News & Views

Cannes Lions / Direct Winners

by Emily Hare
Volvo, via Grey New York, has been awarded Cannes Lions’ International Festival of Creativity’s Direct Grand Prix for its Twitter-powered disruptive Super Bowl Campaign.

The Interception campaign saw Volvo successfully compete in the maelstrom of Super Bowl advertising to dominate Twitter during rival automotive adverts, despite not running a TV commercial of its own. By using the hashtag #VolvoContest, people were encouraged to tweet when any automotive ad was broadcast during the Super Bowl for the chance to win a car.

Over 2,000 tweets were sent per minute, and the hashtag was the only automotive brand trending during the Super Bowl. The jury described the campaign as ‘changing the conversation’ and Volvo saw sales of its XC60 increase by 70% in the month following the game.

Judy John, jury chair and CEO and CCO of Leo Burnett, praised the campaign by saying ‘Volvo zagged and created a new conversation by really hijacking other car companies’ commercials. It pushed direct and what you can do in direct.’

Juror Rob Morrison, OgilvyOne creative director, described the jury's definition for the direct category as: work that is targeted, trackable in its response and linked to the product. Many campaigns had one or two elements, but the jury felt that the best work contained all three.

Morrison added: ‘There’s so much innovation in technology, the category is wide open,’ citing Gold-winning Canal+’s Interactive Form, via BETC Paris. He described the work as ‘an online form, done with insight, beauty and simplicity in an entertaining way, despite being a brief that no one would fight for.’

The category’s other contender for Grand Prix was #HandsOff for high-end porn site, Marc Dorcel (self-evidently not safe for work). Marcel Paris came up with a hilarious solution that allowed people to experience the quality content while still leaving them with a reason to sign up to the full service. A free trial was available but to access it users had to keep their hands on the keyboard at all times. People tried and failed to hack it. John described the work as a very creative piece that was ‘so direct, you really had to try the product’. 

ALS’ Ice Bucket Challenge picked up a Gold Lion in Direct, as well as the day’s other awards, Mobile and Promo. Promo jury chair Matt Eastwood praised it for being one of the biggest activations ever, hinting ‘we hope it’s a strong contender for Grand Prix for Good.’

Twenty Gold Lions were awarded in total, including Always #LikeAGirl, through Leo Burnett; Intermarche’s The Freshest Orange Juice Brand by Marcel, Paris; Ad Council’s powerful Love Has No Labels through R/GA New York and Bosse’s Milk for Lidl (Ingo, Stockholm).