Brits win a Grand Prix at last – but it’s the 2011 effectiveness award for last year’s Walkers ad

Not that AMV/BBDO will be complaining, landing the first Cannes Lions effectiveness award for its Gold Lion winner last year for PepsiCo’s Walkers Crisps with an opus starring racing driver Jenson Button.

The first 2011 effectiveness awards at Cannes were confined to Gold Lion (or above) winners the year before who had to then make submissions to be judged on 50 per cent effectiveness, 25 per cent strategy and 25 per cent creativity.

This is a clever campaign (and very AMV) which purports to show Formula One multi-millionaire Button earning some pocket money in the off season by driving a cab in Sandwich, Kent.

The point is to show the appeal of having a packet of crisps with your sandwich, not a very PC message these days but there you go.

For readers unfamiliar with the arcane aspects of English history, the Earl of Sandwich, a typically feckless !8th century aristocrat, was supposed to have invented the idea of putting food between two slices of bread so he didn’t have to interrupt the business of losing the family fortune at the gaming tables by picking up a knife and fork.

Bemused rivals from other markets will probably say they don’t quite get this ‘effectiveness’ stuff and don’t see how something that only rates 25 per cent for creativity should be winning a Grand Prix at an international festival supposedly devoted to the latter quality.

And the Brits have had lots of practice at it of course, the UK IPA Ad Effectiveness awards have been running for decades.

Well there you go. It was still a lousy festival for the Brits. And for Brazil and Argentina, perhaps more surprisingly.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.