News & Views

Cannes Lions / Entertainment Winners

by Alex Jenkins

The New York Times, German supermarket Edeka, and Beyoncé have all scooped Grands Prix in the Entertainment Lions today.

The NYT won the top Entertainment - previously Branded Entertainment - award for The Displaced, a film telling the story of the refugee crisis via a virtual reality experience. Earlier this week, the same campaign won the Mobile Grand Prix, although the jury noted that it won the earlier award for the app as a distribution platform, whereas it won the Entertainment Lion for the content that it delivered.

President of the Lions Entertainment jury and chief creative officer of CAA Marketing, Jae Goodman, outlined four criteria the jury had used to evaluate the work:

'The first was quality. This is Cannes Lions - there's no choice. It's got to be the best. Second there had to be a powerful relationship to the product or brand - this is not entertainment for entertainment's sake. This is entertainment to drive brands and business. [Third] The work had to attract an audience, not distract an audience. We've lived through 50 years of interruptive advertising. It's time for brands to create content that can actually draw an audience. Last, we spent time talking about the difference between content which is entertaining, versus entertainment. Something that's entertaining - that's a reaction to a piece of content. Entertainment is a form, so we concentrated on entertainment.'

Goodman went on to say how the intent mattered - i.e. what the brand or agency had in mind when they created the content.

Gold Lions were also awarded to a further nine campaigns:

- Margot vs Lily / NikeWomen / via Wieden+Kennedy, Portland

- The Family / Ford Motor Co / via Very Agency, Copenhagen

- The Most Dangerous Town on the Internet / Norton by Symantec / via Grey San Francisco

- GE Podcast Theatre Presents The Message / GE / via BBDO New York

- Museum of Feelings / SC Johnson / via Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago

- Out There / Canada Goose / via CAA Marketing, Los Angeles

- House of Little Moments / UNI Presidents / via ADK, Taiwan

- Survival Billboard / Microsoft / via McCann, London

- Kaleidoscope / Red Bull / RSA Films, London


The Entertainment Lions for Music were also announced today, with two entries being awarded Grands Prix in this new category. Jury president and EVP, director of music at Grey, Josh Rabinowitz, explained that comparing music videos to content from brands was like comparing apples to oranges, and the jury unanimously agreed that it was therefore appropriate to have two winners.

The first Grand Prix went to Beyoncé for her Formation video:

Rabinowitz commented how Formation 'pushed the limits on the way we perceive women in culture. There's been lots of controversy around it. When you can do something that's socially relevant in the mainstream, when you're such a big pop artist and you take risks - that's one of the most powerful things you can do'.

The second Grand Prix was awarded to German supermarket Edeka, via Jung von Matt, Hamburg, for the use of an original song in its Home for Christmas (#HeimKommen) campaign, in which an old man fakes his own death in order to get his family to attend a festive dinner:

Peggy Walter, director of celebrity services at Leo Burnett and member of the Entertainment Lions for Music jury, commented more generally on the importance of the category being added to the festival this year:

'The primary growth within the music industry has been the growth in relationships with brands. Ten years ago, the relationship between brands and music was worth about $500m. This year, it's going to be $1.4bn. These awards are reflecting that growth.'

The jury also awarded five Gold Lions in this category:

- A Voice for Songbirds / Romanian Ornithological Society / via Jazz Communication, Bucharest

- Your Future is Not My Future / Adidas / via Johannes Leonardo, New York

- Super Bowl Babies Choir / National Football League / Grey, New York

- Safe & Sound Music Player / LMG Insurance / BBDO, Bangkok

- Don't Look Away / Usher / AKQA, Sao Paulo