Top Creative Agency Awards Remixed From The Cannes Lions

We have remixed the Cannes Lions to bring you eight outstanding agencies whose work stood out to us. Who brought the most Minimalist campaign? What top creative agency campaign was Humorous, Trendy, or Consumer-Friendly? Which agency took most Clever or Philanthropic? And, last but not least, which agencies were soaring to new heights with work that proved their Small Agency has what it takes or that they are truly Up-and-Coming?

The 2013 Cannes Lions International Festival for Creativity, or Cannes Lions for short, is regarded as the largest congregation of advertising, design, digital, and marketing industry professionals in a week full of master classes, seminars, workshops, and culminates in four award ceremonies. If you want to learn more about Cannes, go here.

1. Minimalist: TBWA/Media Arts Lab (L.A.)

CAMPAIGN: Back Pages campaign for Apple (iPad Mini)

TBWA/Media Arts Lab Back Pages campaign for Apple
The US agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab won the Grand Prix in the Press Lions category this year. Its campaign, “Back Pages” advertising Apple‘s iPad Mini, was a simple play upon proportions. The front cover of print magazines such as Time, Wired and The New Yorker was replicated on the back cover on the face of an actual-size iPad Mini screen. The iPad Mini image was confined to the print page’s corner for size comparison against the print version of the same magazine; the iPad Mini image was set against an otherwise plain background aside from the “iPad Mini” type and Apple logo.

The simplicity of size comparisons, cleverly utilizing the magazine that the target consumer is already engaging with, makes for an innovative campaign that is straightforward but smart, accessible but fresh.

2. Clever: LEMZ (Amsterdam)

CAMPAIGN: “The Label Lottery” for & Dutch Food Authority

LEMZ discovered a creative way to get consumers to pay attention to household chemical labels by offering 1,000 euros to whoever was willing to read the fine print — the only way of becoming aware of this prize. Half of “The Label Lottery” campaign’s creativity simply was having the suspicions overwhelmingly confirmed that people do not bother to read the labels of what they buy and use. Proof of the necessity of this campaign came from the campaign itself when not a single buyer called within four weeks to claim any winnings, evidencing to an extent that consumers neither read their chemical products’ ingredients nor the label’s prize details that immediately followed. With the not-so-subtle hinting offered by press releases, consumers then flocked to their cabinets to read through the labels of the chemicals they had already bought in hopes of discovering a free 1,000 euros they had passed over. Eventually, winners did call in and get rewarded by, and both winners and losers alike became more aware of the contents of their household chemicals in the process of vying to win. Consumers became more aware in terms of their safety and their purchases, and the world, in turn, became more aware of LEMZ’s clever efforts as an agency.

3. Trendy: Draftfcb (New York)

CAMPAIGN: “Daily Twist” for Oreo

Oreo recently celebrated its 100th birthday with Draftfcb‘s “Daily Twist” campaign that won the Grand Prix in the Cyber category. In this campaign, an Oreo-based graphic was released each day for 100 days that was based on historical events, current events, or what people were talking about at the time based on combing through social media at the start of each day. The campaign made a bold entrance on June 25, 2012, with a graphic of an Oreo sandwiching several layers of a rainbow assortment of vanilla creams in honor of gay pride, with June being LGBT Pride Month and the 25th being the day after New York’s Gay Pride March. The campaign acknowledged everything from quirky holidays (“July 1: International Joke Day”) to trend markers (“September 14: Horse dance goes viral” regarding breakout artist Psy’s music video for “Gangnam Style”), incorporating an Oreo cookie into a graphic tailored to each of these days’ recognitions.

The final day of the campaign centered the artists in a public space so as to receive live input from passerby as to what that day’s graphic should be, which effort was an extension off of Oreo’s online interactions with the public in terms of idea considerations. Though the Oreo category was certainly very consumer-friendly, its day-by-day adjustments led by social media and news tracking in order to keep up with mass consumers’ everyday activity as closely as possible makes Draftfcb’s campaign for Oreo thrive on being immensely trendy.

4. Philanthropic: Forsman & Bodenfors (Gothenburg, Sweden)

CAMPAIGN: “Faktum Hotels” for Gothenburg street newspaper Faktum
Forsman & Bodenfors “Faktum Hotels” for Gothenburg street newspaper Faktum

Gothenburg’s street newspaper Faktum began a campaign through the Forsman & Bodenfors agency to make people more aware of local homelessness. The campaign, titled “Faktum Hotels,” involved creating a line of fake hotels that advertised purchasing a stay in one of Gothenburg’s homeless hideouts, from abandoned buildings to open nature. “Purchasing a stay” at one of these locations, complemented by very striking photography of each spot on the website, goes towards financial support of the Faktum newspaper. The uncomfortable but moving descriptions of the so-called “hotels” offer perspective, displaying a homeless person’s run-down living space while describing elite, beautiful, or cultural attractions nearby in the style of a typical hotel advertisement.

