Cannes 2019: Craft Lions for BBDO, Bensimon, Jam3

Film Craft and Digital Craft juries recognized work for Right to Play, White Ribbon and Adidas with a Silver and three Bronze.

RightToPlay3By Jennifer Horn and Josh Kolm

Another day, another four Lions for Canada’s advertising agencies. This time, BBDO, Bensimon Byrne and Jam3 walk away with one Silver and three Bronze across the Film Craft and Digital Craft categories.

Film Craft

Two Canadian agencies won Film Craft Lions Tuesday evening in Cannes.

BBDO had three shortlist spots for “We Rise,” and was ultimately awarded the Silver Lion in the Script sub-category. The campaign for non-profit Right To Play used a defiant voiceover to triumphantly describe how children from around the globe could have the resolve to “rise” from situations like being sold into marriage and becoming child soldiers.

Bensimon Byrne’s “Boys Don’t Cry” for White Ribbon, showing how toxic masculinity needs to be confronted as part of the fight against sexual violence, won a Bronze Lion in the Script sub-category as well, with an additional Bronze in Use of Original Music (the agency worked with producer Tyna Maerzke and director Jared Kuemper from audio house Berkeley on the campaign). The work also won Bronze in Health & Wellness on Monday.

The Grand Prix in the category was awarded to Final Cut and Droga5 for a series of ads for The New York Times, showing the long, complicated and sometimes dangerous path its stories could take, a story told through the continuous typing and correcting of a headline, with the clicking of a keyboard and scenes from the reporting ever-present in the background.

While president Rebecca Skinner, managing director and executive producer Superprime Films, said the selection was unanimous, what was difficult was deciding whether to award it in the Editing or Sound Design category, as both disciplines working together was integral to the impact of the ads (the jury did settle on Editing). That was reflective of the overall approach the jury took, which was about bringing the idea itself together with the craft of its execution, and seeing how it was enhanced.

“Craft can be subjective and is kind of in the eye of the beholder,” she said. “But this idea, at its core, was so complimented by the craft in every single aspect. It made it seamless and immersive and never took you out of it. Without one piece of it being crafted in the perfect way, it would have hurt the other pieces.”

Digital Craft

Only one Lion was awarded to a Canadian shop in a category that saw two campaigns from Canada land on the shortlist.

The winner was the “Unlock the Drop: Complexcon” campaign, by Jam3 for Adidas Originals, that snagged the sole Bronze Digital Craft Lion for its “inventive use of technology to solve an identifiable problem,” says juror Valentina Culatti from the U.K.’s Facebook Creative Shop.

“We have to look at everything through a Craft lens, and this piece was seamless; the user journey behind it that was well-constructed. It was a solid Bronze,” she says of the program that reinvented the frustrating concept of a queue.

Every year, thousands of eager sneaker heads line up at Complex Con, otherwise known as “The Superbowl of Streetwear.” People wait an average of three hours to try and buy a new show that drops at the conference, but Adidas and Jam3 created a system that removed the pain point of (sometimes fight-inducing) line-ups by setting up purchase and pick-up points all along the exhibition floor. Attendees could scan a drop spot with their mobile device and buy the shoes, picking them up at locations throughout the floor.

The Digital Craft category, says jury president Rei Inamoto from AKQA, is, in his opinion, “the most intellectually stimulating and challenging category” at Cannes.

“Cyber used to be a contained Black Sheep of the industry,” he explained. “In 2019, everything is digital, so the definition is broad and vague and confusing, which makes judging a lot trickier.”

But only campaigns that were “inherently digital” (from how the work was made to where it was distributed) landed a medal, with the Grand Prix  “Address the Future” by Denmark’s Virtue for Carlings  ticking off all the jury boxes, in addition to dealing with two critical issues: first, the planet is dying and brands need to do something to reverse the damage of society’s excessive consumption; and second, the shift in how fashion is being portrayed in social media.

“It might cause controversy but I believe it is the most intellectually stimulating work in the category. It confused the jury in the most interesting way,” says Inamoto.