News & Views

Cannes Lions / Cyber Awards

by Contagious Team

Brands 'behaving' rather than 'telling stories' win top honours in this year's Cyber category

Nike+ FuelBand, via R/GA New York, was an unsurprising, although thoroughly deserved, winner of the first Grand Prix. The accelerometer-equipped wrist band which allows users to measure physical activity and then map their progress through theNike+ ecosystem was applauded by jury member Malcolm Poynton (chief creative officer, Europe, SapientNitro), who described it as a 'Fantastic way of making data relevant to people on an everyday level'.

The other Grand Prix went to a completely different kind of initiative - Curators of Sweden, for the Swedish Institute/VisitSweden, through Volontaire Stockholm. This saw the official Sweden Twitter account handed over to Swedish citizens who took it in weekly turns to recommend things to do and places to see as well as share diverse opinions. The jury were quizzed during the briefing on the controversy surrounding the project thanks to a female blogger who, when in control of the account in early June, started Tweeting anti-semitic comments. 

Jury president Iain Tait responded: 'One of the things that we really respected was the fact that they didn't censor that - it says a lot about the country of Sweden. I think that being grown up about that and allowing people to have the conversation out in the open felt like one of the facets of the case. It shows that they're passionate about freedom of speech and that there's room for everyone in the country.'

The Cyber jury was headed up by president Iain Tait - executive creative director at Google Creative Lab and winner of one of last year's three Cyber Grand Prix for the Old Spice Response campaign he worked on while at Wieden+Kennedy. He began Wednesday's briefing by outlining what the jury was looking for:

'We're at a stage now in the industry where digital runs through almost everything and there almost isn't a case study in any category where there isn't at least some kind of digital consideration. So what we wanted to do was really find the work that stood apart or maybe represented some other kind of value so that Cyber could have its own sense of what it's all about'

He continued to explain the spread of Lions awarded - 'Compared to previous years, we gave away slightly more bronzes and silvers as a percentage. I think that over all, the standard of work is getting quite good so there's less stuff at the mediocre level which is a really positive thing. We gave away slightly fewer Golds because this year there weren't that many things that really blew us away. It feels like a year of maturing in the industry where things have been getting good; it's not a year for huge breakthroughs. Having said that, I think the two Grand Prix-winning pieces are truly ground-breaking and stand-out'.

Gold Lions were awarded to nine other campaigns including Projector Tokyo's elegant personalised Facebook film microsite, The Museum of Me, for IntelCrispin Porter + Bogusky, Boulder / Digitas New York scooped a Gold to add to the two Grand Prix they already won in Direct and Promo & Activation for the American Express Small Business Gets an Official Day. A Contagious favourite - the Bear 71 interactive wildlife documentary for The National Film Board via Jam3 Toronto - was also awarded a Gold Lion. For a full list of all the winners, visit the link below.

And for anyone who fancies bagging a Cyber Lion next year, jury president Iain Tait shared a top tip: 'One thing I'd like to highlight (and if it gets conveyed to the world it'd be great), one of the categories that we felt didn't reflect the world as it should be today was the Tools section. I think what we'd love to see in future years is for people to submit really great tools that people are using every day into that category because I think that it's a huge growth area and somewhere we'd like to see more brands and agencies doing and submitting work'.