The Message from Cannes Lions 2019, brought to you by…
While the Titanium Lions remain the most coveted and anticipated creative award in Cannes for much of the industry, the big winner announced Friday night was expected by many.
Burger King’s “Whopper Detour” had already won two Grand Prix’s in the Mobile and Direct competitions this week and, aside from Nike’s “Dream Crazy,” seemed like a clear favourite to win the Titanium Grand Prix.
But while “Dream Crazy” was beloved by the judges, and did earn a Titanium Lion (there are no golds, silvers or bronzes in the category), it was at its core an advertising idea—however bold.
On the other hand, “Whopper Detour”—Burger King’s troll-ish geo-fencing of more than 14,000 McDonald’s stores to give away 1-cent Whoppers via the BK app—embodies the key criteria of Titanium, which is intended to set new benchmarks for the future of the industry (see all six Titanium winners below).
“This checks off all the boxes,” said jury president David Lubars, global chief creative officer, BBDO. “It is flawlessly executed, [and] I can assure you this is so incredibly difficult to do. It is a future-facing tech hack—we hadn’t seen that before. It [has] great sales results, so it is real, and it’s so on brand and fun and human and delighting.”
Lubars explained the mandate for the Titanium Lions as first envisioned by Dan Wieden, who created the category in 2003. They’re about about work that “causes the industry to stop in its tracks and reconsider the way forward,” he said.
“You’ll see new uses of technology, you’ll see brands take a stand that brands never took before and, when criticized, stood by [it],” he continued. “You’ll see brands playing roles in society they have never played before… you’ll see delight and joy, and ideas our clients and other agencies here can take back and use to see what they should build on for the future.”
When asked about “Dream Crazy,” Lubars praised the work, but said that “Whopper Detour” was just a little bit better.
The Nike creative executions were great, he said, and what made it worthy of a Lion—where it showed the way forward—was in Nike’s commitment to stand behind Colin Kaepernick. “Companies shouldn’t back down when they have a stand. And they should support what they believe in. After they got all that shit in the initial press, not only did they make a stand, they put out a video about how to burn your sneakers carefully,” he said.
“We loved it—it was brilliant,” he said of “Dream Crazy. “We discussed it, [and] we thought [“Whopper Detour”] just had that extra little magic, and that’s a subjective thing sometimes.”
“The Whopper Detour” Burger King and FCB New York
“Changing the game” Microsoft and McCann New York
“Nike Dream Crazy” Nike and Wieden + Kennedy Portland
“Viva La Vulva” Essity and AMVBBDO London
“The Uncensored Playlist” Reporters Without Borders and DDB Berlin
“The Last Issue Ever” Gazeta PL, Mastercard and BNP Paribas and VMLY&R Poland