight, you’ll see everyone struggling to keep their arms down, waiting for that moment; everyone’s going to want to drum along.’

And as to the Halo 3 films, the jury was impressed by the calibre of the work and the engagement quotient for the target.

As to what did not impress, the jury was uninspired by entries in the mobile space, as well as interactive TV. ‘Nothing tickled us very much,’ says Davis.

Asked if there was any of the typical block voting and politics, Davis says, ‘There was none,’ commenting that the jury recognizes that what they put forward has an impact and inspires next generations. ‘They get shown to clients as sources of inspiration; we took that really seriously.’

Davis says ‘Onslaught’ for Dove also featured in discussions, and as per Zig CD Aaron Starkman, the Canadian juror, ‘Dove ‘Onslaught’ was voted on and heavily considered for a medal, as was an ad for Coast Capital from Rethink, which just missed, as did the Scream TV ‘Comfeze’ spot.

As to any helpful hints to Canadians for next year, Starkman says, ‘Even though there’s a language barrier, great dialogue works. You’ve really got to capture great performances; great dialogue is still in style.’

Commenting on the Grand Prix winners, Starkman says that the fascinating and challenging thing about doing great work for the Internet is that there’s no precedent to look at – but at the same time, no rules, ‘so it makes it easier.’

Discussing ‘Gorilla’ and the broadcast Grand Prix, he says that ‘with TV, there are rules in place, so it’s even harder to stand out in a medium that’s been around forever.’ As to the brave lack of product presence in ‘Gorilla,’ Starkman explains, ‘it’s a loose association, but sometimes we get too strategic and bogged down with research. In that spot, they just did something amazing, and it’s selling a lot of chocolate bars. So it sends a strong message to clients that you can forget where your brand is at each second in the commercial and succeed. They had a huge problem, and it really resolved some issues.’

Meanwhile, Canada got shut out of the Integrated/Titanium Lions, which doled out just six Lions – two Grand Prix and four Gold. The Titanium Grand Prix went to Projector Tokyo for its groundbreaking clock widget ‘Uniqlock’ for Japanese retailer Uniqlo. It features bizarre-yet-charming interstitials throughout the day of dancers and models wearing the clothes. ‘It really surprised everyone,’ says jury chair Mark Tutssel, CCO at Leo Burnett Worldwide, Chicago. ‘The initial reaction was: ‘Wow, what is this?”

The Integrated Grand Prix went to McCann Worldgroup San Francisco for its Halo 3 ‘Believe’ campaign for Microsoft. ‘Within that category, it is breathtakingly beautiful,’ says Tutssel. ‘I think it set a new standard for gaming. It’s game-changing.’

The Gold Titanium Lions went to Droga5 New York for its ‘Million’ campaign for the New York City Department of Education, and Mortierbrigade Brussels for its ‘Black Boy Wanting Water’ campaign for Studio Brussels.

The Gold Integrated Lions went to Crispin Porter & Bogusky Miami for its Burger King ‘Whopper Freakout’ work, and JWT India Mumbai for its ‘Lead India’ campaign for The Times of India.