The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, also known as the Oscars of the advertising world, wrapped up on the weekend with the final winners’ announcements. Quite a few agencies are bringing those coveted Lions back to Canada: JAM3, Tuxedo, Blast Radius, Grey Group, Cossette, JWT, LG2, Taxi, BBDO, Leo Burnett, Cundari, Lowe Roche, DraftFCB, and DDB were all awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze in a variety of categories – including two Golds in the brand new Mobile award segment. Here is a small selection of the work from the past year that made an impact at last week’s festival:
Subcategory: Sweet Foods & Snacks
Client: Krispy Kernels
The delightful series of TV ads from buzz-worthy Montreal agency LG2 use a simple product – snack packs of nuts – as the basis for surreal comedy. In the winning spot, a man drops a few Krispy Kernels in his couch cushion, and while looking for them he finds his couch leads to a secret cavern where his father, long thought to have abandoned the family, is luxuriating in a rich store of peanuts. Also a must-see is its sister ad, in which a powerful CEO discovers the betrayal of his favourite ceramic elephant.
Subcategory: Public Awareness Messages
Agency: BBDO Toronto
Client: Canadian Paralympic Committee
A stirring spot shows a Paralympic athlete running around a track in one beautifully-shot take, passing by symbols of the challenges such athletes overcome on their way to competition. Scenes of a car accident, a hospital room, physiotherapy sessions and discarded wheelchairs track by on the dark, rainy track, offset by the runner’s strength.
Subcategory: Use of Media – Best Use of Special Events and Stunt/Live Advertising
Agency: Leo Burnett Toronto
Canada Day in Quebec is a nightmare. While the rest of the country takes the day off, it’s unofficial moving day for the entire province -- meaning there is a premium on trucks, the goodwill of friends, and of course, cardboard boxes. Ikea -- a frequent destination for moving folks hoping to stock the new place -- decided to help with Ikea-branded cardboard boxes left around the city offering help to the beleaguered citizenry. The boxes included coupons for the stores, of course. Visitors to Ikea that weekend rose 14 per cent compared to the same weekend the year before, and sales rose 24.5 per cent.
Subcategory: Crisis and Issue Management
Agency: Lowe Roche Toronto
Client: Johnson & Johnson Canada’s O.B. tampons
So you’ve cultivated a loyal base of customers who are fiercely loyal to your brand. What happens when you then yank that brand from their lives? That’s the problem Johnson & Johnson faced in 2010 when, after a distribution problem, its applicator-free o.b. tampons left a void on drugstore shelves in North America. There was a blowback from angry fans and in the press, so the agency created a “personal” apology. Using the o.b. database it emailed links to a website that allowed users to type in their names and then gave them an apology in the form of a handsome, sensitive-looking man singing to them and playing piano. The digital effect also spelled out the visitor’s name on sheet music, in strategically-placed rose petals, and tattooed on the singer’s arm. The apology was passed around on social media. As of March, 2012, the website had clocked 27-million visits and tampon sales were up 31 per cent.
Subcategory: Websites and microsites – Charities, Public Health & Safety, Public Awareness Messages
Agency: JAM3 Toronto
Client: National Film Board
Cyber is a category in which Canadians have excelled in the past. This year was no exception. Though it’s not quite an ad per se, this luminous, absorbing interactive documentary won for a website that lets the visitor track a bear around Banff National Park, observing her and scores of other animals through a network of surveillance cameras that track movement in the park. While users click through the map, rendered from a wilderness space to a coloured sequences of squares and patterns signifying land, water, highways, trains and wildlife of all types, they also listen to the life story of the bear from the moment she is tagged by rangers until an accident takes her life.