***FLASH***Cannes hands Canada five more Lions

Juries love zombies. Sometimes, it's just that simple.

If zombies make your heart pound in a good way, then the news of Canada’s only Cyber Lion will set you a-flutter. Vancouver-based Noise Digital won Canada’s only Bronze Lion for ‘Zombie Singles,’ an undead dating site to build buzz for Resident Evil: Degeneration on the Nokia N-Gage platform.

Dubbed the ‘official dating site of the walking dead,’ ZombieSingles.com invites lonely brain-cravers to upload photos to be ‘zombified,’ browse and rate other gruesome profiles or let the matchmaker take a crack at finding love for them.

‘It was a big hit,’ says Canadian jury member Stephane Charier, ECD at Taxi Montreal. ‘We laughed, had so much fun. Juries are human – just because of that I think it inspired a lot of love.’

‘Zombie Singles’ was the only win out of the eight entries shortlisted yesterday (link to shortlist story), and Charier notes that the Canadian work submitted ‘was very good, but Cannes is like the Olympics…We’re still doing safe work, still doing microsites, not involving the consumer enough.’

The jury awarded three Grand Prix, the only category required to do so, for the top Website and Interactive Campaigns, Online Advertising and Other Interactive Digital Media, and Viral Advertising. Entries dropped more than 500 from last year, with a total of 2,205 entries this year. Out of the 208 shortlisted, 80 went home with a medal.

All three Grand Prix went beyond the limits of the typical microsite, involving consumers in real-world conversations and collaborating with other kinds of marketing and media says Cyber jury president Lars Bastholm, chief digital creative officer of Ogilvy, North America. ‘Digital no longer lives in a vacuum, it’s part of larger campaigns.’

The Website and Interactive Campaigns Grand Prix went to festival favourite Cumminsnitro Brisbane’s ‘The Best Job in the World’ for Tourism Queensland, which has also won Grand Prix in the PR and Direct categories. To apply for the job, hopefuls had to film a 60-second video and upload it to IslandReefJob.com. The jury singled out this campaign for the way that the digital element tied everything else together.

The Online Advertising and Other Interactive Digital Media Grand Prix winner was in fact an interactive tool, AKQA London’s ‘Eco:Drive’ campaign for Fiat. Fiat drivers downloaded a program onto a USB that then could be plugged directly into their cars to track their carbon footprint and cost savings, as well as suggesting ways to improve their driving habits to conserve gas and get a little greener. The jury was upfront about their desire to send a message to clients about the potential of deep agency relationships.

‘You need to think about how everything works together, we love to work with clients at that level. I can only imagine how many people had to work together to make that project happen,’ said juror Iain Tait, CD at Poke London.

The Viral Grand Prix went to ‘Why So Serious?’ by Pasadena, CA-based 42 Entertainment for Warner Bros. Worldwide Marketing and The Dark Knight. An 18-month ‘transmedia’ campaign, it bridged the gap between that film and its predecessor Batman Begins with a web-based narrative focusing on the Joker, Harvey Dent and Batman that used online clues to send people to events and sustain buzz around the film. The alternate reality game was developed with the collaboration of both the client and the film directors.

Goodby Silverstein and Partners was named Interactive Agency of the Year, followed by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Belgium agency Boondoggle. Crispin’s ‘Whopper Sacrifice,’ which won a Gold Lion, was a contender for the Grand Prix, and demonstrated the fact that digital is becoming more adept at conveying and inspiring emotion. ‘Nobody’s ever been sacrificed for a burger before, so these are feelings you’ve never had before. Its an interesting state of mind you’re putting people in,’ said Tait.

Design: keep it simple, stupid

The second-ever Design jury awarded four Canadian campaigns out of the seven that made it onto the shortlist. Sid Lee’s corporate identity branding work – encompassing the distinctive logotypes and agency font, stationery, website and paraphernalia like t-shirts and fanzines – took a Silver Lion.

Three Bronze Lions were doled out. GJP Advertising and Design won a Bronze Lion for its promotional t-shirt for Toronto personal trainer Roland Siempre, which measures a workout in minutes by the depth of the sweat mark made down the front. Cossette Interactif Montreal was took one home for its ‘High 5′ reports for Montreal-based non-profit entrepreneurship org Enablis. And DDB Canada’s design and branding division, Karacters Design Group, also won a Bronze for its quirky branding redesign of the Silver Hills bakery bread line, which incorporated everything from the product names to package copy, illustration and bag design.

Canadian Design judge Lisa Greenberg, CD of GJP Advertising and Design in Toronto, said she fought for all the Canadian work, and if she had any suggestions for agencies next year, it would be to present clear, simple ideas. ‘The Canadian work was good, but we need to get better at presenting ourselves. Things often can be lost in translation, as well [in terms of] Canadian sensibilities.’

The Design Grand Prix was awarded to ‘Paper Battlefield,’ an eye-catching poster design for Nike Hong Kong by McCann Worldgroup Causeway Bay. To create excitement for the Nike Basketball League, photos taken of each of the top 10 players were then turned into silkscreens that the players could layer on top of each other in a visual representation of the ‘battles’ they have on the court. Each of the 350 posters produced were different. ‘Our role [as designers] is to create better brands for a more human world,’ said jury president Sylvia Vitale Rotta, president and CEO of France-based design agency Team Créatif. ‘Because the players actually lived the brand, it made whatever came out of it to be the truth.’

‘It’s not often that a flat poster jumps out at you these days,’ said Greenberg. ‘It was refreshing.’

Design was one of the few categories in which the number of submissions increased this year, the jury noted – albeit only by 14 entries, from 1,126 to 1,139. Of those, 157 made it to the shortlist, and 83 received a medal.

Press: when the times get tough

Canada’s two lonely shortlisted Press entries (link to shortlist story) didn’t bag any of the 71 Lions awarded this year. Press jury chair David Lubars, chair and CCO, BBDO North America, says the jury was quite selective given today’s economic reality. With newspapers and magazines going out of business, they chose the best of the best to show there’s still an important role for publications.

This meant the press jury was careful to only award work that was more relevant in the real world than in advertising awards circles. ‘Creativity, when applied for a real client, can be a real economic multiplier,’ says Lubars, ‘creativity can give a disproportionate return.’

The Grand Prix campaign nod went to France for a five-ad outing from Wrangler by Fred & Farid, Paris. The ‘We are Animals’ campaign features striking photography of people in natural environments. As to it’s Grand Prix worthiness, Lubars says, ‘this campaign went one step further. Not only did it sell the product, it recodes and replots the DNA of what the company can be.’ He also adds that the concept can go into all kinds of different areas, and it’s global in that it translates across languages and cultures.

Canadian Press judge Stephen Jurisic, CD of John St., noted the aptness of awarding fashion, given that it is a category where print has always been amazing and effective. Observing that ‘what’s lacking is often ideas,’ he says the Wrangler campaign bucked that gorgeous-but-forgettable trend with its arresting natural connection concept, which is very timely.

When MiC asked if Press fell in step with other juries (with the exception of radio) that saw the majority of entries linking into digital, Singapore judge John Merrifield, of TBWAAsia Pacific, replied, ‘the work that’s winning and that’s changing the game is advertising at the speed of culture – it’s not 360 degrees, it’s 365 days. If the journey the audience has with the brand gets deeper in time, that’s a richer journey – it’s moving away from silos, it is connection. And the more rich and seamless the experience, it’s resonating more for that brand. We need to give our brands a larger link to the future.’