News & Views

Cannes Lions: Promo and Activation Award Winners

by Contagious Team

Sorry I Spent It On Myself, a tongue-in-cheek campaign from Adam&EveDDB, London, for UK retailer Harvey Nichols, won the Promo & Activation Grand Prix at Cannes this year.

The promotion saw the store launch a range of joke value products in the run up to Christmas, such as gravel, elastic bands, toothpicks and a 'non-Swiss' pen, all carrying the line: 'Sorry, I spent it on myself'. The range sold out within three days and was praised by the jury for its attention to detail and impressive craft, as well as for shifting products at a key time of year. 

Chair of the jury and Leo Burnett chief creative officer Susan Credle was impressed by the campaign's audacity. She described the work as 'dripping in creative confidence.' Will Clarke, jury member and executive creative director at The Integer Group, spoke of the difficulty that brick and mortar stores have attracting customers and competing with online retailers. Clarke praised the campaign for its 'level of connection and level of creativity' as well as 'an idea that resonated with its brave message of selfishness.'

The jury, noting that the Promo & Activation category often sets the tone for awards during the week, had been up until 4am deliberating. The other campaign that was in contention for the Grand Prix was We Are All Monkeys, created by Loducca, Sao Paulo. The anti-racism campaign, which stars Brasilian footballer Neymar and his response to a banana thrown at his Barcelona teammate Dani Alves, was awarded a Gold Lion on the night.

A total of 20 Gold Lions were presented - in addition to the two that went to the Grand Prix winner, two Gold Lions were also awarded to Lemz Amsterdam's Sweetie work for Terre Des Hommes to trap pedophiles online, The Autocomplete Truth for UN Women, by Memac Ogilvy in Dubai and Speaking Exchange by FCB Brasil, Sao Paulo, which connected Brazilians learning English with Americans in retirement homes (see video above).

Other gold winners included Dentsu Tokyo's Sound of Honda (above), British Airways' Magic of Flying billboards from OgilvyOne, London, which tracked specific planes in the skyBentley Burial, an organ donation awareness campaign through Leo Burnett Tailor Made, Sao Paulo, for ABTO, Brazil's Association of Organ transplantation and Volvo Trucks Live Test Series, via Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg.

Jury member Clarke identified human-centered design as one of the year's key themes: 'The things that rose to the top really connect with people on a human level, not on a demographic level. Understanding people's habits, even down to putting money in a collection box, to me really shows how understanding users from a web community and a mobile community is starting to bleed over.'

In a category where a relatively traditional Promo & Activation piece was celebrated in the Grand Prix, jury member Fumitaka Takano, creative director at ADK, thought that Sound of Honda points the way for Promo & Activation. 'Light and sound can motivate people; memories can drive peoples feelings. That is the future of the category.' 

A full list of the day's winners are available here. To hear more from Contagious at Cannes, check out Storystream, listen to our daily podcasts and follow us on Twitter.