It’s interesting how people can experience the same thing but see it very differently. This is particularly true of Cannes where the glare from the white corporate hospitality tents on the beach is blinding (I assume that it was this blindness that caused people to seem disoriented and stagger up and down La Croisette).
However, a bit like the wonderful Solar annual report which was only visible in bright sunlight (and won the Design Grand Prix at Cannes), my personal viewfinder is extremely sensitive and will reveal the true TV story no matter how determinedly it may have been obscured.
And so it happened that, when I surveyed the Grand Prix winners this year, a story about TV revealed itself. Fancy that.
Just as 2012 is the year of TV – with analogue switch off, connected TVs, the spread of multi-screening – so it was also the year of TV for Cannes. You may not have noticed but then you weren’t looking for it. Thankfully I was and I noticed that TV played a central role in almost every one of the Grand Prix awarded. To prove my point, I’ve divided the winners into four categories. You can judge for yourselves.
TV on the podium
This is straightforward TV advertising being awarded for its own unique brilliance. This was the case for Chipotle which won both the Branded Content and Entertainment Grand Prix and the Film one, Axe Excite with its Angels must fall campaign winning the Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix and The Bear for Canal + which won for Film Craft.
TV as fuel
TV advertising often powers and funds the “earned” activity which was awarded. This was the case for Nike + fuelband which won both The Cyber and the Titanium Grand Prix, Amex’s Small Business Saturday which won both the Promotional & Activation Grand Prix and the Direct one, and the Banco Popular de Puerto Rico with their Most Popular Song campaign which won the PR Grand Prix.
TV as inspiration
Coca Cola with its Hilltop re-imagined campaign which won the Mobile Grand Prix where, inspired by the original TV commercial, people were given the opportunity to literally buy the world a Coke using their mobiles.
TV as jury persuader
Central to some of the winning entries was a brilliantly persuasive piece of telly which told a great story. The Help Bandages Bone Marrow Donor campaign which won the Grand Prix for Good, the Google Voice Search poster campaign which won the Media Grand Prix, The Mercedes Invisible Drive Campaign which won one of the outdoor Grand Prix, and the Go Outside Magazine Repellent Radio campaign which won the Radio Grand Prix – all used TV to sell the idea to the jury.
So there we have it. One could even argue that none of these campaigns would have won without the use of TV in some form. I wouldn’t necessarily say that, but one could.