News & Views

Cannes lions / Direct Lions Awards

by Contagious Team

The campaigns that stood out for the jury at the 2013 Direct Cannes Lions awards were those that made people take action

Mark Tutssel, worldwide chief creative at Leo Burnett and Direct Lions president, said that while there was 'quite a bit of debate within the jury as to what constitutes direct', the category rewarded the campaigns that changed behaviour. And one example of a campaign that inspired change was Dumb Ways to Die from Metro Trains and McCann, Melbourne in Australia, which bagged the Grand Prix.

Tutssel said of the campaign: 'It did what it was designed to do - change behaviour - change the way they feel about the brand and how they act...This was an idea that not only transcended its medium but captured the attention of the word. It created fame for that brand.'

What united many of the winners chosen out of the 20,578 entries in the Direct category, said Tutssel, is that they all made people act: 'They are all designed to connect to people in a very powerful way, forge a relationship, a partnership and create an action.' He added that the jury was also on the lookout for campaigns that had human interest, saying: 'Our goal as a jury was to find those ideas that created human connection and human value. We were looking to discover the brands that use creativity in a new way.'

Amongst the Gold winners in the Direct category were My Blood is Red and Black, by Leo Burnett Tailor Made, São Paulo, The Gap in the Market by TBWA/Belgium, Brussels, and Nike+ Kinect Training by AKQA London. One campaign that juror John Immosoete, chief creative officer of The Ryan Partnership, singled out was the SPCA New Zealand's Driving Dogs. 'It had tremendous emotional impact in a humorous way,' he said. 'It defied you not to vote for it - some things are that good.'

The jurors spoke of the overlap between the categories at Cannes, a topical subject seeing as so many campaigns, such as Dumb Ways to Die, won awards in various categories. Tutssel told Contagious that the reason for the blurring of the lines between categories is that you cant split communications into a single channel in the same way as you used to. 'Technology has created a network of creative tissues that allow brands to simultaneously talk to people on different channels,' he said.

He also spoke of that old buzzword 'content' saying: 'Content is the new currency. Content we create doesn't compete in a particular [advertising] category but competes with popular culture. People are looking for ideas that stimulate them and are useful for their lives. There is a cross section between advertising and entertainment.' He explained that advertisers don't have 'the divine right to people's attention' but need to give people 'little bits of gratification'.

Click here for the full list of winners.