The most celebrated anti-marketing marketing campaign of the year— outdoor apparel and equipment company REI’s #optoutside from Venables Bell and SMG Chicago—won the Titanium Grand Prix at the final awards ceremony at Cannes Lions 2016 on Saturday night.
A slew of other awards were also issued during the evening including Agency Network of the Year, which went to Ogilvy & Mather; Holding Company of the Year (WPP) and Independent Agency of the Year (Droga5). As announced earlier, Samsung took home Marketer of the Year honors and AlmapBBDO Partner Marcello Serpa was awarded the Lion of St. Mark for his career long contributions to the industry.
The REI effort, which also won the Grand Prix in the Promo and Activation category earlier in the week, focused on the retailer’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.
Titanium Grand Prix Jury President John Hegarty, Co-Founder of agency BBH, said, “what we loved about this idea was how profound it was as a thought and how daring of the client to follow this through.” Hegarty added that the “craft in pursuing the idea and getting there we thought was absolutely fantastic.”
The Integrated Grand Prix was awarded to a Netflix campaign from BBH New York for the debut of House of Cards called “F.U. 2016” (the F and U standing for Frank Underwood, the character played by Kevin Spacey in the series). The effort featured a spot resembling a political ad that ran in a Republican debate last December on CNN. The ad became a top-trending topic on Twitter during the debate.
Hegarty, also jury president for the Integrated Grand Prix said, “we wanted something that leveraged the world around us, that was using culture and that is of today.” He added that craft was a big factor in the selection. “We’ve seen a devaluation of craft in our industry and we were looking to see that we could put craft back in.” The jury, he said, “felt this idea ticked all those boxes and did it brilliantly and gained huge attention.”
The Film Grand Prix went to a campaign for UK retailer Harvey Nichols from Adam&EveDDB called “Shoplifters” that promoted the store’s rewards app. The ad was shot to make it seem that viewers were looking at security footage of shoplifters (with animated heads) stealing items and then being chased and apprehended and brought back to the store to suffer the consequences of their actions. The spot ends with, “Love Freebies? Get Them Legally,” and urges shoppers to download the Harvey Nichols rewards app.
Film Jury President Joe Alexander, Chief Creative Officer at The Martin Agency, said of the choice that it was “the easiest decision we could ever have.” He added that “What’s funny about it is it’s a really ugly [as in raw] film but it brought an idea to life in a way you never thought possible.”
More on the 2016 Cannes Lions winners can be seen here.