First Cannes shortlists revealed for Direct, Promo & Activation

The 59th International Festival of Creativity is underway in Cannes and Marketing is reporting on all the action from the ground: the shortlists, the wins, the parties, the celebrity spottings…you’ll almost be able to feel the French Riviera sun on your face (but hopefully no beach cigarette butts between your toes). This week’s coverage will come in […]

The 59th International Festival of Creativity is underway in Cannes and Marketing is reporting on all the action from the ground: the shortlists, the wins, the parties, the celebrity spottings…you’ll almost be able to feel the French Riviera sun on your face (but hopefully no beach cigarette butts between your toes).

This week’s coverage will come in the form of web stories, photos and videos. It will get heavy (behind-the-scenes interviews with industry icons) but have a healthy dose of light, too (if Selena Gomez, Gen Y brand extraordinaire and festival speaker, is spotted with Justin Bieber, you’ll be the first to know).

It all started Sunday morning with the first official piece of business, the release of the Direct and Promo & Activation shortlists.

On the Direct list, Canada was nowhere to be found, shut out despite a near doubling of entries from 2011.

In Promo & Activation, the news was slightly better with Canada making the list twice.

BBDO and Wrigley made it for “Touch the Untouchable” for Skittles, a sequel to last year’s “Touch the Rainbow” work that won multiple awards in multiple competitions around the world.

In 2012, BBDO created similar quirky videos but this time encouraged viewers to call a number to interact with the characters.

Leo Burnett and IKEA made the list for “Moving Day.” A winner at the Media Innovation Awards and the recent Marketing Awards, the effort saw Montreal streets stacked high with IKEA-branded boxes, free for movers to take and laden with coupons during the busy July long weekend when much of Montreal is on the move. The event brought a 14% increase to store visits versus the same weekend in 2010, and a 24.5% sales increase.

Canadian entries in both competitions were up significantly from 2011. In Promo & Activation, there were 75 entries compared to 44 last year. In Direct, there were 44 entries compared to 25 a year ago. (In 2011, five Canadian entries made the Promo & Activation shortlist and four made the Direct shortlist.)

Leo Burnett’s Kelly Zettel represents Canada on the Direct jury, while Saatchi’s Brian Sheppard is on the Promo & Activation jury.

While the Festival has only just begun, it’s already been a very big year. The 59th International Festival of Creativity received 34,301 entries this year, a 19% increase over 2011.

Canadian entries shot up nearly 32% to 1,050 from 798 a year ago. That total makes Canada the 10th most entered country.

Those entering more than Canada include:

•U.S.—5,058

•Brazil—3,419

•Germany—2,375

•U.K.—2,343

•Australia—1,268

•France—1,237

•India—1,182

•Spain—1,098

•Japan—1,058

Later in the day Sunday, the PR shortlist was also released. Lowe Roche was the lone Canadian entrant to make the list.

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