Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Highlights from Cannes Lions -The Best Ads of the Year

The award winners have been up for a while now at www.canneslions.com, but I haven't taken the time to discuss some of the best ads of the year yet.

'Grr' for Honda took Best in Show with a silly cartoon number with fuzzy rabbits and rainbows about how wonderful the Diesel Hybrid is along to the catchy tune of 'Hate Something? Change Something'. I just liked the whistling myself, the rest was a bit too saccharine.

My favourites are 'Bait' for Toyota by Saatchi, where a tentacled lake monster sets up a cardboard cutout of a car, and awaits curious joggers.

'Magic' for the Peruvian Cancer Foundation is beautiful. The acting is top notch, and the music works really well.

The music in the ad for Adidas' smart shoe ad (the girl from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) is amazing as well. The concept, however, not so interesting.

My absolute favourites, however, are the Playstation ads shot on the Serengetti, but it took me a few days to realize it. The concept is awesome, the idea is bizarre and interesting and spot on the target market (me, actually) and I'll tell you what I liked best about it:

You could describe the ad to a friend; In the way you can describe something bizarre or surreal that has happened. With a lot of ads you can say, 'did you see that ___ ad?' and if people say 'No. What's it about?' it is difficult to explain, or the idea doesn't come through in the description. These ads are made to be told as a story, and that is what makes them so brilliant. Mano Japonesa has an easily explained concept as well that is really funny, same with the Husky girls. Kitchen is a great ad for talk power as well.

The mini counterfeit ad is hilarious. But a hard one to explain. As are the L'Equipe ads, the Altoid ads, and the ads for the digital cameras (what brand, who?) interesting ideas, but hard to convey.

McCann manages again to relate product benefits to the everyday relatable experience with the Bic ad. And Saatchi always manages to appeal to the hot and sexy.

You have to love the bizarre eye candy of Smirnoff's new ad 'Diamond' and another one that never made it. 'Natasha' has a Russian spy escaping by shedding layers of her Russian doll self.

All of the Adidas ads look great. But they don't have the talk power of Bait, or Kitchen or the playstation ads.

Then there are the Volkswagon print ads, the Lego block building ad, the Aids Awareness cartoon, the bubble wrapped city for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and Oh! There are so many good ones.

Getting people to talk about the ad is as good as getting people to talk about he product - as long as they remember what the ad is for.

What ads you remember?


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