Grey, Lg2, Juniper Park strike a chord in Radio

With its definition being challenged, could this be the last year the category is called Radio?
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A trio of public service campaigns helped Canada maintain its winning ways at Cannes, with a Gold, Silver and Bronze in the Radio category.

Grey Canada’s “Groceries Not Guns” campaign for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America continued on the role it’s been on so far this year, earning a campaign Gold in Public Awareness Messages for the “Poodle,” “Scooter” and “Super Soaker” radio spots, produced by Toronto’s The Eggplant Collective.



To protest grocery retailer Kroger’s stance on allowing the open carry of firearms, calls to its corporate headquarters, asking why things like dogs, scooters and water guns were banned in stores but assault weapons were not, were recorded and used in the spots.

Lg2′s “Gandhi” spot, created with help from BLVD Montreal for The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec, in which the messages that historical figures died to spread are juxtaposed with the messages others died to send because they were texting and driving, took home a Silver in Public Health & Safety.



This is Lg2′s third Lion at the festival so far, having previously won a Silver in Print and Bronze in Outdoor for it’s Farnham Ale & Lager “A Bit Bitter” campaign.

Taking a campaign Bronze in Public Awareness Messages was Juniper Park and YWCA for the radio side of its “Not Okay” campaign, which was created with Pirate Toronto.



In “That’s No Joke,” “Not a Game” and “Change the Tune,” scenes of domestic violence against women found all too often in shows like Family Guy, video games like Grand Theft Auto and music videos by artists like Kanye West are described in voiceover. By using a detached, matter of fact tone of speaking, the scenes have more in common with a police report than a piece of entertainment.

Jessica Schnurr, copywriter at John St. and member of the Radio jury, tells strategy that some of the work out of Canada was extremely close to winning a Gold and international work was what ultimately stood in its way, especially when it came to the “Not Okay” spots.

“That campaign was being compared to other ideas that totally nailed the execution element. It was more the competition it was up against than it’s own failings, because the idea and strategy elements were, 100%, a Gold in my mind,” she said, adding that Radio is one category where the country can really compete. “These are great ideas that don’t need a celebrity to be great and are so cheap to produce, our size and budgets don’t have to hold us back.”

She added that she is going back to Canada with a list of ideas that “have been done to death” and should be avoided at all costs, including songs being used regardless of whether the idea called for it, using a voiceover to simulate the warning sound when a truck backs up and transitioning the sound of a voice from young to old, or vice versa.

The Grand Prix in Radio went to Soundcloud for “The Berlin Wall of Sound,” a self-promotion piece created by Grey Germany’s offices in Dusseldorf and Berlin. Between the continued strength of traditional radio and the surge in the popularity of podcasting, the jury felt the spot represented the full creative range of what is possible by using audio, no matter what platform it actually ends up on.

“It’s not a traditional radio spot, but as we found in the jury room, what that means seems to be changing every week,” said jury president Paul Reardon, ECD at Whybin\TBWA in Australia, in a press conference. “It still meets the three tenants of a brilliant ad: it had a brilliant strategy, was a great idea and had great execution and craft. It really shows off what the capabilities of the platform are today.”

In what was subtitled as “The Most Unbearable Radio Ad,” the waveform of the audio file hosted on Soundcloud was made to resemble the shape of the Berlin Wall. Released on the 25th anniversary of the wall’s fall, clicking around the different layers of the file allowed users to hear different stories of people who had been killed by patrol guards at the wall.

“With the different ways audio can be used, this may be the last year the category is actually called Radio,” Schnurr added.