When the Radio jury first reviewed DraftFCB‘s spots for Union Hearing Centre, not everyone got the full effect… which shows the ad does what it claims.
The ads, which won a Silver Lion for the Toronto agency, test to see if the listener needs to get their hearing checked by broadcasting a high-frequency signal that people with less-than-perfect hearing can’t detect.
“Half the jury could hear it and the other half couldn’t,” said jury member Denise Rossetto, creative director at DDB Canada. “It caused this great discussion. Some of the people on the jury were worried they couldn’t hear it and wanted to get their hearing tested. It was really effective.”
DDB Toronto also won Silver in Radio for its Toronto Crime Stoppers campaign. Comprised of three ads—”Watching,” “Not Safe” and “Nightmare”—the campaign features threatening, disguised voices telling criminals they are not safe from anonymous tipsters.
DraftFCB picked up another Lion—a Bronze—for its mobile-enhanced PFLAG spot called “Jazz,” which tells real, first-person stories with cliffhanger endings. To hear the story to its completion listeners must use the popular music-identifying mobile app Shazam.
Rossetto wasn’t allowed to stay in the judging room while her agency’s work was debated, and she did not expect it to earn a trophy, “but when I came back into the room, everyone clapped.”
When the app detects the ad, listeners get the conclusion of the story.
“Everyone thought it was cool,” said Rossetto. “It was interactive radio.”
This year’s Radio Grand Prix went to Talent in Brazil for its “Repellent Radio,” a broadcast sponsored by Go Outside magazine that transmitted a frequency known to repel mosquitos overtop its regular programing.
Jury president Rob McLennan, executive CD at Network BBDO in South Africa, called the concept “an excellent use of innovation, using radio as a medium to do something different.”
There was significant debate, McLennan said, as to whether this really was what the festival had in mind for a Radio Grand Prix (it is, after all, a technological innovation and not, at first glance, an advertising one). In the end, jurists were won over by the fact that Talent was using radio to “enhance a scenario,” the jury president said.
“Think of the potential of something like that. We can use radio to deal with things like Denge fever,” which is spread by mosquito.
Cossette‘s team in Montreal picked up a Bronze in the Design competition for “Off,” an event with unique branding designed for the French-language trade magazine Infopresse.
Building on the event’s theme of “Switch to off. We’ll switch you on,” Cossette used power bars and orange extension cords to create circuit-like art and a typeface specific to the event. Artists also carried the theme throughout the event, decorating the venue with orange tape in the same style.
The Design Grand Prix went to ServicePlan, a solar power company in Munich, for its sun-sensitive annual report for Austria Solar. Jury president Bruce Duckworth, CD at his eponymous agency, said the report had “wonderful” typography and a strong overall visual design, but it was the ink that made it Grand Prix-worthy. The creators used ink that is only visible in sunlight and quickly fades once brought inside. Given the nature of the client, it was a natural, brand-appropriate design choice.
Even on the first day of judging the category’s nearly 2,200 entries, “we all had a feeling that this was really something quite special,” said Duckworth. Making it even more special, he added, is that it comes in a medium that tends to be very dull.
Canada sent a representative to this jury: Barbara Jacques, CD at Cossette. She said she was particularly impressed with the Gold-winning “IKEA Skarpsill” (a tin of herring) package design, which was very minimal, limited to IKEA’s standard two-colour palette, but artistically interesting nonetheless.
“Often, design is for designers only; it has that reputation,” Jacques said, but this example of design “you can find in every IKEA. It could touch anybody.”
As has been the norm at these awards, Canadian submissions doubled in this category this year. The festival received 101 Design entries from Canada, up from 50 in 2011.
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