Burger King Stunt Ad Wins Direct Grand Prix

A sneaky little stunt of a commercial has won the Grand Prix Cannes Lion in the Direct Marketing category.

Remember that Burger King ad from a few months back that triggered Google Home by using the phrase “OK, Google, What’s In A Whopper” or something to that effect? Yup, that one. 

Really Direct Jury? That’s the best Direct ad of the year. It was sort of clever in a very fleeting kind of way. And aren’t Direct ads supposed to be super effective? Not sure how effective that ad could have been, seeing as Google conjured some magic hours after its debut so that it couldn’t trigger Google Home — no matter how close a GH unit was to a TV set. 

Even the Direct Jury President Ted Lim of Dentsu acknowledged on stage at Cannes Tuesday night the ad was a direct solution “in an indirect way.” WTF? Why not pick a direct solution in a very direct way? 

It generated a sh*tload of press attention and probably deserved a PR Lion of some sort. 



And here’s the kicker: The jury was torn between BK’s stunt ad and Fearless Girl (!) for Grand Prix honors. 

You know what Lim said when comparing the two? That the BK stunt thing was “just a little braver.” A little bit braver than Fearless Girl? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND??!! 

OK, Lim said everybody on the jury was really tired when they finally made their decision. So sleep deprivation made them delirious when they made their final choice or they just stopped giving a f*ck because they all wanted to go home? Geez.

Oh, and the BK thing was from David in Miami and some other shop. I’m too tired to look it up, but I’m sure it’s on the Cannes Lions site somewhere. 

This debacle of an awards decision reminds me of the Oscar catastrophe back in the late 1990s when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in its infinite wisdom, awarded some stupid little Shakespeare movie Best Picture over "Saving Private Ryan." I wonder if Spielberg ever got over that. I sure haven’t! I’ll never trust the Academy’s judgement again! 

All right, on to more inspiring award decisions.

Whirlpool and DigitasLBi came out of nowhere to win the Grand Prix for Creative Data usage. They weren’t even on the shortlist for the first two days of deliberations, according to Jury President Eric Salama, Global CEO at WPP’s Kantar. So the jury went back and had a second look at other ads and somehow focused on the Whirlpool Care Counts campaign that explored the importance of clean clothes for students.

A year in the making, the campaign was based on data that showed there was a direct correlation between clean clothes and attendance at school. Kids with poorer attendance records tended to lack clean clothes.  Poor attendance, it turns out, also correlates to higher drop-out rates, which correlates to higher unemployment, more jail time and, well, a crappier life in general. 

That’s pretty impactful. Nice work Whirlpool, DigitasLBi, and I think maybe a couple of other officially listed entrants that you can look up on the Lions' site. 

In the Mobile category, Dentsu Y&R had an app that monitors sperm count, which took home a Grand Prix. That’s important if you’re looking to have a baby. I’ve been there. Couples in that boat need all the help they can get. All the sacrifices. And shots! I remember having to inject my wife in the ass with a foot-long needle full of some sort of fertility juice. Hot balls aren’t good for baby making, apparently. I couldn’t take a bath or step in a sauna or steam room for a year. Glad those days are behind me. Pretty sure my wife is, too.

And there was a Grand Prix in the Innovation category that went to a group that busted up illegal firearms and melted down the metal for reuse in more socially beneficial ways. Bravo!

Cyber Grand Prix went to Droga5 for a MailChimp campaign; BBDO Clemenger’s “Meet Graham” effort, which earlier won a Health Lions Grand Prix and RBK Communications in Sweden, which helped a bank there devise a calculator for figuring the carbon footprint of credit-card purchases.

Wow, all very cool choices. Well, except for that one. I mean, does annoying Google in a minor way really make you that brave?


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