At the final awards gala of the 59th annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity today, Canada earned four Bronze Lions across two of the final four categories.
Titanium and Integrated Lions, as well as the first ever Branded Content & Entertainment Lions were also handed out.
In Film, long one of the biggest Lions competitions, Montreal agency LG2 won for “Couch,” its TV ad for Kristpy Kernels. The ad is a single, simple comedic concept: a man drops Krispy Kernels between the couch cushions and goes in search of them.
Taxi earned a Bronze in film as well for the Hockey Hall of Fame’s “Bobbie Bishop” spot, a 30-second single in a campaign using the strapline “Most hockey dreams die. Come see the ones that didn’t.” The spot shows a promising young hockey player driven off his NHL dreams by an unexpected development.
A third Film Bronze went to BBDO Toronto for “Running,” a video ad for the Canadian Paralympic Committee that features paralympian Alister McQueen.
The Film Grand Prix went to “Back to the Start,” a filmic video ad for American fast food company Chipotle from Creative Artists Agency. The animated story of a farmer who endures a career of factory farming, pollution and urbanization that then turns to simpler times is scored by “The Scientist”—originally recorded by Coldplay but performed for the ad by Willie Nelson.
Film jury president Khai Meng Tham, worldwide CCO of Ogilvy & Mather, called the ad “deceptively simple, yet so powerful,” a sentiment echoed a number of times by the jury during the press conference to announce the winners early Saturday afternoon.
Not only did it display excellent filmmaking technique and tell a powerful story, said Monica Moro, a jury member from Spain, but “we have to be aware of the times that we live in.” Factory farming is a global issue, she said, so even though the client was American, its message was broad. She liked that the spot game a “message of hope and optimism,” which may have been what carried “Back To The Start” past other strong Film favourites such as “The Bear” (for Canal+) and “Three Little Pigs” (for The Guardian).
The Canadian judge, Angus Tucker from Toronto’s John St., said it was the emotional elements combined with the strong story telling that cause it to “stick with you, for days after first watching it… the ad had a lot of staying power.”
“The first time I saw this spot, it made me change my opinion about the company,” he said. “It made me think much, much better, about it.”
“If you got a medal this year, you should be ridiculously happy,” Tucker said, of the 70 total Film Lion total. “Last year it was 102. Getting any kind of medal was really hard. There’s stuff that didn’t get a medal that I’d kill to have on my reel.”
There was somewhat of a consensus among jury members that 2012 was not the best year for Film. As Mark Bernath, ECD at Wieden + Kennedy in The Netherlands put it, each medalist earned their award, but beyond the competition shortlist, “it wasn’t a bumper crop this year.”
The Film Craft Lions were also handed out at tonight’s gala. Canada picked up a Bronze in this contest as well – JWT Toronto’s script for the Canadian Film Festival’s “Bank Teller” won in the Script category. The spot, which details the exploits of a drama-loving bank employee, was produced with Toronto’s Ruckus Films.
DDB’s work for BC Hydro—“Internet,” produced in partnership with Soft Citizen, was also at contender in Script after making the shortlist earlier in the week.
A movie-loving bear skin rug won Film Craft’s Grand Prix along with three other Golds and a Silver. “The Bear” by BETC in Paris advertises Canal+, a European television channel. The animal skin in question is the subject of a mockumentary as he directs a big-budget period film.
Canada entered 27 submissions to Film Craft, up from only seven last year.
The closing gala officially brings to an end the 59th International Festival of Creativity and Canadian companies are coming home with 19 Lions in total, up slightly from the 17 won in 2011.
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