Zig’s “Low Voice” wins Radio Gold

Click to listenIKEA – Low Voice (736 KB)   Zig’s creative team of Aaron Starkman and Stephen Leps bring new meaning to the advertising buzz term “media agnostic.” The pair won a Radio Gold Lion today for Ikea’s “Low voice” spot—their third Gold Lion from Cannes in five years, each in a different media. Their […]


Zig’s creative team of Aaron Starkman and Stephen Leps bring new meaning to the advertising buzz term “media agnostic.”

The pair won a Radio Gold Lion today for Ikea’s “Low voice” spot—their third Gold Lion from Cannes in five years, each in a different media. Their first came in 2004 in Film for the Vim “Prisoner” ad, followed up last year with a Media Gold Lion for Scream TV.

The Radio Gold was the brightest light for Canadian competitors on Tuesday, though two other made-in-Canada radio ads were awarded Bronze Lions. Canadians were shut out of the Outdoor and Media competitions.

Sid Lee’s five-second “What’s new?” spot for antique dealer Jean Lacasse Antiquaire received a Radio Bronze, as did a Durex Condom ad created by MacLaren McCann, which was submitted by New York production company Oink Ink Radio and thus officially an American entry.

Radio jury president Mark Gross, senior vice-president and group creative director at DDB Chicago, said “Low voice” was initially down for a Silver but got bumped up because it was fresh comedy. “I wanted to hear it over and over again—it was very funny,” he said.

“It took the whole room by surprise because it was so unexpected and simple,” added Canadian jurist and Target CD, Tom Murphy. The judges listen to a lot of radio ads, said Murphy. (There were 1,259 entries this year.) “But there are a few that rise to the top and it is in their simplicity and their humour.”

Shut out, somewhat surprisingly after doing so well at both the Marketing Awards and the Radio Marketing Bureau’s Crystals, were DDB’s “Gardening Tips” and “Housekeeping Tips,” part of Philips “Shave Everywhere” campaign. The ads use heavy innuendo and double entendres to explain how the Philips Bodygroom helps men shave their private places, ostensibly because the subject matter is too delicate for public radio. They nearly won Bronze, said Murphy, but about half of the judges—presumably from countries less skittish about the human body—didn’t understand the need for a metaphor for a subject like that.

The Radio Grand Prix went to a Dentsu Tokyo-created ad for Canon. The spot cleverly showed how the EOS Kiss Digital Camera’s quick start-up speed ensures the user won’t miss life’s important moments. It is “timeless,” said Gross. “You’re going to look back 20 or 30 years from now and realize how good it was.”

Bud Light’s “Real Men of Genius” ads—a platform created by Gross in 1999—once again won a campaign Gold.

There were 55 Canadian entries for Radio this year—eight made the short list.

In the Media competition, jury president Dominic Proctor said he was disappointed by the quality of the record 2,000 submissions this year.

“We did a lot of mining for Gold during the week, and we didn’t find much,” he said.

Canada had nine entries in the running for a Lion but was shut out. The Grand Prix went to AMF Pension Funds and Forsman & Bodenfors from Gothenburg, Sweden for a campaign that used mobile content to sell pensions to a young demographic. Consumers were invited to submit a digital photo of themselves, either online or from their cellphone, to get back an altered shot that showed what they will look like as a 70-year-old.

“Pensions is a pretty dull category,” said Proctor. “But the AMF campaign was interactive, executed extremely well with tangible business results.”

The Canadian work on the short list, including Cossette’s “Make Art Pop” work for Mentos and Due North’s five-second milk spots for Dairy Farmers of Canada, was well-received, but just wasn’t “new enough,” said Canadian jurist Annette Warring, COO of Genesis Vizeum.

Though Canadian Media entries increased from just 20 last year to 56 this year, Warring said Canadian marketers and agencies—both media and creative—need to submit more work.

Canadian agencies haven’t put much effort into media awards shows, but that needs to change, she said.

“[Genesis Vizeum] didn’t submit anything,” she admitted. “We will next year.”

After winning a Promo Grand Prix on Monday for its Voyeur Project, HBO added an Outdoor Grand Prix today for the same campaign.

To promote the network’s story-telling strengths, HBO’s multi-media campaign—which used the tag line “See what people do when they think no one is watching”—included a silent projection onto the side of a building which gave the illusion of a cross-section. Passersby became voyeurs as they witnessed several different human stories played out.

“Outdoor was the beginning of it…it is the gateway to the entire campaign,” said jury president Prasoon Joshi.

With most media, advertising is inserted into or surrounded by content, but that is not the case with outdoor—which has to compete with real life, said Joshi, executive chair of McCann Worldwide Group.

“Outdoor has ‘life’ before it and ‘life’ after it,” he said. “This piece of work competes with ‘life’ in such a beautiful manner.”

Canadian agencies and marketers made 137 submissions to the competition, though just five made the short list.

Next up, winners in the Cyber, Design and Press competitions tomorrow afternoon, followed by the always popular Film short list on Thursday afternoon.

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