News & Views

Cannes Lions / Cyber Award Winners

by Emily Hare

Both The Next Rembrandt and the Christmas Lottery have been awarded a Grand Prix in the Cyber category of this year's Cannes Lions.

When debating the definition of the Cyber category, the jury, led by Chloe Gottlieb, SVP and executive creative director at R/GA New York, reported that they celebrated work where the quality was at such a high level that its digital nature effectively disappeared. 

The Next Rembrandt for ING Bank saw J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam create a ‘new’ Rembrandt painting based on data scraped from the master’s originals. This data was fed through a deep learning algorithm and 3D printed to form a painting that mimicked Rembrandt's work, down to the brush strokes. 

Gottlieb praised the work, saying, the data is a source for creativity, something that’s coming from the digital world and then creating a physical thing in the real world, so in a sense it’s the opposite trajectory from the work that we were judging in Cyber even a few years ago.’ 

The jurys other Grand Prix went to Leo Burnett Madrid for Spain’s Christmas Lottery, Loterias y Apuestas del Estado. The beautiful digital campaign follows the life and adventures of Justino, a security guard at a mannequin factory. His story is told in a beautiful, digital-first form, as well as across Instagram and Facebook, even incorporating real world events, such as football matches, into the evolving content. The Christmas Lottery became a top trending topic in Spain, with average spend then topping €50 ($56) per person. 

Gottlieb explained the Cyber Jury was looking for the interesting intersection between idea, technology, time, craft' and that everything came together in this piece of work. 'This was created for the digital space and every piece of this story was perfectly crafted for its channel... It’s work that has no dead ends, it keeps going, the story grows as people interact with it, you can feel its power, you can feel its beauty.

She also explained that the two campaigns set the agenda for how the jury hopes the rapidly evolving Cyber category will develop. Justino... raises the bar for amazing storytelling and gives us awesome things to work towards for a long time to come. And The Next Rembrandt points to a time when technology will be there, but it will be nearly invisible and it actually will allow us to be more human and connect to each other in new ways.’

Two virtual reality pieces were awarded Gold Lions: Dreams of Dali by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, for the Dali Museum and Lockheed Martin's The Field Trip to Mars, by McCann New York. The jury debated both pieces for the Grand Prix, because they respectively showed how virtual reality could scale and how it could be a collective experience.

The impressiveness of both pieces is a mark of how rapidly the technology has developed since Google Cardboard was awarded the Mobile Grand Prix at last year’s festival, but in the end, neither justified the Grand Prix. 

Other Gold Lions went to The Swedish Tourist Association's Swedish Number, through INGO Stockholm, which added to its Direct Grand Prix earlier in the week. ASB Bank's Clever Kash by Saatchi & Saatchi Auckland also won a Gold.

Commenting on the category in general, Gottlieb added that: ‘The best cyber work is work where you don’t even see the technology, it becomes invisible and there’s this seamless experience that goes between the physical and digital worlds to the point that you don’t even know it’s there… it’s like magic.