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Cannes Lions 2011: Nike Writes Itself into History

Cannes Lions 2011: Nike Writes Itself into History

Winners in the Titanium, Integrated, Film and Film Craft Lions, plus a round-up of Saturday night's other winners.

The culmination of the 2011 International Festival of Creativity saw the gathered masses enter the Palais on Saturday evening of last week for the final awards Gala to hear who had won this year's Film, Film Craft, Integrated and coveted Titanium Lions, and one particular New York shop went home as happy campers.

This year's Titanium and Integrated jury, headed by Bob Scarpelli, chairman of DDB Worldwide, gave the Integrated Grand Prix to Droga5 New York's Decoded campaign, for Bing/Jay Z. Scarpelli said that the campaign, which saw individual pages of Jay Z's autobiography scattered across the world in various guises, all traceable through Bing's search engine was "brave, bold, innovative and interactive" and that it "captured everything we were looking for in an Integrated campaign". Other Integrated winners included gold Lions for Wieden + Kennedy Portland for Old Spice and the Nike Comms Team for Write the Future.

This year the jury decided not to award a Titanium Grand Prix, with Scarpelli explaining that the jury felt no piece of work entered "captured all the qualities that the Titanium Lion represents". There were though three Titanium Lions handed out, to McCann Bucharest for American Rom, DDB Stockholm for their VW Speed Camera Lottery work and, to add to their haul, Droga5 for Decoded.   

In the Film Craft category, it was a hat-trick for the boys and girls at Droga5 New York as they, production company Smuggler NYC and director Ringan Ledwidge took home the Grand Prix for their Puma Social film, After Hours Athlete.  Many thought that Independent's Nike Write the Future spot would take the GP in this category but while it picked up two golds, two silvers and a bronze, Velocity director Keith Rose, this year's Film Craft president, explained that the Puma Social spot was "made up of a flawless number of parts - casting, art direction, costume design, performance - which made an amazing whole".

In the Film Lions category, Nike shrugged off the disappointment of the Craft awards and celebrated picking up the Film Grand Prix with Write the Future triumphing over everyone else in the category. Tony Granger, Film president, explained that the closest contender to Nike was the Film Craft Grand Prix winner, Puma Social After Hours Athlete, but that Nike connected more soundly on an emotional level and that was what made the difference. Of Write the Future Granger said that "the most difficult brief is to make a global film that connects locally, but that this film had managed to do it". Another comment Granger made was that many of the entries to the Film Lions were too long and that "it shows that people need to remember that they're in the advertising not the movie business". Another hot contender for this year's Grand Prix, VW's The Force, picked up a gold Lion.

2011 also saw the introduction of a new category, Creative Effectiveness, and the inaugural winner was AMV BBDO London with their fantastic, and crucially, effective campaign for Walkers crisps, Sandwich.  President of the Creative Effectiveness jury, Jean-Marie Dru, mentioned the lack of quality entries for the category and hoped that next year would see an upswing in the number and excellence of the campaigns entered for the category.

Elsewhere on the night, the Grand Prix for Good was won by Leo Burnett Melbourne for their See the Person campaign for Scope; Network of the Year was BBDO; Agency of the Year was AlmapBBDO Sao Paulo; Independent Agency of the Year was picked up by Wieden + Kennedy Portland; Holding Company of the Year was WPP, and the Palm d’Or, for most awarded production company, went to Smuggler USA.

For a full list of this year's Cannes Lion winners, please visit

A full statistical analysis of this year's Cannes festival, included a breakdown of winners based on category and geography can be found in the Cannes Report 2011, co-produced by the Cannes Lions and shots, which will be published in September.


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