Top Cannes Film contenders

Strategy is counting down the campaigns most likely to win big at the Palais at this year's festival.

As we count down the days to the Cannes Lions submission deadline (March 28)strategy is rounding out the most likely contenders for each category, tapping the top folks in the industry to help us narrow down the list. This week, we’re taking a gander in the Film category. Check back each Friday until the deadline to see what campaigns have the best shot in Cannes.


Campaign: Cheque-In. Believe-It!
Brand: ING
Agency: John St.

Chosen by: Cosmo Campbell, ECD, DDB Vancouver

There are a couple of reasons why I’m particularly fond of this spot for ING, featuring unbelievable characters not believing the bank’s new offering, as a strong contender. The concept is simple and engaging. The performances are nothing short of brilliant. It’s a legitimate ad for a legitimate multi-national client.

And, to top it off, it will compete in a category (banking) that, historically, hasn’t produced the strongest work (not meant as a knock against the spot, but more as an observation regarding its chances of winning).

Campaign: Exfeariential
Brand: John St.
Agency: John St.

Chosen by: Peter Ignazi , SVP/ECD, BBDO Toronto

Film is a tough category at Cannes. Canadian agencies are competing against countries where production budgets are a lot higher than ours. So the idea really has to be king. And crafting, queen, I guess.

From what I’ve seen this year, I choose John St.’s self-promo film “Exfeariential” as our best shot at Film Gold. Once again John St. has nailed something very true about the ad business: too often, we all just revert to doing different versions of what’s “cool” today. I also like that it’s not completely an “inside” marketing message. Everyone is experiencing experiential marketing stunt overload. In many ways, ad agencies default to Just for Laughs stunts as an easy way to get online shares. What’s great about this film, if I’m a prospective client, is that they nonchalantly get the message across that they get experiential marketing. But, more importantly, I also know that they can make wickedly effective digital films. The writing on this is letter perfect. Every scene crafted exceptionally. And I would definitely cast Chris Hirsch the next time I need someone to portray “smarmy business guy.”

Campaign: Gang of Rhythm
Brand: Volkswagen
Agency: Red Urban

Chosen by: Shane Ogilvie, ECD at Zulu Alpha Kilo 

In recent years, innovation in film has brought us some great examples of how to not only reach our audience, but engage and interact with them. This VW spot from Red Urban has accomplished this in a way that I haven’t seen before. Rather than create an ad discussing the various attributes of the new Beetle, they launched an interactive music video that allowed viewers to seamlessly transition between three versions of a song, each version featuring a different model (and approach to the tune). Rooted in innovation, great consumer insight and beautiful execution, I think this spot stands a decent chance of showing up in Cannes this year.”

What do you think? Did we miss any of note in the Film category? Weigh in below.