Cannes: Aussies fall short in Radio, Print as McWhopper wins Grand Prix

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 21 June 2016

Despite a number of nominations, Australia has failed to picked up any Lions in the Radio and Print & Publishing categories at the 2016 Cannes Lions.

Five local agencies made the shortlist in the Radio category including, Cummins&Partners Melbourne, Havas Worldwide Australia, GPY&R Melbourne and BWM Dentsu Sydney. In Print & Publishing, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s Pedigree DentaFlex campaign made the list.

However, Australia’s neighbours from across the pond had a better time. Y&R Auckland picked up a Grand Prix in Print & Publishing for its Burger King McWhopper campaign.

Jury president Joji Jacob, DDB group executive creative director, says while it was an unusual choice for a winner in the print category, the ad was an example of the “future of print” advertising.

“In this great age of distraction we were looking for a great ad that would stop us looking at our phones every ten minutes,” Jacob says. “Could this print ad be as engaging as our social media feeds?”

“The piece of work we have awarded a Grand Prix to was a very simple piece of print work, but it was print work at its most powerful.”

In terms of aesthetic, Jacob noted that there were “better print ads” but that McWhopper as a single print ad had enormous reach after being picked up on TV, on press and online.

“What was big was the idea behind it, which we think is the future of print,” Jacob says.

“It’s not just a nice piece that ends up as fish wrap tomorrow, but something that creates a conversation; that gets hijacked by the rest of the dominant media and starts spreading the work. This work was the linchpin of a massive campaign, which is why we thought they were deserving of a crown.”

In Radio, the Grand Prix went to Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg for its humourous “The Everyman Meal” campaign for KFC, which pokes fun at the masculinity norms the men face in society.

Jury president and Pirate Group CEO and director Tom Eymundson says the spot was risky work from a big client.

“It is for a major brand, not a small boutique shop that gets away with some of the braver ideas so I applaud both the agency and the client for having the balls to actually step up,” Eymundson says.

“What is really great about that is it touches on a universal truth; it’s not nation specific, it’s not genre specific.

“It really did strike a chord with everyone in the room at the end of the day and that’s what radio does - it reaches, grabs your imagination.”

Speaking to AdNews, jury member and Clemenger BBDO Brisbane creative director Marianne Harvey says one of the challenges for Australian radio ads was that a lot of the work was parochial and local humour doesn’t always translate to a more global audience.

Her advice on what makes award-winning work in the Radio category was to focus on “nailing the shorter ads” rather than cramming more content into longer spots.

McWhopper print

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