Cannes Lions: Seven Canadian entries make first shortlists

Leo Burnett, Cossette, Sid Lee, Bleublancrouge and Grey earn nods in the Promo and Direct categories.

The first shortlists for the Cannes Lions have been announced, with a few Canadians making the cut. While none of the five Canadian PR campaigns made the cut, there were three on each list for Promo and Direct.
The early odds are highest for Toronto-based Leo Burnett, up for three – in Promo for ‘Bar-ter Night’ – a university program where they allowed students to trade in beer caps for household items – and twice in Direct for the James Ready ‘Coupon Billboard’ campaign, which allowed consumers to take a snapshot of a billboard to get discounts at local merchants. Leo’s first foray into creative billboards for James Ready – ‘Share our Billboard’ – won big at Cannes last year with a Gold in Outdoor.
Also shortlisted in the Promo category are Vancouver-based Cossette West’s effort for McDonald’s, which turned a lamp post into a giant coffee pour. Montreal-based Bleublancrouge earned a nod for its ‘Mots Depot’ campaign for the Literacy Foundation that included a word-selling vending machine, and Montreal-based Sid Lee earned one for their creative use of shoe tongues for Adidas, turning them into augmented reality controllers for online games.
Grey in Vancouver also has a chance to take home a Lion in the direct category for its cardboard record player for sound design shop GGRP (Griffiths Gibson Ramsay Productions). The piece of DM unfolds to form an actual record player spun by a pencil.
Canada had 40 entries in the Promo category this year, and 150 entries from around the world were shortlisted. Direct had 23 Canadian entries, with 164 total making the shortlist.