News & Views

Cannes Lions / Branded Content and Entertainment Winners

by Contagious Team

Inaugural Grand Prix heads to a brand that built a 'content platform'

Having expected around 400 entries for the the category's first year, Philip Thomas, CEO, Cannes Lions, was proud to announce that over 800 were received. 'This has been something we've been planning for a number of years, but we needed to get the timing right,' he said.

Winner of the Grand Prix was US-based Mexican restaurant chain, Chipotle, and its 'Cultivate' campaign entered by Creative Artists Agency, LA; a series of brand touchpoints that communicate the brand's sustainable credentials and provenance. 

Gold Lion winners included Nissan and PlayStation's GT Academy (TBWA/Chiat/Day, LA), Carling Black Label's Be The Coach (Ogilvy, Cape Town), The Return of Dictator Ben Ali (Memac Ogilcy Label, Tunisia) and Intel's Museum of Me (Projector, Tokyo).

Commenting on Chipotle's success, jury head Avi Savar, founder of Big Fuel said: 'I think this is an example of building a platform to build content, and then using content as a primary means to connect to consumers. There's no talk of discounts or end product. It's purely about an emotional connection to the audience.'

Carling's Be The Coach and Montblanc's The Beauty of a Second, a crowdsourced film competition from Leo Burnett, Milan were contenders for the main prize, but Chipotle's use of multiple touchpoints, including a loyalty program, a game, an event and music video, helped it over the line.

For Savar, the new category is truly representative of the need for brands to place audiences first: 'This is a big milestone in our industry: audiences can come first and we can build brands through content. People first, products second - that's the formula.'

The challenge for next year would appear to be the definition of the category itself. Music, events, gaming, long-form, short-form, digital and non-digital offerings had 'painted a landscape where people can interact with brands through infinite ways,' according to Savar. 

See for a complete list of all the winners.