#Optoutside, McWhopper, Everyman Meal, Sweedish Number and 6 Pack Band Campaigns Win Grand Prix At Cannes

Venables Bell and SMG Chicago won the Promo & Activation Lion Grand Prix Monday for a campaign for outdoor apparel and equipment company REI. 

The promotion effort--#optoutside-- focused on the firm’s decision to close its doors on Black Friday—the kick off to the holiday shopping season—and encourage people to get outdoors instead of shopping. Employees were given a paid day off and the firm did not process any online sales. Close to 200 companies reportedly followed REI’s lead and numerous parks and recreation facilities opened that day in response to the campaign. 

Jury President Rob Reilly, Global Creative Chairman McCann Worldgroup called the effort “the bravest idea of the year, maybe the last ten years. It’s about a brand living its authentic truth, its purpose; a brand that places more value on its customers than short term profit.” Tool of North America, North Kingdom and Edelman also contributed to the effort. 

The McWhoppper campaign from Y&R New Zealand and David Miami for Burger King won the Grand Prix in the print and publishing category. In the print ad that was the centerpiece of the campaign Burger King invited McDonald’s to make peace for a day by uniting a Big Mac and a Whopper. 

Commenting on the selection, jury president Joji Jacob, Group Executive Creative Director, DDB Group said the campaign punctuated the print medium’s need to be multichannel. It was he said, “a very simple print ad,” which went viral, “hijacked the Internet,” and became one of the most talked about ads of the year. Also contributing: Code & Theory; Alison Brod Public Relations, Rock Orange, Turner Duckworth and Horizon Media. 

The radio Grand Prix went to Ogilvy SA for its Everyman Meal campaign for KFC. The humorous campaign poked fun at the insecurities of men who wondered if they’d be considered “less manly” for liking or doing certain things (such as writing “LOL”). “It struck a chord with everybody in the [jury] room,” said jury president Tom Eymundson. 

The direct Grand Prix was awarded to INGO Stockholm for The Swedish Tourist Association’s The Swedish Number campaign. The campaign featured telephone numbers that people around the world could call to talk to a Swede (even the Swedish Prime Minister at one point). The campaign drew more than 9 billion media impressions. 

In today’s world, said jury president Mark Tutssel, Global Chief Creative Officer Leo Burnett, “it’s easy to mistake technology for connection.” What’s refreshing about INGO’s campaign, he said, was that it “united 9.5 million brand ambassadors [Swedes that is] with the world through the most powerful and direct form of communication—talking.” 

The glass Grand Prix was won by Mindshare Mumbai for 6 Pack Band, a campaign promoting transgender acceptance and supported by Hindustan Unilever and its Brooke Bond Red Label Tea brand. The campaign featured the transgender musical group 6 Pack Band. Jury president Madeline Di Nonno, CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, said the jurors were looking for a campaign that was “innovative, multiplatform and leveraged pop culture to change pop culture” and social behavior. Six Pack Band stood “a bit above the others,” she said. 

Some clips from the Grand Prix winners at the Monday night award ceremony can be seen here

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