Netflix and DDB’s “Pep Talk” wins Bronze Film Craft Lion

One Canadian trophy in a contest with no Grand Prix winner

DDB and Netflix got it tonight: a Bronze Lion in the Film Craft Lions competition.

Their “Pep Talk” ad won in the Script category and was one of just 66 Lions awarded in a contest that saw no Grand Prix given out — a rarity in Cannes.

To illustrate the brand’s “You gotta get it to get it” tagline, the ad shows a hockey coach rousing his players in the dressing room by reminding them of “that scene” from “that movie on Netflix” where the coach gives “that speech”: “Well that, gentleman, is what I am saying,” says the coach. Jessica Schnurr is credited as the copywriter on the ad, with Daryl Gardinerlisted as associate creative director and art director.Dean Lee and Cosmo Campbell were executive creative directors.

As has been the case a few times this week, a Canadian agency won an award though it won’t go down in the Canadian tally. Sid Lee Paris won a Gold Lion for “Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag: Defy,” entered jointly with MPC London in Visual Effects.

During the press conference Saturday morning, the judges said it was a difficult decision not to award a Grand Prix but ultimately determined it was the only decision they could make.

The jury ended up choosing 20 Gold Lions and debated “six or seven entries” for more than three hours as contenders for Grand Prix.

“We awarded a lot of golds last night, far more than I would have thought,” said jury president Brian Carmody, CEO and chief creative officer of U.S.-based Smuggler. In the end, he said there was no definitive case to be made putting one ad above all the others.

Carmody said he was not worried at all about the message the jury was sending to the industry about the work. “I felt a little sick to my stomach that we didn’t come to that place [of choosing a Grand Prix], but I woke up this morning 100% comfortable with what we decided.”

“We did not take this decision lightly,” added Jenny Gadd, executive director of content production of Ogilvy & Mather New York. “There were several candidates for Grand Prix, but there was just not one that got a majority of votes. We would have been doing it because we felt forced.”

With 25 entries, Canadian interest in the Film Craft Lions was down slightly from 2013 when 37 entries were completed. In total for 2014, there were 2,073 entries, 135 made the shortlist and 66 awards were given.

Aside from DDB and Netflix, JWT’s “Canadian Zombie” was shortlisted for the Canadian Film Fest.

This is the fifth year for the this competition, created to recognize the craft of the filmmaking process, including direction, copywriting, editing, use of music and sound design. Canada has only won one other Film Craft Lion – a Bronze in 2012 for JWT Toronto’s script for the Canadian Film Festival’s “Bank Teller.”

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