Cannes Lions Awards 2019: Festival Of Creativity, Learning And Inspiration
By Joshua Ajayi
The 66th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity came to a close recently with the last Awards Show. It honoured the final winners from the Communication Track, alongside the Good Track, as well as special awards, celebrating the industries’ best performing companies across the five-day event, as well as industry personalities that inspire and lead the way.
In the Film Lions (Communication Track) celebrating creativity of the moving image, 2,793 entries were submitted of which 77 were awarded Lions: 1 Grand Prix, 11 Gold, 28 Silver and 37 Bronze.
The Grand Prix was awarded to Droga5, New York, for the New York Times ‘The Truth Is Worth It’ campaign – Rigor, Perseverance, Resolve, Courage, Fearlessness – which also won the Film Craft Grand Prix earlier in the week. The campaign brings to light the danger, bravery, perseverance and determination that it takes to be a New York Times journalist and ultimately how that helps people to better understand the world.
Margaret Johnson, Chief Creative Officer & Partner, Goodby Silverstein & Partners USA, commenting on this exceptional campaign, said: “As a jury, we looked for a brilliant idea that had to be combined with a brilliant execution. And this was the best example. The typography is very simple, but extremely powerful. There’s an honesty to it and a simplicity to it. It’s the Naked Truth. And that’s the power of it.”
In Glass: The Lion for Change (Good Track), which commends ideas intended to change the world that address gender inequality or prejudice, 193 entries were submitted, with the jury awarding 8 Lions: 1 Grand Prix, 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze.
VMLY&R POLAND, Warsaw, collected the Grand Prix for ‘The Last Ever Issue’ for Gazeta.pl / Mastercard / BNP Paribas, which saw the agency team up with their clients to buy one of Poland’s longest running and most read adult magazines to then close it down.
Jury President, Jaime Robinson, Chief Creative Officer, Joan Creative, United States, said: “When I look at this Grand Prix, I see culture-shifting creativity in spades. It’s a lightning bolt idea. Every single one of us in the jury room prays for ideas like this every day. The work is transgressive. It takes the system and uses the system to make change against itself. And that is such a joy. And I just love that it takes an object of degradation and it turns it into something beautiful. And then says goodbye to it forever.”
Of the 834 entries in the Sustainable Development Goals Lions (Good Track), celebrating creative problem solving, solutions or other initiatives that harness creativity and seek to positively impact the world, 22 Lions were awarded: 1 Grand Prix, 3 Gold, 7 Silver and 11 Bronze.
Taking top honours, the Grand Prix was won by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, for Mars Australia’s ‘The Lion’s Share’, a wildlife conservation initiative backed by the United Nations, to raise funds by asking advertisers to contribute 0.5 per cent of their media spend every time animal imagery is used in an advertisement.
David Droga, Founder and Creative Chairman, Droga5, and President of the jury, commented: “Animals are a fundamental part of our world, our culture, our society, and our language, even our filmmaking and marketing. In fact, images of animals appear in approximately 20% of all advertisements. Yet, despite this, animals do not always receive the support that they deserve. Until now. The money raised will be dispersed across the world to save species from extinction, preserve wildlife habitats, and look after animal welfare.
“It was a programme that was instigated and backed by a big brand, supported and put together by an incredible creative collective. They didn’t just make a good film about what they wanted to do, they actually set up a sustainable programme that has already started reaping rewards. And that, for us, is what’s important.”
Of the 171 entries competing in the Titanium Lions (Communication Track), celebrating game-changing work, the jury awarded 1 Titanium Grand Prix and 5 Titanium Lions.
This highly sought-after Grand Prix was award to FCB New York for Burger King’s ‘The Whopper Detour’, an app that geofenced McDonald’s restaurants so that the 1-cent Whopper promotion unlocked only when people were physically within 600 feet of Burger Kings’s biggest competitor, McDonald’s. This was the third Grand Prix for this work, having already won in Mobile and Direct.
Commenting, Jury President, David Lubars, Chief Creative Officer Worldwide, Chairman North America, BBDO, said: “This is an amazing use of technology to get consumers out of a rival store and into their own store. It’s a future-facing tech hack, with great sales results, we hadn’t seen before. The work ticks all the boxes. It’s flawlessly executed, and I can assure you, it is so incredibly difficult to do, but it looks effortless. It’s fun and human and delighting.”
Based on performance throughout the Festival week, the Special Awards presented this evening were:
Agency of the Year went to Wieden+Kennedy, Portland; McCann, New York, in second place; Droga5, New York, in third.
Network of the Year was won by: McCann Worldgroup; ranked second, DDB Worldwide; and in third, FCB.
Independent Agency of the Year went to Wieden+Kennedy, Portland; Droga5, New York in second place; and JOHN X HANNES, New York ranked third.
Holding Company of the Year was presented to Omnicom; followed by Interpublic Group in second; and in third place, WPP.
The Palme d’Or, presented to the most awarded production company, went to Park Pictures (USA). Runners up are: Hungry Man (USA) in second; Somesuch (UK) in third; Buck (USA) in fourth; and Biscuit Filmworks (USA) in fifth.
And new for this year, Creative Brand of the Year, celebrating brave and forward-thinking brands was awarded to Burger King. Nike is second and IKEA in third.
Honorary awards also presented this evening at the final Awards Show of Cannes Lions 2019 were:
Apple was named Creative Marketer of the Year in honour of its sustained world-class creative communications and marketing initiatives across multiple platforms and collaborations between partners and agencies. This highly coveted award was presented to Tor Myhren, Apple’s Vice President of Marketing Communications.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, was presented with the 2019 Cannes LionHeart in recognition of her advocacy for women, human rights, and social justice throughout the world, and for her leadership of the industry-wide diversity initiative, The Unstereotype Alliance.
In honour of their outstanding contribution to the creative industry, Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein, founders of Goodby Silverstein & Partners, were presented with the Lion of St. Mark Award.
The Grand Prix for Good, selected by the Titanium jury from across all the non-profit and charitable Gold Lions (except Health & Wellness and Pharma) ineligible to win a Grand Prix, was awarded to McCann New York, for ‘Generation Lockdown’, created for March For Our Lives. The public service announcement shows the reality of how active shooter drills have become part of America’s schools’ routine. It also picked up a further three Film Lions (1 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze); a Gold Lion in the Social & Influencer category and one Silver in PR.
Reflecting on Cannes Lions 2019, Managing Director, Simon Cook, said: “It has been an exceptional five days – a truly global celebration of the best work that will be the start of an amazing journey for many. It’s also been a coming together of the most brilliant and forward-thinking minds from across a wide spectrum of industries – creative, content creation, entertainment, media, tech, et al.”
“From the conversations and themes emerging, it’s clear we’re in the midst of exciting changes – sustainability, cultural connections, gender equality, brand values, evolution of storytelling, responsible consumerism – all are hot topics. As we bring this Festival to a close, we very much look forward to continuing these conversations over the next year and seeing the progress when we meet again in 2020.”