In a week of unpredictable categories and upsets at the Cannes Lions festival, Nike
and digital agency R/GA
, New York's scooping of the Titanium Grand Prix for their service design-focused Fuelband
pedometer was somehow reassuringly expected.
The jury awarded Nike's slickly-designed, exercise-counting wristband and training system a unanimous vote for the top prize for marketing innovation, explained jury chairman and Crispin + Porter Bogusky chief creative officer Rob Reilly. Starcom CEO Laura Desmond lauded Fuelband's seamless mix of product design and communications strategy, which, expanded Reilly, had moved run tracking system Nike+ from a niche market for runners to a mass market one.
Along with service design, it was as much a year of rewarding brands doing something good, as much as doing different, with juror and TBWA North America chief creative officer Rob Schwarz and droga5, New York executive creative director Ted Royer praising the commitment that Kraft had show in its Fight Hunger work. The campaign, featuring the remarkable story of homeless man turned brand spokesperson Ted Williams, had demonstrated the brand's commitment to him by sticking with Williams through troubled times, including arrests, to keep him as Macaroni and Cheese's official, golden voice.
But Kraft was only one of three Titanium award winners that championed creativity in the service of a bigger cause. Honda's Connecting Lifeline from Dentsu, Tokyo and the Colombian Ministry of Defence's through Lowe SSP3, Bogota, also won metalware for innovative media uses serving a greater purpose.
Reinvention of an entire industry was at the fore in Virtual 2Pac for Coachella, which saw the dead rapper appear as a hologram on stage at the US music festival, which also scooped a Titanium award for its role, explained Reilly, in revolutionising the label's potential use of artists who had passed away.
But while Titanium thrived, the Integrated category didn't warrant a Grand Prix, said Reilly. It had been a close call between Nike Fuelband and Prudential's emotive Day One work from droga5, New York, which depicts uplifting stories of pensioners sharing their first day of retirement. Both, in the event, won Gold, the only one work to do so this year.
The categories, remarked Reilly, had expanded in number of entries and geographically, along with Integrated, to 19 awards from 12 countries, something he said would have been unthinkable a decade ago, and that the jury had been 'blown away' by the quality of the work entered from emerging markets.
In the Film Craft category meanwhile, BETC Euro RSCG, Paris' beautiful The Bear spot for TV channel Canal+ scooped the Grand Prix for production company Soixante Quinze, Paris, pipping Rattling Stick, London's much hyped Guardian Three Pigs and Chipotle's Film Grand Prix-winning Back To the Start from Nexus, London.