For the second year running, there was no Grand Prix winner in the Branded Content & Entertainment category at Cannes. The entries missed out on the top prize because, in the view of the jury, none had the qualities of a classic that would live on in the collective memory.
Wieden + Kennedy London may be kicking themselves for not entering Honda “The Other Side” into the category, as according to the judges, it could have been a Grand Prix contender had it been in the mix.
Jury president David Lubars, chief creative officer BBDO Worldwide, said the judges had admired “The Other Side” and hinted that had they been given the chance to consider it, the outcome could have been different. He said that the Branded Content category, in its third year, still had “room for growth and maturity” and that branded content “transcends categorization.”
A total of 16 Gold Lions were awarded, two of them going to the social media sensation, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Another Gold winner, Nike “House of Mamba” by AKQA London/Shanghai, singled out as a particular favorite of the jury. Nike’s LED motion-tracking basketball court “showed the direction the category should be going,” said jury member Mark Eaves, founding partner of U.K. agency Gravity Road.
Golds also went to “The Gun Shop” for States United to Prevent Gun Violence by Grey New York, and the Snapchat anti-drunk driving campaign “Tinnyvision” created for the New Zealand Transport Agency by Clemenger BBDO Wellington.
The John Lewis Christmas spot “Monty The Penguin” by adam&eveDDB, which won the Film Craft Grand Prix, also won a Gold in Branded Content. EA Sports’ “Madden Season,” by Heat won a Gold and a Silver, meanwhile, L’Oreal Paris’ virtual makeup app “Make Up Genius” picked up a Gold for McCann Paris.
“The benchmark for Branded Content was really high this year but we just felt that the entertainment value needed to be pushed a little higher,” Eaves said. “It was a real shame Honda Type R wasn’t put in. I think it would have had a lot of support in the room.”