News & Views

Cannes Lions / Direct, Promo & Activation Awards

by Contagious Team

Irreverance and anarchy reign in the winners of the Promo and Activation Lions

American Rom claimed the first Grand Prix wins of the Cannes Lions festival in both Promo and Activation and Direct for its campaign for the igniting patriotism in young Romanians suffering from low morale in the wake of political and economic crises. McCann Erickson, Bucharest, replaced the Rom chocolate bar's traditional wrapper featuring a Romanian Flag with an American flag in a week-long prank campaign, which drove people to vent their anger over social media, reaching 67% of the Romanian population.

Watch the case video above for a full explanation, but needless to say, any remaining stocks of the original Rom bar were snapped up, as well as the new American versions. Promo and Activation jury president and creative founder of Australian Agency BMF Warren Brown praised the campaign for its irreverance and anarchy. However, its bravery is diminished when compared to previous efforts such as South African clothing label Love Jozi, which spoofed itself with cheap knock-off wear for two years, before announcing the hoax and revealing a successful diffusion line.

The Promo and Activation jury was searching for an unexpected idea that was single-minded and effective, and was unimpressed by a slew of campaigns which relied on a new form of technology or social media to form the central idea. Brown explained: 'It is better to spend more time trying to find something interesting to say, rather than hope that people will tweet or blog. The best work used technology as part of the fabric of the idea, rather than being the bulk of the creative thinking.'

Other Gold Lions claimed in the Promo and Activation category from over 2,000 entries included the other Grand Prix contender - Starhub's Musical Fitting Rooms from DDB Singapore which matched clothes being tried on with appropriate tunes to promote the online music store. Jung von Matt Hamburg's simple yet powerful idea Save as WWF, disabling printing options on PDFs also claimed a gold. 4th Amendment Wear, Bolder, which printed metallic ink onto clothes that was invisible until the wearer passed through a metal detector, won two gold lions.

Other favourites that claimed Silver Lions included YouTube-based effort for BIC / Tipp-ExA Hunter Shoots a Bear, from Buzzman, Paris, Leo Burnett Toronto's continuously impressive work for James Ready Beer - this time recognised for Cap RecallMini Countryman's location-based chase game, Getaway Stockholm, via Jung von Matt, Stockholm and Greenpeace's powerful New Warrior project, to raise funds for its latest vessel online through DDB, Paris.

Brown praised the category as one which encourages 'brave, bold, creative accountability where the best work has to work and work quickly.' He praised the Promo and Activation as being an open category where it is impossible to predict what will happen and where a lot of the most exciting ideas are being placed.

Direct agency of the year was claimed by Ogilvy, Buenos Aires, after winning two Gold Lions for Coca-Cola's Friendship Machine, a Silver and a Bronze Lion for Spread the TedX and a Bronze for Budweiser Poolball.

Also in Direct, Old Spice Responses claimed its first Gold Lion of the festival, through Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, as did Bing and Jay-Z's Decoded campaign via Droga5.