The “Faktum Hotels” campaign not only gets one thinking about the Faktum brand, but also thinking about his or her own worldview, relative position, and local region’s homelessness.

5. Humorous: McCann Melbourne (Australia)

CATEGORY: Radio, Direct, PR, Film and Integrated
CAMPAIGN: “Dumb Ways to Die” for Metro Trains Melbourne

McCann Melbourne sure cleans up nicely, even if its Metro Trains Melbourne client’s train deaths do not. McCann Melbourne has taken home five Grand Prix awards in the Radio, Direct, PR, Film and Integrated categories for a three-minute animated music video. The video, entitled “Dumb Ways to Die” and having earned 50 million YouTube views, pairs with a song of the same name by McCann’s John Mescall and two local band members; the tonally upbeat, catchy song matched the video’s online success by making iTunes’ global Top 10 list. The video, portraying gruesome deaths of “cute” cartoon figures via tolerably toned-down animations, ends by listing potential train-oriented deaths that don’t rhyme and by delivering a message from Metro to “be safe around trains.” By being both cute and funny (even if dark humor), the video was able to reach out to a target audience that likes cute and funny but that also is particularly likely to act towards impulse or danger: Australia’s teenagers.

By being very direct in addressing the serious risks of unsafe behavior around trains, yet doing so in a way that not only gets people to actually pay attention to such warnings but also to enjoy them presentationally, McCann Melbourne’s safety campaign for Metro Trains Melbourne was — dare we say — a hit.

6. Consumer-Friendly: Ogilvy & Mather (Paris)

CAMPAIGN: “Ads With Purpose” for IBM

Ogilvy & Mather “Ads With Purpose” for IBM

Smarter campaigns for smarter cities; Ogilvy & Mather‘s “Ads With Purpose” campaign for IBM in its quest for technology-enhanced cities has the agency benching its Cannes competition, perhaps even literally so. Three outdoor IBM ads arounds Paris also served as a bench, overhang shelter, and ramp painted to blend in with the ad itself. The devices, touting IBM’s logo and a URL, encourage people who make use of the ads’ functional additions to check out IBM’s website to submit their own ideas for city improvements regardless of where they live.

By creating ads that urban crowds can actually use, thereby simultaneously proving the Smarter Cities initiative’s worth in being carried forward, Ogilvy & Mather not only interact with audiences online as the Oreo campaign did; they also provide functionality within their ads themselves that proves a point while accommodating, not just persuading, city masses. Ogilvy & Mather was able to score the Grand Prix in the Outdoor category for this campaign, and city dwellers were able to score a resting spot in town.

7. Small Agency: Mistress (Venice Beach, CA)

CATEGORY: Promo & Activation
CAMPAIGN: “Double Loop Dare @ X GAMES” for Mattel (Hot Wheels)

For such a small ad agency, Mistress sure created a big bang when it hosted a Double Loop Dare at the X Games to promote Mattel and its Hot Wheels line. The small agency of fewer than ten people commanded a large presence at the Cannes Lions when its X Games endeavor competed in the Promo & Activation awards category. Mistress’s campaign for the Hot Wheels brand was global and live, turning its heel on traditional advertising and also on its traditional demographic: a goal of the campaign at the teen-favored Games was to appeal to boys of all ages, not just the young ones that Hot Wheels is typically associated with. Aside from succeeding at staging two world record-breaking stunts, the tiny but powerful agency also succeeded at garnering 67 million YouTube views for its campaign. The event got three billion media impressions and was received in 204 countries.

Through its advertising success, the Mistress agency has asserted a similar message as the largely valuable brand of Hot Wheels’ infamous, obstacle-defying toy cars: don’t underestimate the power of little.

8. Up-And-Coming Agency: Space150 (Minneapolis, MN)

CATEGORY: Branded Content & Entertainment
CAMPAIGN: “Falling for You” miniseries for Target

When it comes to revolutionizing video advertisements, Space150 is right on Target. Its “Falling for You” campaign was Target‘s first shoppable film, offering 110 home, fashion, and beauty products featured in the three-part romantic comedy for viewers to be able to add to a shopping cart as the items appear in the video itself. The Space150 agency, consisting of only 100 people, was also able to secure big names for the miniseries, including actress Kristen Bell as well as director Phil Abraham, whose past work includes “The Sopranos” and, conveniently enough, “Mad Men.” The agency has also expanded beyond Minneapolis to other offices in New York and Los Angeles, and it sports other big-name clients such as American Express, American Eagle, Buffalo Wild Wings, General Mills, and Starz Entertainment.

Space150 continues to engage in tech-savvy projects that push the envelope and, suavely, its own name. With this agency, as its “Space” name suggests, the only way to go is up.