News & Views

Cannes Lions / Media and Outdoor Lions

by Contagious Team

Ad agencies dominate Media Lions as jury calls for category's evolution, joint submissions

Media Lions winners were announced at Cannes Lions on Tuesday, with jury members calling for the category's evolution, amid surprise at the number of advertising agencies taking home honours. Among those agencies: Grand Prix winner Ogilvy & Mather, Amsterdam, which took home the category's top marks for its work on behalf of Dutch funeral insurance company Dela. According to the jury, the campaign was 'the most complete entry' submitted, 'took user generated content to the mainstream', and produced results that were 'fantastic'. (See the video here.)

Eighteen other campaigns took home Gold Lions in the Media category, including P&G's Thank You Mom campaign, from Carat, New York, and Potable Water Generator, the billboard from Mayo Draftfcb, Lima that turns air humidity into drinkable water. Also taking home Golds were McCann Melbourne-produced Dumb Ways To Die for Metro Trains and Dove's Real Beauty Sketches from Ogilvy Brasil, Sao Paulo, as if those two campaigns hadn't already won enough hardware.

During a press conference to announce the awards, jury president Jack Klues, executive officer at Publicis Groupe, noted that current entry rules, which permit only one lead agency for each submission, don't reflect how the best ideas today were being generated. He said, "A lot of these entries are collaborative efforts of the media agency, the digital specialists, and some technology verticals, as well as the creative agency,' he said. 'So I wouldn't want to let the agency that submitted them to claim they did all the work.'

Juror Cheuk Chiang, CEO Asia Pacific at Omnicom Media Group, pointed out that the collaborative approach might do more to highlight the work done by media agencies that may be currently overshadowed. 'Just because a creative agency wins an award does not mean the media agency hasn't been involved in one way or another because of the way we work today,' he said. 'Media is no longer about spaces for ads, but platforms for ideas.'

One possible solution, described by Melanie Varley, chief strategy officer at MEC Global, involved joint entries from complementary agencies. 'I think that would help encourage collaboration in the business, not detract from it,' she said.

Despite his gripes, Klues, who was the Media jury president in 2000, the category's second year, applauded the industry for its evolution over the past decade plus. Previously, he admitted, he pulled for Media Lions to be awarded to media people. 'I'm really proud that we've matured beyond that now,' he said. 'In that collaborative world and context, damn right a creative agency can win a Media Lion.'

After the press conference Varley discussed her comment regarding joint entry in more detail with Contagious, saying, 'Clients want us to collaborate to create better work, so something like Cannes Lions should be setting an example and allowing us to do so.'

'I like to say "advertising agencies" rather than "creative" agencies because everybody's creative now,' she continued. 'Clients score and evaluate us based on our ability to collaborate and I do think we're seeing a bit of a shift because as media becomes more "creative" around the channel and the content, it's becoming as important as the message.'

Cannes Lions also revealed the winners of the Outdoor category on Tuesday, with jury president Tony Granger, global chief creative officer of Young & Rubicam, describing the category as 'really strong'. He praised the jury's efforts in judging the 5613 entries from a huge range of countries.

All told, 25 gold Lions were awarded in Outdoor, representing 0.45% of the total entries. The Grand Prix went to IBM's Bench, Shelter, and Ramp executions done by Ogilvy France, Paris which Granger described as 'a classic outdoor campaign'.

He went on, 'This work is absolutely extraordinary. In a category that is really diverse we filtered the work through one basic principle; that the first point of interaction had to be outdoor. And when it came to looking at the Grand Prix we said we would love to give it to an idea that could only live in outdoor. Of course that wasn't the only filter; we also love the way that the creative brings the IBM's global strategy to life.'

Special mentions were also given to Expedia's 'beautifully art directed' Luggage Tag campaign done by Ogilvy & Mather, London, and Leo Burnett's work for Brazilian football club Vitória F.C.'s drive to get its fans to donate blood.

Click here for the full list of winners.