Cannes 2017: Five more Lions for Canada in Radio and Film Craft

John St., Cossette and Sid Lee collect more awards for the country on the festival's penultimate day.
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Canadian work earned five more Lions on Friday, with a Silver in Radio for John St. and Bronze awards for Cossette and Sid Lee in Film Craft.

The wins bring Canada’s total at the International Festival of Creativity up to 38 – just five shy of the 2015 record, with three categories (including Film, with 15 nominations) to be announced on Saturday.

Cossette’s SickKids work picked up three Bronze Lions in Film Craft, bringing the campaign’s total award count to seven after winning two Gold and two Silver in Health & Wellness at the start of the week.

Sid Lee’s video for the North Face won Bronze in the same category.

Meanwhile in Radio, John St.’s work for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation took a Silver in the Public Sector subcategory for what jury member and Leo Burnett Toronto group creative director Steve Persico said was a simple, well-written ad that demonstrated how quickly accidents can happen.

“Mall” tells the story of a young man driving to the mall to meet his girlfriend when his phone buzzes. The next thing he knows, he can’t move his hands or legs, and realizes he’s in the hospital.

“It’s this one beautiful story that in the middle took this really subtle twist,” Persico told strategy.

“As a listener, you’re taken on this journey. You start in one place and you end up in another place and you don’t really realize how you got there, which is the whole premise of how quick things can happen. It stood out because of how well it was written – how well that transformation from point A to point B happened.”

Another John St. spot for the ministry, “Gym,” was also shortlisted but didn’t medal.

Cossette and SickKids won their Film Craft trophies in the Direction (for “Undeniable) and Editing subcategories (for both “Undeniable” and “MomStrong”).

Film Craft jury president Roberto Galluzo, founder and executive producer of Finch in Australia, said the work was “highly discussed” on the jury. “Some people loved it. Some people didn’t like it so much,” he said.

While the jurors felt that the concept was strong, the decision to award it Bronze came down to craft and the jury’s taste, he told strategy.

“It felt a little reminiscent in its approach to the original ‘Superhumans’ [Special Olympics spot for Channel 4 in the United Kingdom], just in the way it was cut and the way it was put together,” he said.

The “Question Madness Anthem” for The North Face, by Sid Lee, won Bronze in Editing and may have done better “had the wind blown right,” Galluzzo said. He lauded the piece, which shows the extreme activities for which the brand’s gear is used.

“There were some very strong pieces of work where the editing informed the creative a little harder,” he said in explaining why “Question Madness” didn’t place higher.

The jury awarded the Film Craft Grand Prix to a music video, American company Iconoclast’s work for musician The Blaze’s song “Territory.”

Galluzzo called it a “wonderful” story about “celebrating the human condition” that moved the jury, which worked until 1 a.m. to choose the winner (it came down to “Territory” and Channel 4’s “We’re the Superhumans” Paralympics spot, he said).

The music video felt “fresher” and the jury was able to find minor flaws in the other work, he said. “It was very hard to not award something that was flawlessly crafted.”

The Radio Grand Prix went to KFC and Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg for the second year in a row for the “Sad Man” spots. Jury president Mario D’Andrea, president and CCO at Dentsu Brazil, said at a press conference that jurors decided they wouldn’t be affected by what had happened the previous year.

Radio is still “the land of copywriting,” he said, and the KFC spots made the most of a simple promotion for a limited-time meal.

“It’s so good to see that some brands are still running a big concept,” he said, a rare feat today.

No wins in Digital Craft or Creative Effectiveness

Jam3’s “Bear 71 VR” for the National Film Board of Canada was shortlisted in the Digital Craft category but didn’t win a Lion. The Grand Prix went to another music video by Analog and W&N Studio in London for Bjork’s  VR experience “Notget.”

Jury president Henry Cowling, CD at UNIT9 in the U.K., said the jurors worked hard at striking a balance between being “a broad church” while also setting the bar for the new category (in its second year) and how the industry approaches Digital Craft. In the end they handed out 37 Lions, six of them Golds.

The Bjork VR won because it combined various facets of the category at the highest level while breaking new ground and taking risks, he said.

No Canadian work was shortlisted in Creative Effectiveness, where a jury headed up by Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall gave out its prizes Friday. The category recognizes creative work that drove tangible business results for the client, with the jury weighing its decision equally between creative idea and strategy (50%) and results.

The Grand Prix ultimately went to Leo Burnett Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago for “Van Gogh’s Bedrooms – Let yourself in.” The campaign partnered with Airbnb to give art fans the chance to stay in a replica of the painting “Van Gogh’s Bedroom” to promote an exhibit.

Radio: Silver (1)

Ontario Ministry of Transportation, “Mall,” John St. Toronto; Boombox Sound; PHD Toronto
Public Sector

Film Craft: Bronze (4)

SickKids Foundation “SickKids VS – Undeniable,” Cossette; A52 Santa Monica; Elastic; Skin & Bones; SNDWRX

SickKids Foundation “SickKids VS – Momstrong,” Cossette; A52 Santa Monica; Elastic; Skin & Bones

The North Face, “Question Madness Anthem,” Sid Lee Montreal