Cannes 2015: Leo Burnett wins Canada’s first Titanium Lion

Leo Burnett and Grey's winning ways reach final day

It’s all over but the closing party now, and Canada has plenty of reason to celebrate.

With the final Lions handed out, it’s clear by any measure that the 62nd International Festival of Creativity in Cannes has been Canada’s best—by a wide margin. Thanks to an 11-Lion closing night, Canadian agencies and marketers will be bringing 34 Lions back across the Atlantic.

Among those 34 will be Canada’s first ever Titanium Lion, awarded to Leo Burnett’s “#LikeAGirl” for the P&G Always brand. (Read about the Film Lions winners here and the Branded Content and Entertainment Lions here.)

In many ways, the Titanium Lions are Cannes’ most exclusive and esteemed award. There were just six Titanium Lions awarded this year and one Grand Prix, which went to CP+B’s “Emoji Ordering” for Domino’s. As the name suggests, “Emoji Ordering” lets consumers order pizza from the chain simply by tweeting the pizza emoji.

The Titanium and Integrated jury, which judges the two distinctly different categories together, also awarded Canada just its second Integrated Lion ever: a silver, to Grey Canada Toronto for its “Groceries Not Guns” campaign for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. (BBDO’s “Social Smoking” campaign won a Bronze Lion in 2013.)


The Integrated Grand Prix was given to the Derek Jeter retirement homage “Re2pect” by Wieden + Kennedy for the Jordan Brand.

The two Grand Prix winners were both very different, said jury president Mark Fitzloff, partner and executive creative director, Wieden+Kennedy, during Saturday’s press conference announcing the winners.

“The winner of our Integrated Grand Prix was really driven off of emotion, and then our Titanium Grand Prix was very utilitarian and functional,” he said.

Fitzloff spoke at length on the potential bottom-line importance of “Emoji ordering” for Domino’s.

“As an industry, we’re hungering to be proving our worth these days and at an environment like an awards show where that’s not always the case, I think it is with great pride that our group was able to say ‘I think this is actually really going to affect Domino’s business,” he said.

“Increasingly, that is where the opportunities for ad agency creative are, to affect business with the touch of a craftsman, the touch of an artist, the touch of a human being, with comedy, or with human insight. [Emoji Ordering] is simple yes, but I think it is pretty special.”

As respected as they are, the Titanium Lions are also the most mysterious with the definition evolving and changing seemingly every year.

Inspired by the ground breaking BMW’s short film series “The Hire” and its performance at the 2002 Festival, Titanium was introduced in 2003 for work which “didn’t really fit anywhere else.”

This year, the official festival definition is “creative ideas that point to a new direction for the industry and reshape the creative landscape; ideas that are game-changing and breakthrough, that open new doors, change the world of creativity and inform new ways of thinking.”

#LikeAGirl has had an extraordinary week here winning multiple Gold Lions as well as the PR Grand Prix. Asked what made #LikeAGirl a Titanium winner, jury president Fitzloff said simply: “It’s a Titanium because we can’t seem to define a Titanium.”

Speaking with reporters after the press conference, Fitzloff said the jury considered whether #LikeAGirl could have been given an Integrated Lion instead. “We thought about it… [but] it wouldn’t have won, and I don’t know that it would have gotten to that gold level necessarily. It wasn’t a terribly complicated campaign. It’s about the video,” he said.

“It was certainly great. We thought that the power of word of mouth, and the hashtag itself was the core essence, so we kept it where it was.”

Was it considered for the Titanium Grand Prix? “It was up there.”

There were 12 Canadian entries to the Titanium and Integrated Lions this year, up from eight in 2014. In total, there were 374 entries this year, down slightly from 378 a year ago, but also the continuation of a downward trend in the competition in recent years, from 437 in 2013 and 517 the year before that.

Of those 378 submissions, 37 made the shortlist.

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