By Tom Morton, executive planning director, TBWA\London Group
In a terrible blow to the ad industry’s carbon footprint, most people collecting Cannes Lions this year will have to fly over from the US. American agencies have the budgets, the chutzpah and the easy familiarity with digital to pull off the campaigns the rest of the world wants to make. Expect Team America to do better in South France than South Africa this year.
My self-serving full-disclosure prediction is that Pepsi Refresh and Gatorade Replay will challenge for top Titanium and Integrated Lions. Both campaigns managed to give their brands a genuine role in the world, touching on some real human truths along the way. Gatorade Rematch could edge it as it will touch the hearts of every alpha male viewer. As soon as you see that Rematch gives former high school athletes a shot at redemption, Gatorade gets up there with The Wrestler and Jerry Maguire. Asked in an interview what made him cry, Sean Connery answered ‘athletics’. Expect a similar reaction here.
DDB Stockholm’s Fun Theory campaign for the VW Golf could put in a strong showing. ‘What if we spent the budget behind enabling people to have fun?’ is a pleasing conjecture for a global audience but it’s a bit too generic compared to the competition.
This year should see more maturity in the Cyber and Titanium Lions. We won’t see any more funny-shaped barcodes walking off with big prizes. Now it’s the turn of smart uses of existing technology to triumph over the novelties. Having digital native Bob Greenberg chairing the Titanium Lions Jury will help here. So we should see Tribal DDB’s rendering of Monopoly on Google Maps or Crispin Porter’s Twitter-based customer service Twelpforce getting recognition.
Film Lions could be a contest of old school craft against new school laughs as BBH’s The Man Who Walked Around The World vies for honours with W&K’s The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. The astonishing level of craft and performance in the Johnnie Walker epic should see the man in the kilt edging out the man ON A HORSE.
So that’s 2010. In the interest of playing the prediction game, I prophesize that Nike’s Write The Future will storm the 2011 Film Lions, assuming any of the featured players escape the curse of Nike and are still standing by the end of the World Cup.