Two of Canada’s best bets to win big in Cannes came through on day one, with both “Missing Matoaka” and “Ketchup Fraud” winning Gold Lions, and “Missing Matoaka” just missing out on the Grand Prix in Radio & Audio.
In all, Canada won 11 more Lions in three of the Festival’s Classic Track competitions: Outdoor, Print & Publishing, and Radio & Audio (see story below).
How did Canada do? 11 Lions (2G, 4S, 5B)
Outdoor: 1 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze
- (G,S) Rethink and Heinz Ketchup, “Ketchup Fraud” (three executions: “Kitchen,” “QSR,” and “Diner.”
- (S,B) Citizen Relations and Cheetos, “Cheetle in Cheadle”
- (S) Rethink and IKEA, “IKEA Window Shopping”
Print & Publishing: 1 Silver, 2 Bronze
- (S) Rethink and Penguin Books Random House, “The Unburnable Book”
- (S) Rethink and Heinz Ketchup won a Bronze, “Ketchup Fraud”
- (B) Taxi and Native Women’s Association of Canada, “Change the Bill”
Radio & Audio: 1 Gold, 2 Bronze
- (G, 2B) BBDO and Muskat Magazine, “Missing Matoaka”
Radio & Audio
BBDO’s retelling of the story of the Indigenous woman known as Pocahontas as tragedy rather than fairy tale won one Gold and two Bronze Lions in Radio & Audio. It was the only Canadian work to win any of the 22 Lions that were awarded.
Sharing his overall impression of the winners, jury president Tseliso Rangaka, chief creative officer, FCB Joburg and Hellocomputer, said there was a noticeable shift in the tone of entries compared to last year. “There was quite a lot of levity, humour started to come through again, and we saw a return to the basic fundamentals of the category, which is great storytelling, hinged on a great human insight and executed beautifully.”
The Grand Prix was given to BBDO Colenso and New Zealand telecom company Skinny, which prides itself on doing anything to keep prices low. The campaign asked New Zealanders to record radio ads for the company by calling and reading scripts from ads running in outdoor and in print.
“We love the simplicity of it,” said Rangaka. “The fact that it is an outdoor campaign that is actually recruiting for a radio campaign.” It is, he said, “a gift to the category.”
“It is actually a symbol of the coming-of-age of the category,” he continued. “And that’s the recognition that technology is here to stay. However, there is still lots of innovation that can be done on the basic fundamentals.”
Asked about any other work in the running for Grand Prix, Rangaka said that “Missing Matoaka” was a close contender. The jury talked a lot about it, and they loved the strong purpose at its core, he said. But they also talked about the message they wanted to send to the industry with their Grand Prix pick.
“The reason why we went with Skinny over [Missing Matoaka] was we wanted to reward work that also drives business results,” he said.
“And I think as an industry, we need to stand behind work that is innovative, that pushes the boundaries, that is creative, because it delivers business results. I think, for me, those two things need to go hand-in-hand, and the Skinny work did that. It’s a brilliant example of how creativity can actually drive business.”
“Ketchup Fraud” caught the attention of industry media around the world when it was released in March. The campaign—which also won a Silver campaign Lion—celebrated what Heinz said is the common restaurant industry practice of pouring generic ketchup into Heinz bottles. .
Citizen Relations’ “Cheetle in Cheadle,” a cheesy tribute to the orange dust that covers the fingers of Cheetos eaters, also won a pair of Lions—one Silver, one Bronze. And Rethink and IKEA’s “IKEA Window Shopping” rounded out the Canadian Outdoor winners with a Silver.
In some ways, outdoor was the first advertising media, but it has been evolving into something completely different, said jury president Javier Campopiano, worldwide CCO at Grey and global CCO of OpenX.
The category has become “really fluid, almost abstract,” he said. It was once considered the most static of categories, and is now “the least static, and that is what makes it so fascinating.”
The Grand Prix winner went to “A British Original” for British Airways by Uncommon Creative Studio. The campaign was based on the standard “reasons for travel” question form. Alongside “Business” or “Leisure,” Uncommon came up with literally hundreds of different reasons for travel.
While the campaign included video, the print and outdoor used a simple format of a stark white background and the hundreds of possible options for travel, besides business or leisure.
At first glance, it seems like a fairly traditional outdoor campaign, said Campopiano. “Beneath the surface of that classical aspect of the campaign, lays a platform idea that can hold different emotions, different ways of expressing an idea in different locations.
“It’s also a big brand, [and] for us that was important. We were proud of awarding the Grand Prix to a big brand, to be a real advertiser.”
Print & Publishing
Print & Publishing rounded out the Classic Track winners announced during the first awards gala Monday night. Here too, “Ketchup Fraud” was recognized by the jury, though in this instance it was Bronze. However, Rethink also won a Silver Lion for “The Unburnable Book” for Penguin Books Random House. Rounding out the Canadian winners were Taxi and the Native Women’s Association of Canada, which won Bronze for “Change the Bill.”
The jury was looking for honesty and authenticity, increasingly important in “the zeitgeist of AI and generative art,” said jury president Ali Rez, chief creative officer, Impact BBDO, MENAP. There was a theme of work that was amplified when it was connected to other media, though still led by print.
While both of the Outdoor and Radio jury presidents made a point of saying their Grand Prix winners were intended to drive real business results, the Print & Publishing jury chose a cause-related campaign—Impact BBDO Dubai’s “Newspapers Inside the Newspaper Edition,” for Lebanese newspaper An Nahar.
To raise awareness of news publications forcibly shut down in the politically unstable country, An Nahar created a daily edition which gave space to six of those papers shut down in recent years inside its pages.
Rez said he asked his judges to explain why “Newspapers Inside” deserved the Grand Prix.
“This piece proves that print is still a highly powerful medium and disruptive in its purity,” said one. It “innovates on the medium while elevating everything we love about print.”