June 28, 2015

Cannes – it’s a wrap

Another year at Cannes has come and gone in the blink of an eye. Even for those of us not there it hasn’t been a particularly memorable festival. No stand out project that people will talk about for years to come. Lots of me-too work that makes women, teens, LGBT or whoever feel proud of themselves thanks to brands that truly understand them. With so many brands saving the world the future is looking bright. OK, maybe I’m being a bit cynical. But there is something of a bandwagon rolling around adland right now. So I am going to choose some of the work I think isn’t copycat.

Last year Intermarche in France showed how they were able to get French people buying ugly fruit and vegetables. This year they have come up with a way to brand fresh orange juice with the times that the juice was squeezed. It won gold in DIRECT and probably took a lot of efforts to get the production line up and running.

So many agencies are looking for that earth shattering idea and incredible execution to bring home a Cannes Grand Prix. Grey New York did it with hardly any effort at all. The Volvo Interception campaign took home the Direct Grand Prix with a simple tweet.

But sometimes it’s the beauty that makes it a winner as in this Cyber Gold winner for Photoshop’s 25th anniversary. The Dream On campaign made use of 1000s of Photoshop files submitted by real users.

Who would have thought that the humble GIF would be back and bigger than ever in 2015? EA Sports harnessed people’s obsessions with American football and GIFs to get people talking about their console games. This won a Mobile Gold and Cyber Silver Lion.

OK, so I need to include one project that tries to save the world. The Clever Buoy project for Optus (sorry Americans, doesn’t sound quite right when you say it) uses technology to protect people from those pesky sharks that want to spoil your fun and eat your limbs. After all, the sea is there for humans not sea life! Now you can check your mobile before jumping into the sea and feel safe knowing that M&C Saatchi won a Titanium and Mobile Lion.

Finally, if there is one thing that has helped advance civilization in recent years it is the emoji. It has elevated communication to whole new levels. Now we’ve reached the summit of language with this Titanium and Integrated Grand Prix project from CP+B that lets you order pizza with emoji. Not just any emoji of course. The pizza one. Another case of minimum effort for maximum Cannes glory.

I’m exhausted now so go and check out all the winners here – while I order a pizza.

January 18, 2015

Cardboard driving

With Oculus Rift being still expensive and better suited for events we will be seeing a lot more uses of Google Cardboard to deliver engaging virtual reality experiences. R/GA and auto brand Volvo recently created a virtual reality experience using this low-cost VR head-set to maximise excitement and interest in the new XC90 before it hit the dealerships. The experience takes users on a virtual test drive through scenic countryside, with different episodes featuring different locations and weather conditions. A limited number of branded Cardboard headsets were given away via the campaign website. Fans also had the option of buying and building their own Google headset. Once assembled, users slide their smartphone into the viewer of the headset before starting the app, which works on both iOS and Android. (via Contagious)

May 14, 2014

New York Festivals Shine

As a judge during this year’s New York Festivals I had the pleasure (and the pain) to see all the shortlisted entries. So seeing which projects won doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Below are some of my own favorites from the winners.

Nike SB APP – R/GA

Digital: First Prize

Until now Nike apps have focused mainly on running, fitness training and soccer but in 2013 (to quote the R/GA case study) they collaborated with pro riders to create never-before-seen digital skate experiences. It changed the way skaters participated in the world’s biggest action sport.

The Nike SB App helps skaters progress in their sport, connect with their peers and pro riders, and earn respect for one another with features like video posting and challenges, and building their personal skate history.

The app features a multi-angle video learning system, letting users watch trick videos from multiple directions. They can go head-to-head in virtual games of S.K.A.T.E. and get exclusive access to live-streamed Nike Pro events.

To launch the app, 28 of the world’s best skaters were brought together for 24 hours and challenged to complete all 616 tricks in the Trick Tree while the world watched live on YouTube.

GEOX. 7 Days of Rain – SMFB with Media Monks

Digital: First prize

We’ve seen some beautiful work from Geox in the past couple of years. This time, to promote the FW 13 Amphibiox collection (a waterproof line produced by Geox), the agency decided to get quirky by getting one man live for 7 days under a man-made cloud.

LOWE’S Vine Fix in Six – BBDO

Digital: Second Prize

Lowe’s is the second largest home improvement retailer in the world and they’re in the business of providing “how to” tips. When the agency saw Vine, they saw an opportunity.

To quote the agency, “in the first campaign of its kind, we used Vine as a way to bring useful home improvement tips to life. Using stop-motion animation techniques, we created over 50 six-second films that were as entertaining as they were useful. We called it Lowe’s Fix in Six”.

The campaign was recognized by the press and users alike for bringing meaning to a platform often associated with trivial curiosities, rather than compelling content.

Perrier Secret Place – Fighting Fish

Digital: Second Prize

Amazing project with extremely high production values. To quote the agency, “PerrierSecretPlace is a digital experience designed to enable people to party in a way they never could before, but have always dreamed about. It’s the first interactive film that puts you in the shoes of a guest at a very special party, where they live their craziest fantasies. To do so, all characters that you see on screen are clickable”.

By playing their role, you can live their fantasy. Choose among 60 lives, and as many fantasies as you want. There are almost 10,000 different ways to experience this party, conceived with a real movie studio production for 18 months. To give users the opportunity to continue the party in real life, there’s a hidden a secret Perrier bottle somewhere in the party. If found, it could give the user a chance to win an exclusive invitation and go to one of the craziest parties all around the world.

Volvo Trucks Live Test Series – Forsman & Bodenfors

Integrated: First Prize

Everyone knows the Van Damme video stunt. But the whole campaign was amazing. According the agency’s website, “the creative idea was to carry out extreme tests of relevant product features, in a live set up, where the outcome could never be guaranteed. In this way we could thrill and engage the widest possible audience while still providing a valid demonstration of the new truck. If our live test films could evoke enough interest, then we might be able to get all the way through to the purchasers”.

No doubt we’ll be seeing many of these project in upcoming award shows. Great work always rises above.