With the trophies handed out in 13 of the 17 competitions in the main Cannes Lions Festival, Canada has officially won 23 Lions. At this point last year, Canada had just eight Lions.
The tally was boosted by a strong showing Wednesday night in the Grand Audi at the Palais des Festivals. In total, Canada won two Lions in Design, three in Radio, and six in Cyber.
As has been the case all week, a lot of the credit goes to Leo Burnett and Grey Toronto, accounting for seven of those 11 Lions. (Read about Radio winners here and Design winners here.)
Leo Burnett won two Gold Lions for “#LikeAGirl,” the global sensation girl-power video that has been a leading performer here all week.
Grey also won a Gold Lion for the “Groceries Not Guns” campaign that shines the spotlight on grocery giant Kroger’s policy of prohibiting skateboards and poodles from its stores while having no problem with loaded firearms. Aside from the gold, “Groceries Not Guns” won two silvers in the Cyber Lions, increasingly one of the most important competitions of the Festival.
Video played a key role in both the “#LikeAGirl” and “Groceries Not Guns” campaigns. “The way we looked at social video was there needed to be a rationale and a relevancy from a digital standpoint over and above could this just be something that is on television,” said Patrick Scissons, who aside from being a judge for the Cyber Lions, is the creative director responsible for “Groceries Not Guns.”
“And I think the reason why “#LikeAGirl” and “Not Allowed” [for ” Groceries Not Guns”] rose to the top — those two were in the top five throughout the entire show — it was for the fact that each of them had a specific role online.” He said “#LikeAGirl” was discussed for the Grand Prix, while “Groceries Not Guns” wasn’t eligible as work for a not-for-profit client.
Canada’s other Cyber Lion was a bronze for “Uber Safe” from Rethink, which used a branded breathalyser to show club-goers in Toronto’s entertainment district that it might be safer to get an Uber than to drive themselves. Scissons said Rethink should be thrilled with the Bronze Lion because its category, Innovative Use of Technology, “was one of the strongest categories in the entire show.”
And while they won’t go down as Canadian wins, Sid Lee’s Paris office has reason to celebrate after winning one Silver Lion and two Bronze Lions for Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed Unity.”
Cyber Grand Prix
The Cyber Grand Prix was awarded to Droga5 and Under Armour for “Gisele Bundchen—I Will What I Want.”
The brand is famous as an ultra-masculine brand worn by male athletes. However, “I Will What I Want” began with the signing of supermodel Bundchen as one of the new faces of the brand. Much of the internet mocked the idea that a model could promote such a masculine brand, which is just what Droga5 and Under Armour wanted. The negative comments were pulled from across the web for a TV spot and later a real-time website juxtaposed those comments, good and bad, with Bundchen going through her own gruelling, boxer-inspired workout in a stark gym.
The campaign became a “symbol of female athletic aspiration,” according to the case video.
“This is an entry that demonstrates how a powerful brand narrative is enabled through technology, and how this narrative lives and grows in the modern, multiscreen digital environment that is social by nature and real time by design,” said Cyber president Jean Lin, global CEO for Isobar. “It is an idea that demonstrates well-crafted digital experiences can create uplifting impact to bring a brand closer to its people. And this idea demonstrates how real time data enhances creativity and how it helps to tell a human story.”
The idea that technology should play a powerful enabling role for brands was a central point of discussion when it came time to pick the Grand Prix, agreed Scissons.
“It was the best single manifestation of technology and the idea and story coming together.”
Scissons said the intense week of studying the worlds best digital creative, along with the 600 cases reviewed in preliminary judging, gave him some idea of how Canada could improve the quality of its digital marketing.
“I think the biggest thing that Canada needs to do is look at the role of digital beyond just an amplification mechanic for awareness,” he said. “And I think we need to look at online engagement and storytelling in digital as well. There were a lot of entries where the digital component was more transactional versus emotional, and those fell of.”