The 58th annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (formerly known as advertising) wrapped up over the weekend and taking a look at some of the big winners, it’s easy to see why much of the best work is difficult to fit into specific categories. The final Grand Prix awarded, in the much-hyped Film category, went to Nike and Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam for “Write the Future.” It’s three-minutes long and built the bulk of its gazillion-strong following online during last summer’s World Cup. Not exactly your typical TV commercial.
Canada’s most-awarded piece of work was an online video for Skittles called “Cat” by BBDO Toronto, that won gold in both the Film and Cyber categories and proudly carried on the candy’s tradition of award-winning oddvertising. Go ahead, touch it.
Then there were the Cyber and Titanium Grand Prix winners. The former included Google and Arcade Fire for creating a music video using HTML5 and the search giant’s Chrome browser, and an Old Spice pitchman responding to viewers using social media. The latter was Microsoft’s Bing and Jay-Z for the Decoded campaign by New York-based agency Droga5 that used everything from outdoor to online search to promote the rapper’s memoir.
With so much criss-crossing between the lines of film, digital, outdoor, PR, integrated and everything else, why even have categories at all? Well, obviously they need some way to divvy up all that hardware, but still. As WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell told CNN, people are watching more TV than ever, it’s just now they’re doing it while on other devices. Of course, anyone on Twitter during Jersey Shore or the Stanley Cup finals could’ve told you that.