Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival: Cyber Award Winners

June 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

The 57th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival has been going on this week and once again, as a public service, the winners in the Cyber Lion Award category are featured in this space as a reminder that advertising is a creative business.

The complete list of Cyber Lion Award winners is available here. They are all great. But the Cyber category, itself, is inclusive of web sites and microsites and other Internet designs that – while creative and compelling – somehow don’t to rise to the level of coaxing great advertising out of a humble banner unit, which must share space with the content of a web site and be equal to the user’s level of engagement. We’re (mostly) celebrating the incredible work that has been done inside banners this year.

In the case of Unilever’s AXE, it won a Silver award with a rich media banner unit from BBH New York, which has AXE’s testosterone-fueled pitch to men surround-sounded. I don’t have headphones in my office, but I can get the idea listening to the audio through my speakers. I do have headphones at home, which is where I also have my wife; but maybe if she understands this is research for the blog.

The darker side of testosterone was behind the only banner/rich media unit to earn Cyber Gold. This was a public service campaign from TBWA Paris for AIDES, the leading association in the fight against aids in France. The campaign is a reminder of two things – well, three things: 1) advertising communicates so much about us as people, culturally, around the world; 2) Europeans, especially the French, are far less closeted about sex than Americans (who, in turn, are far more fascinated by violence); 3) wear a condom.

Virgin Atlantic’s banner campaign from Y&R in New York about fear of not flying Virgin Atlantic was another Silver award winner. The banners need to be seen as a group.

How do you make advertising intrusive without making it intrusive? In an ingenious spot of technical innovation, Genetix Sound Studios in Warsaw, Poland changed the front page news of into 250 “sound illustrations” to impress a client prospect. It’s not clear to me if they won the client, but they won a Silver Cyber Lion Award.

There were a number of winners that relied on user web cams, thus enabling users to experience the thrill of staring back at themselves from within the banner ad on their computer. Users love advertising, obviously.

Volkswagen had a well-designed, straightforward Bronze winner for its Brazilian Fox car thanks to ALMAPBBDO in São Paulo, BRAZIL. My favorite in the Bronze category, however (and, really, it should have managed Silver) was for another car company, Renault, for its Baby Boom campaign intended to promote the youthfulness of the Renault product line. The agency was PUBLICIS NET in Paris. The execution was clean and simple and interesting.

Banner advertising didn’t make it into the exclusive, Grand Prix award category. But Volkswagen won a Grand Prix for work by DDB Sweden promoting VW’s BlueMotion technology that helps reduce environmental impact without compromising performance. The award was for integrated work including videos that captured the essence of the campaign’s message: making things better by making them fun. VW and DDB called it, The Fun Theory.

Hmmm. The Fun Theory. On days like this, as a value reminder, we could call that advertising.

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