News & Views

Cannes Lions / Media winners

by Alex Jenkins

The Media jury today announced their selection of winners, with Vodafone's Red Light App taking home the Grand Prix.

The app acts as a distress service for women being abused but disguises itself on the user's phone as a flashlight app. However, when the phone is shaken, it automatically sends a help message and their location to three pre-determined contacts. To publicise the app in a way that men wouldn't spot, the brand, with Y&R Team Red, Istanbul, hid instructions about how to use it in online videos ostensibly about feminine topics, such as makeup tutorials. It was further publicised on lingerie clothing tags and wax strips.

Discussing the quality of all entries, jury president Nick Emery, global CEO of Mindshare Worldwide, said that it was very difficult for big corporations to stack up against the quality of advertising being produced by NGOs. However, the Grand Prix was one of the few campaigns which united the two.

Out of 3,100 entries, 80 went on to win an award, with 10 bagging a Gold Lion:
Holograms for Freedom / No Somos Delito
Lebanon4Sale / Sakker El Dekkene
The Gun Shop / States United to prevent Gun Violence
Rabbit Race / Media Markt
The Ice Bucket Challenge / The ALS Association
Search for Free WiFi, Search for Missing Children / Baobeihuijia
The Banner That Makes You Like Banners / 3M
#LikeAGirl / Always
Risk Everything / Nike

However, in general terms, Emery outlined that there was a big gap between the commercial work and that being done by not-for-profits: 'The big corporations... they're very good, very competent and they're producing excellent campaigns, but there's not a lot of "wow" in those campaigns. They're very well executed but they don't push the barrier enough.'

He also noted that, based on watching the submission films that 'Most advertisers seem to think that millennials are morons.'