Cannes Lions International Awards – Integrated/direct

Orcon is a New Zealand telecommunications company offering fast broadband and is relatively unknown in a marketplace which is dominated by major players. Their latest campaign, however, has just been awarded the Grand Prix for Direct Lions and it’s easy to see why.

The campaign invited Kiwi musicians to audition online for a chance to perform ‘The Passenger’ alongside Iggy Pop in a virtual performance.  In fact, it’s not too dissimilar to the wonderfully ambitious YouTube’s Symphony Orchestra.

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To me, this is another example of the growing trend of using digital live events and participation marketing to convey brand messages in a more involving and compelling way.  Whilst there was ATL support, online and social media were central to this campaign from managing and showcasing the audition process via Facebook to performing the track live online from multiple locations with Iggy Pop in his Miami studio.

To be honest, the campaign results are not that impressive in my view which is a shame as I like the idea.  200 auditions and 3200 fans on facebook is not exactly going to set the world on fire and I’m sceptible of their claim that sales were up by 30% since last year, as I doubt this can be totally attributed to this campaign. (Don’t you just love award entries?!)

I can only speculate but had they invested more heavily in ATL support this campaign would have been more successful.  It’s essential  for online events like this that the audition process gets given enough airtime to gain traction as it’s often this which creates the buzz more than the event itself.  You’ve only got to look at Ford’s Fiestamovements to see that the recruitment phase was a critical component to the campaign’s overall success .  I don’t know the brand well enough but I would also question whether aspiring musicians are perhaps a little too niche to appeal to the wider broadband audience.

But hey,  it’s easy to sit here with the benefit of hindsight and fire off cricitism – it’s much harder to actually get something like this off the ground and make it happen.  So overall, I think it’s an ambitious and innovative campaign for what is a relatively uninspiring, low engagement sector and for that they deserve this recognition at Cannes.

What do you think?  Creative over-indulgence or an inspiring way to generate brand engagement?

Cyber Lions Grand Prix winners at Cannes

The Cyber Lions category at the Cannes International Advertising Festival covers a wide range of interactive marketing from websites, microsites, interactive campaigns, online advertising, rich media banners, mobile advertising, interactive tools, email marketing and viral videos.

This year there were three worthy winners who received a Grand Prix within this category.

‘Best Job in the World’ Campaign for Tourism Queensland

best-job-in-the-worldLet’s face it, we’ve all seen the typical tourist ads with beautiful, white sandy beaches, stunning aqua marine life and cliche couples walking off into the  sunset.  Whether it’s inviting us to visit Malta, Turkey, the Greek Islands or the Maldives, the final destination is almost interchangeable as it’s all based on the same consumer insight or creative treatment.

So it’s refreshing to see Tourism Queensland adopt a radically diifferent approach to make their modest marketing budget go that much further.

If you haven’t heard about this campaign yet you clearly love your job too much to even notice! Basically, instead of going down the traditional route, Tourism Queensland decided to place recruitment ads in various global media for a 6 month paid contract on Hamilton Island, describing it as ‘the best job in the world’.

Needless to say it wasn’t long before this campaign went viral.  What a great way to raise awareness of this beautiful destination whilst indirectly communicating the island’s key features. As an aside, I met a proctologist last week which must surely be the worst job in the world!  Given the choice, I think I’d much rather be a beach bum than a bum specialists!

Credit: Campaign created by Nitro

Fiat Eco:Drive campaign

The Fiat Eco:Drive system is an innovative application to help drivers reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions. Fiat drivers essentially have to download and install the Eco Drive Adobe Air application on their computers, sync a USB stick with the app and then plug the stick into the Fiat’s Blue and Me port. After driving somewhere, you can plug the USB stick back into your computer to upload all your driving data, whereupon it’s analysed to give you recommendations on how to improve your driving habits and ultimately your fuel efficiency.

Credit: AKQA London, UK

Warner Brothers ‘Why So Serious’ campaign for Dark Knight

I’ve always been fascinated with Alternative Reality Games ever since McKinney’s ground breaking Audi Heist a few years ago.  The amount of preparation, organisation and planning which goes into these sorts of campaigns  is absolutely mind-boggling and I particularly love the way it blurs the lines between the virtual world and reality.

For the launch of the film Dark Knight, Warner Brothers launched a meticulous ARG campaign to build buzz around the film, engaging 10 million participants in the process. Rather than try to explain it here, your best bet is to watch this video. Pure genius.