Cannes 2016: Ladyballs wins PR Lion

Jury president: stop talking about getting Justin Trudeau's attention

David Brown June 21, 2016

PRESENTED_BY_AOL“Ladyballs” picked up another Lion Tuesday night. This time in the PR competition and this time a bronze.

It’s the second win for the provocative awareness campaign from Grey Canada for Ovarian Cancer Canada after picking up a Silver Lion in the Health Lions Saturday.

The PR jury was looking for work and ideas that earned the attention of consumers, said John Clinton, jury president and North American head of creative and content for Edelman, during the press conference to announce the winners.

Tuesday in Cannes
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Critical Mass wins Bronze for digital craftsmanship
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“Not things that demanded attention, things that earned attention. Because they earned attention, they were able to get the results that they were going after.” Results are important to PR judges because they are “a little more rational than ad people and that is a wonderful thing.”

Speaking with Marketing after the press conference Clinton said “Ladyballs” was a great example of earning attention in the right way. “The jury felt that it generated discussion and in spite of it being polarizing, you had to have a point of view with it and you had to deal with it,” he said. “And it had a catchy title.”

Along with an edgy video spot that shows women showing their so-called “ladyballs” by demonstrating fearlessness in the face of pressure, the campaign includes real-life testimonials from women—including Canadian media veteran Lauren Richards—who have battled the disease. Aside from being one of the faces of the fight, Richards worked on the media for the campaign while her daughter Erin worked on PR through her agency Hype PR.

The PR Grand Prix was awarded to Swedish supermarket brand Coop and Forsman & Bodenfors Gothenburg for “The Organic Effect.” To raise awareness about sustainable farming, Coop created a test to show the prevalence of pesticides in the food system. A family that didn’t eat organic food provided urine samples that revealed the pesticides in their system and then switched to organic for two weeks, by which time the pesticides had cleared their systems.

“We thought this actually got people to pay attention in a surprising and somewhat alarming way, caused a reaction and caused a change in business,” said Clinton during the press conference.

Speaking of the large number of cause related winners, Clinton said the jury actually had “cause fatigue” from the many submissions connected to a cause that had nothing to do with the brand.

“We know businesses need to get more involved and show more of a leadership role in helping to solve some of society’s issues, but it has to make sense for the business,” he said.

The “Organic Effect,” an effort to help families eat better more healthy food, was a perfect of example of doing it right, he said. “That seems to be a brilliant cause to tie to a supermarket.”

One of the other recurring flaws in submissions was a tendency of entrants to use massive numbers that have no meaning, or talk about worldwide impressions when the campaign should have been locally focused.

“I think it’s safe to say that every single campaign that we saw ‘blew up the internet,’” said Clinton. The big numbers “become numbing” after awhile, and the jury was more impressed if the agency could prove their reach in their country or against an identified target.

Similarly, with Canadian submissions, Clinton noticed quite a few entrants wanted to brag about being noticed by Justin Trudeau (for U.S. submissions it was Barack Obama). “The jury was like, who cares,” he said. “People want to know what did it do and who did it reach… did it get the person you were going after.”

It total, the PR jury awarded 84 Lions after shortlisting 239 entries from 2,224 submissions.

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