News & Views

Cannes Lions / Direct Awards

by Contagious Team

The Direct Lions Grand Prix winner demonstrates the power of projects over campaigns

US agency Crispin Porter + BoguskyBoulder has been awarded the Direct Grand Prix for its work in helping American Express found Small Business Saturday

The credit card company launched the shopping day in 2010, in order to give small businesses a day of their own during the holiday shopping season. Small Business Saturday has also been awarded a Grand Prix in the Promo & Activation category. 
Jury president Gideon Amichay, former chief creative officer and joint managing partner of Shalmor Avnon Amichay / Y&R Interactive, Tel Aviv, called the work 'game-changing,' stating that it exemplified the shift advertising should be making away from temporary advertising ideas, towards sustainable projects. 'In ten years it will be a part of our life,' he said, 'and that, as a jury, is something we wanted to promote.' 

Fifteen Gold Direct Lions were awarded, with Saatchi & Saatchi, Milan receiving two for their work for World Down Syndrome Day. Small Business Saturday scooped the Grand Prix by a long way, with over 20 out of 24 votes. The jury stated, however, that the two other most likely contenders for the top spot were Gold Lion winners Polar Bowl, by Coca-Cola and Wieden+Kennedy, Portland and Mini France's Mini Maps spot by DDB, Paris.

The Direct Lions received a record 2,357 entries this year, up 27% from last year. Jury member Johnny Tan, executive creative director at BBH China, said that the increase in entrants was a 'healthy sign for the industry' as the category was all about 'connecting personally, and human relationships.' Amichay reiterated this, stating that 'the emotional option is no longer an option... it is our job.'