FCB and BMO win more Gold for playing games at the ‘NXT LVL’

Although the Creative Commerce jury awarded just 17 Lions Thursday, three of them went to Canadian work, including a Gold for FCB and BMO.

To help reach new, young consumers with an aversion to IRL bank branches, “NXT LVL,” saw BMO open a location on the gaming platform Twitch. It was hosted by a Gaming Relations Specialist, who mixed live game play with discussions about personal finance, and provided assistance on basic bank transactions. “NXT LVL” also won Gold on Wednesday, in Social & Influencer.

FCB also won a Silver Lion for Lotto Max’s “Dream Bars”—ice cream bars that tasted like wealth, with names like “Rare Oil Painting,” Private Island,” “Designer Handbag” and “Grail Sneaker.”

And after winning Gold yesterday in Social and Influencer, Angry Butterfly won a Silver for Jane/Finch Community Centre’s “Bill it to Bezos.”

This is only year two for the Creative Commerce Lions, which are defined as work that offers an “innovative and creative approach to online and offline” transactions, demonstrating innovation at some point of the consumer journey.

As a relatively new competition, the jury felt it was helping define the criteria and provide guidelines for what great Creative Commerce looks like, said jury president Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, FCB Canada’s chief creative officer, and the lone Canadian jury president this year.

Commerce has to be central to the idea, and there must be creativity applied to some point of the consumer journey, she said. “We also looked at work and asked ourselves, did it add meaningful value to the customer? Or did it just complicate things,” she said. “Sometimes creative ideas got in the way of the transactional journey rather than adding value to it.”

In terms of themes, some of the most powerful work showed how brands could be present in the transaction experience, she said. “I think the message here to marketers is that we have siloed departments—sometimes we have the brand group, and then we have the e-commerce group, and in fact those two things should sit together so that that experience with the brand is completely seamless.”

There was also a significant number of biometric-based entries, but Crimi-Lamanna said brands and agencies must provide real value in exchange for such personal data. “You have to have an emotion and reason for [people] giving up that information in order to transact,” she said. “And I think the Grand Prix did that beautifully.”

The Grand Prix was awarded to Wunderman Thompson Riyadh and Saudi Arabian delivery app HungerStation for “The Subconscious Order” The campaign was built around the idea that many consumers feel like they have “choice overload” when it comes to ordering food. The solution was to use eye-tracking to determine what people subconsciously wanted, before using AI to provide suggestions.

“It won because it was such a beautiful way to get people to order. It adds value to that experience. It turns it from something very transactional into something very emotional,” said Crimi-Lamanna

“We love that it really solves a pain point, that choice overload we have when trying to deliver food on a delivery food app. And it kind of gamified it. It also drove discoverability of new new foods and new places to order.

“This wasn’t technology for technology’s sake. It was technology for a new emotional experience.”

While she had to step away from any discussions about FCB work, Crimi-Lamanna said “NXT LVL” was chosen by the jury because of the bravery of the client.

“I think it tipped from a Silver to Gold because of the bravery of a bank [being] on Twitch,” she said. “It is completely unmoderated, and that is a very high risk for one of the top five banks to take.”

FCB and BMO have been working together for eight years, so there is a high level of trust between them. Even so, the idea didn’t happen quickly, she said. “It took many months of educating them and the leadership team on the platform, the opportunity represented as a business opportunity. And now they’re leaning into gaming,… so this platform is now like a forever platform.”

Creative Commerce is part of Cannes Experience Track Lions, which saw four other categories awarded Thursday: Creative Business Transformation, Mobile, Brand & Activation and Innovation. Read more about them here.

David Brown