It took five days to commemorate the 1,028 best in the creative communications industry, which were drawn from a pool of 34,301 submissions.
The 59th International Festival of Creativity, known as the Cannes Lions, wrapped up this past weekend. This year, top winners included a blank annual report and an invisible hydrogen powered Mercedes Benz.
Here are 10 of the best of the best from this year's awards ceremony.
BEST IN FILM CRAFT BETC Paris's spot for CANAL + features an anthropomorphic bearskin movie director. The viewer is teased along through a series of elaborate scenes depicting how a movie is made until the end when the bearskin reference is explained.
BEST IN DEEDS New York's DROGA5 won for its Help Remedies campaign that not only increased sales of the company's bandages but is purported to have tripled the number of people who have registered as bone marrow donors. The video explains how this agency integrated a company's brand with an effective social cause.
BEST IN 'WOW' Leave it to a German ad agency and a German automaker to come up with an invisible car to catch the eyes of the public. Daimler AG (Frankfurt: DAI) hooked up with Hamburg's Jung von Matt agency to rig the zero-emission 2011 Mercedes-Benz B-class F-Cell with a matrix of LED lights and a camera for a fun outdoor campaign aimed not just at passersby but also at making the video about the invisible car go viral.
EL MEJOR USO DE SALSA Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, owned by Popular Inc. (Nasdaq:BPOP), hired JWT's San Juan office to come up with a campaign to get residents of the island to utilize its banking services by re-writing the lyrics to a popular salsa hit by El Gran Combo titled I Do Nothing. JWT hired the group to make a parody of its own hit; instead of a song about being unemployed, the new version is about being productive and thus having money to put in the bank.
BEST IN CREATING DEMAND Boulder, Colo.-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky was hired by American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) to implement the second stage of its Small Business Saturday campaign to follow Black Friday, the busiest U.S. shopping day, which occurs the day after Thanksgiving. The first stage was to get consumers to support small businesses. Last year it focuses on getting small businesses more active in promoting the day. The campaign focused heavily on providing guidance to small businesses on how to promote on a tight budget.
BEST IN UPGRADING In 1971 Coca Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) unveiled its famous Buy the World a Coke campaign, which included one of the most recognizable commercial ditties of its time. Grow Interactive from Norfolk, Va., was commissioned not by the world's largest beverage company but Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) to upgrade the old campaign as part of its Re:Brief project to promote Google's AdMob mobile advertising platform. The campaign allows consumers to send a free Coke to select beverage machines scattered around the world, and to interact with the strangers that get the freebie.
BEST IN APP Ogilvy Group Ukraine developed a iOS-only campaign for the well water company IDS Borjomi International aimed at underscoring the depth of the company's water source. The interactive PC, mobile and tablet campaign allows visitors to get an idea of the scale of an 8,000-meter water well. It can take users hours to swipe their screens to the bottom of the virtual well. With no specific channel for distribution, the app for the campaign has been downloaded 300,000 times and the average visitor to the corresponding website is there for an impressive 7 minutes.
BEST IN CGI Denver, Colo.-based Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE:CMG) wanted to promote the idea of sustainable food sourcing and so it went for a major Hollywood presence, Creative Artists Agency, to deliver this award winning campaign, which includes a soundtrack of a song by Coldplay performed by Willie Nelson.
BEST IN TWITTER Volontaire Stockholm was tasked by the tourism promotion group Visit Sweden to create a campaign that would spread organically. The result? Each week give a Swedish citizen the handle to the government's official @sweden Twitter feed. The idea rode a meme wave that resulted in over 26,000 followers from 120 countries and ended up gaining an estimated $20 million in PR value media air time worldwide.
BEST IN DESIGN CONCEPT Austria Solar, the trade organization for the country's sun-power industry, wanted an annual report that reflected its innovation, so the ad agency Austria Solar hired serviceplan gruppe to make the report itself solar powered. The Munich-based ad agency used photochromatic colors that makes the book completely blank until it's put in natural sunlight after which the content gradually appears like a Polaroid picture. Take the report out of the light and the text gradually fades back to white. The innovative qualities led to overwhelming demand for the report, as well as a great deal of collateral hype.