Canada picks up four more Lions, including a Gold in Film

BBDO's 'Arctic Sun' for Pepsico's Tropicana provides Canada's second Gold of the festival and the first Grand Prix for Good prize is handed out.

Canada’s Film Lions brings the tally up to 13 – two Golds, three Silvers and eight Bronze, plus a Young Lion Bronze win. 


‘The Golds point to the future,’ said jury head Mark Tutssel, global CCO of Leo Burnett, about the 14 that were handed out in the Film category this year, noting that he was looking for a Film reel that would refresh, reinvigorate and ignite the industry. Of over 3,000 entries, 100 Film Lions were handed out, and the Golds were all unanimous decisions, said Tutssel.

Canada’s golden glory was a ray of sunshine – literally – in the form of Toronto-based BBDO’s work for Pepsico’s Tropicana orange juice brand. The spot, ‘Arctic Sun,’ came in form of a mini-doc, capturing a trip to Inuvik where they go weeks without sunlight in the winter. To create a ‘brighter morning,’ Tropicana installed an artificial sun in the sky, and handed out orange juice to citizens. The film, a beautifully shot ad set to soft, haunting music, was accompanied by blogged commentary and behind-the-scenes footage Tropicana’s ‘Brighter Mornings’ Facebook page.

Despite the fact that we live in an increasingly multi-screened world, ‘The art of film and of making film for television is not dead,’ said Canadian jury member Alan Gee, CCO of GJP Advertising & Design, noting that the Tropicana spot is an example of storytelling that can go beyond what you see in the 60 or 30 seconds. ‘It just shows you how an idea like that could expand and become bigger.’

A Silver Lion went to ‘Fight’ for the Canadian Cancer Society by DDB Toronto, featuring an emotionally charged narrative by those who have been affected by cancer, demonstrating their sadness and anger about the disease, and their strong determination to fight it.

Bronze went to an eastern and western agency respectively: ‘Ça Va?’ for Quebec Volkswagen by Palm + Havas, Montreal, and ‘Sexuality’ and ‘Subtitles’ for the Vancouver International Film Festival by TBWAVancouver took a campaign Lion. ‘Ça Va?’ humorously shows a woman who is completely unaware that she was in a fender-bender because of the robustness of her Volkswagen Golf. The Film Fest spots also take a funny approach – playing off the warnings typically seen and heard before a movie or TV show to tell audiences that ‘an open mind is advised.’

Tutssel noted that when it came to the Grand Prix this year, it was the ‘year of the man,’ with the top contenders targeting the male demographic. It came down to three – Gatorade ‘Replay,’ Johnny Walker’s ‘The Man who Walked Around the World,’ and the ultimate winner – ‘The Man your Man Could Smell Like’ for Old Spice by Wieden + Kennedy in Portland.

‘It was very simple, it was the perfect film,’ said Tutsell. ‘It took Old Spice from being this old, [out of date] brand to being new, modern, infectious, a brand that overnight wove its way into popular culture.’

The spot featured former pro-football player Isaiah Mustafa demonstrating what life could be like if your man smelled like him. First he’s in a bathroom, then on a yacht and ultimately on a horse, all the while turning body wash into diamonds and convincing the audience of the benefits of smelling like an Old Spice man.

Short of putting pro athletes on horses, Alan Gee has some thoughts on how Canada could up its Lion count in the category next year. ‘We live in a country where we have brands that dominate our culture or we’re adapting a US spot, or an international spot, so it makes it harder sometimes to do that original work. I think Canada has to work harder than other countries because of that to stand out,’ he said.

‘Because of the recession, some categories were definitely down – cars, for example, so finding gems in those categories, or in financial services was much harder. Consequently, other categories like entertainment and leisure, we actually judge much more harshly because there’s such a richness of entries… I think we’ve got to enter things in tougher categories like banking, and if you look at the list, that’s where we need to score better, that’s where our rate will go up.’

And Canada’s Young Film Lion team scored a Bronze, thanks to the speed brainstorming and equally swift production skills of John St.’s Kyle Lamb and Andrew Livingston.

No Canadian campaigns made the shortlist for the Film Craft category, and the Grand Prix was awarded to DDB in London, UK and RSA Films for the spot ‘The Gift’ for Philips.

Titanium & Integrated

It’s the holy grail of the adverati: Titanium and Integrated Grand Prix, it’s the category designed to lead the way forward, with a jury led this year by the acknowledged guru of the future, R/GA chair Bob Greenberg.

While JWT Toronto’s BRANDAID project took a coveted spot on the shortlist, Canada was not among the 16 Lions winners.

This year the Titanium Grand Prix went to a program that was eminently practical. Best Buy’s Twelpforce saves us from holding on the phone for answers to customer service questions. Thanks to Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the Best Buy help desk Geeks are no longer just in store, they’re on Twitter via Twelpforce.

Greenberg says 2010 is a pivotal year for our industry to recalibrate its models. He believes the problems brands are having reaching consumers amid multiple platform distractions not to mention social media, are being met by ‘solutions that meet the consumer where they’re making choices.’

‘Also, the big thing we’re all fighting is commoditization. I’ve seen a lot of innovation that’s the antidote to commoditization,’ referring to the trend of creating media that’s owned rather than bought or even earned.

So no wonder a solution to a big retail issue, powered by technology and social media, is the idea that shows the way forward.

Greenberg says one reason Twelpforce was unanimously chosen by the jury is because the idea created a new customer service approach. ‘It’s a big idea that would change business, how we tie in physical space, retail associates and service.’

Greenberg adds retail is a new focus for the industry: ‘Most big box stores are commoditized, people are going to move in this direction, in a few years we will all have capabilities in that area.’

Juror Rei Inamoto, CCO AKQA, said ‘what’s different about this is it’s employee-generated content, and creating relationships with consumers.’

The other Titanium Lion winner is Ikea’s ‘Facebook Showroom,’ by Sweden’s Forsman & Bodenfors. It’s a quirky effort that depicts a local store manager’s Facebook efforts to display product in inviting catalogue style, and whoever tags it first, gets the item.

Greenberg commented ‘we think that Facebook is extraordinarily big, but it also has to get tied into advertising as a revenue model, this was the most successful effort we’ve seen.’

Nike’s Livestrong campaign out of Wieden + Kennedy won Integrated Grand Prix. When the Livestrong Foundation began, it put coloured rubber wristbands on the map, and when Lance Armstrong came back, he tapped technology to reconnect and this time involved consumers in his efforts to shine the spotlight on fighting cancer with yellow chalk.

The effort entailed gathering digital messages of hope from around the world that were then delivered to a chalkbot, a physical machine that conveyed these real emotions. by printing them on the road in real time, creating yellow messages of hope along the Tour de France route. Those who sent in messages were sent a GPS memento of their participation.

Inamoto sums it up by saying, we’re ‘moving from an age of integration to an age of interconnection.’

Grand Prix for Good

The inaugural Grand Prix for Good prize was also handed out today, awarded to Abbott Vicker Mead BBDO for their ‘Choose a different ending’ campaign for the UK-based Metropolitan Police. The series of videos allows the user to choose the ‘protagonist’s’ course of action at key points in the video narrative, all based on whether he chooses to take a knife when he goes out with his friends. The Grand Prix for Good prize is awarded to a campaign for a non-profit cause that has won Gold in any other Lions category.