News & Views

Cannes Lions: Direct Award Winners

by Contagious Team

UK national carrier British Airways, via OgilvyOne, London, has scooped the Grand Prix in Direct for its ground-breaking Magic of Flying campaign, adding to the Gold Lion it won in Promo & Activation on the same day. The Grand Prix also adds to the two Creative Effectiveness Lions that the network won for Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches (Ogilvy São Paulo) and Expedia’s Travel Yourself Interesting (Ogilvy & Mather, London).

Monday proved to be a fruitful day for the Direct category in Cannes, with a total of 75 Lions awarded. In addition to the Grand Prix, the jury dished out 18 Golds, 17 Silver and 39 Bronze. Notable Golds included Lemz Amsterdam’s artificial intelligence 10-year-old, Sweetie, created for Terres Des Hommes Netherlands, and Sony Music’s Bob Dylan Like A Rolling Stone and Harvey Nichols’ Sorry I Spent It On Myself, via adam&eveDDB, London, which also won the Grand Prix in Promo & Activation.

Magic of Flying's closest competitor – according to the jury – was Dentsu Tokyo’s Sound of Honda/Ayrton Senna 1989. The campaign recreated the legendary F1 driver’s iconic world record-beating lap of Japan’s Suzuka circuit in 1989, using real telemetry that Honda still has logged to synch with lights and speakers placed around the circuit.

The Magic of Flying was, however, according to jury president James McGrath (creative chairman, Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne), a clear winner in Direct. A favourite going into this year’s festival, the campaign used digital billboards in London that could pick up data from transponders on British Airways planes travelling overhead, displaying the flight info with a prompt to look up from a cute kid.

The jury praised not just the campaign’s sophisticated use of technology, but also the way in which it created a seamless and meaningful experience for those who encountered it. They also claimed that it is likely to be seen in the future as a landmark campaign.

For our Contagious I/O platform, we interviewed Jon Andrews, creative technology director at Ogilvy, London and Darren McKay, sales director at Storm, a division of Clear Channel which handled the digital out of home. Jon Andrews told us: ‘There is a renaissance in outdoor but before this, there wasn’t an existing media buy that could interrupt, and we were looking to interrupt for 30 seconds every five minutes. We like to think we’ve opened the door for other brands and since our campaign, other work has run that wouldn’t have been able to without the work that we did.’

I/O subscribers can access the full interview here