The first awards show of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is over, and among the five competitions brought to a close, the Radio Lions were the clear highlight of the night for Canadian agencies.
Three Bronze Radio Lions and one Bronze Direct Lion were awarded to Canada, while the other competitions — Promo & Activation, Print & Publishing and Glass — produced no hardware for Canada.
Kobo and Cossette took home one of the Radio Lions for “The Birds” and “The River” — two spots that told a short story with just the titles of different books. “All your books, together in one place,” explains the narrator.
Another bronze went to “Femme-A-Palooza” and “Give Him Everything” for J. Walter Thompson’s Toronto office and The Toronto Speakers Academy. The two short spots have actors delivering absurd voicemails in an enthusiastically convincing manner.
The final Radio award for a Canadian submission went to Valda and Tank Montreal for “Daycare,” which illustrates how a sore throat can turn a nice phone call into a terrifying one.
Bronze: Tank Montreal – “Daycare” (Valda)
Bronze: J. Walter Thompson Canada Toronto – “Femme-a-pooloza” (The Toronto Speakers Academy)
Bronze: J. Walter Thompson Canada Toronto – “Give Him Everything” (The Toronto Speakers Academy)
Canada is inherently passive and polite, and the stuff that is making noise isn’t passive and isn’t polite
Tom Eymundson, Pirate Group
“The jury was very specifically looking for stuff that was really brave, really kind of pushed, bent, broke through the noise,” said jury president Tom Eymundson, chief executive officer, director, Pirate Group in Toronto.
“Just to get a bronze in this show, you are in the top 3% of the world. So people shouldn’t go away thinking ‘why wasn’t it gold.’ The difference between bronze and gold is a degree, and that degree is what gets debated hotly in the room.”
That said, after reviewing the best work from around the world and managing those hot debates, Eymundson had a better idea of why Canada didn’t win any gold.
“Canada is inherently passive and polite, and the stuff that is making noise isn’t passive and isn’t polite,” he told Marketing. “It pulls no punches, it doesn’t carefully tread in. It stomps in. And it is very brave work and that really is the single key ingredient that separates the bronze from the gold.”
The Grand Prix went to “The Everyman KFC Meal” campaign from Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg. The three spots each have a parade of different men sharing embarrassingly “unmanly” secrets with a narrator ensuring they are still men and that the KFC “fully loaded man meal” is for all different kinds of men.
Grand Prix: Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg – The everyman meal (KFC)
“What is really wonderful about [KFC] is that it touches on a universal truth [that] is not national-specific,” he said. “And I think it really did strike a chord with everyone in the room. At the end of the day, that is what radio does — it reaches and grabs your imagination and plays out on the biggest screen there is, right here,” he said, pointing to his head.
“Radio that works works because it touches an individual. While we consume it as the mass, we participate on an individual basis. You have it as your friend, your passenger in your car. That is how radio reaches people.”
Marketing’s coverage of Cannes Lions 2016 is presented by AOL. #AOLCANNES