Cannes Lions: agencies defy pandemic with film bumper bundle and tech wizardry

UK agencies that we chided for not troubling the scorers too much in the early days of the Cannes Lions (with some notable exceptions) have returned with a vengeance to the Film shortlist – still the blue riband of Cannes in many people’s eyes. 16 have made it thus far topped by Droga5 London (SetApp (below), Alexa) and AMV BBD0 with five nominations, adam&eveDDB, Engine (including departed Moneysupermarket) and Ogilvy (Dove) with four. TBWA has three (Apple) and there are two each for Saatchi & Saatchi and The Gate (Childline.)

There are single nominations for Grey (Volvo (below, which we tipped for awards way back – hope it’s this one), Iris, Lucky Generals, Mother, MullenLowe, Publicis.Poke, Uncommon (H&M) and Wieden+Kennedy (Coke.)

Honour, therefore, is more or less satisfied.

AMV is rivalling Ogilvy (Toronto and London) and Burger King agency David (also Ogilvy) for top agency honours so far. Essity/Bodyform (never quite sure which brand it is) could carry on through the week.

Yesterday’s Grand Prix winners (nine in all, gulp) were: Film Craft – AMV BBDO London and Chelsea Pictures for Essity’s Bodyform/Libresse WombStories; Industry Craft – Ogilvy London and Ogilvy Toronto for Dove ‘Courage is beautiful,’ Digital Craft – Epic Games for Fortnite’s ‘Astronomical’ with Travis Scott.

Entertainment: 72andSunny Los Angeles for Tinder ‘Swipe night’ and Dentsumcgarrybowen Taipei City for Sinyi Realty ‘In love we trust;’ Entertainment for Sport – Edelman London for Asics ‘Eternal run’ and Africa DDB São Paulo (Brazil) for House of Lapland ‘Salla 2032’, Entertainment for Music – Prettybird, Culver City for Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus ‘Old Town Road’ and Gut Agency, São Paulo for Mercado Livre’s ‘Feed Parade.’

Phew, do we need all these Lions? Don’t want to get like the UK’s D&AD dishing out wood pencils.

As for the UK’s perhaps unexpected showing in film (hasn’t won yet of course) maybe that has something to do with the undoubted skills of the native commercial production industry which did a manful job during lockdown.

But it’s been a good Cannes Lions so far with both advertisers and agencies rising to the pandemic challenge.

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