While an initiative for Banco Popular de Puerto Rico won the PR Lions Grand Prix, M.J. Bale's 'Grazed on Greatness' push by Whybin Sydney won three of the 10 Aussie Lions, and was a close contender for the top spot.
The M.J. Bale campaign won two Gold Lions and one Silver Lion, but Australian jury member Matt Buchanan, MD of OgilvyPR, said the work was one of the closest contenders for the Grand Prix.
“I can’t tell you how much conversation there was about the M.J. Bale sponsorship campaign,” Buchanan told AdNews. “It was definitely a contender for the Grand Prix.”
In total, Australia took home an impressive ten Lions, up from three last year. While the total tally has increased significantly, Australia did not win the Grand Prix as it did last year with National Australia Bank’s ‘Break Up’ push via Clemenger BBDO Melbourne.
Meanwhile, Reckitt Benckiser’s ‘Sponsor the White House’ campaign out of Euro RSCG won two Bronze Lions.
Campaigns by Art Series Hotels, 7-Eleven, Coca-Cola, The Reach Foundation and Pacific brands took home one Lion each.
While 2012 is the first year Australian PR agencies have featured on the PR shortlist, only one PR agency was awarded a Lion. One Green Bean has won a Bronze Lion for its work on the Pacific Brands ‘Search for Australia’s Well Worn Volleys’ push.
The dominance of advertising agencies among the winners, rather than PR agencies, was a hot topic of discussion among the jury members.
Jury president Gail Heimann, who is worldwide vice-chair of Weber Shandwick, said at a press conference: “I think PR agencies need to think differently about how to enter Cannes, and how they think of the work.”
Speaking with AdNews, Buchanan said: “PR agencies must get much better at developing shit hot creative ideas. But clients also need to see PR as more than media relations. This perception is shifting but there’s still a lot of traditional clients that see PR as being brought in at the 11th hour. We still get briefs from clients that say PR our ad campaign, and that’s worrying for the industry.
“Increasingly PR agencies are generating the idea itself, but it’s the great clients that are buying it. It’s a matter of changing opinions, and once that happens we’ll see more PR agencies in Cannes. Last year there were no PR agencies shortlisted from Australia, and this year there are."
The three Lions for M.J. Bale tops an impressive haul for Whybin TBWA Tequila Sydney, which has won seven Lions in total on the first night of awards, more than any other Australian agency. M.J. Bale was a Sydney-based menswear brand which has been flung into the limelight as a result of the campaign.
A campaign for Banco Popular de Puerto Rico called ‘The Most Popular Song’, created by JWT San Juan, won the Grand Prix in the PR category.
New Zealand didn’t win any Lions.
Australian Gold Lions:
M.J. Bale, Whybin TBWA Tequila Sydney, ‘Grazed on Greatness’ (two Golds)
Art Series Hotels, Naked Communications, ‘Steal Banksy’
Australian Silver Lions:
7-Eleven, Leo Burnett Melbourne, ‘BYO Cup Day’
M.J. Bale, Whybin TBWA Tequila Sydney, ‘Grazed on Greatness’
Australian Bronze Lions:
Reckitt Benckiser, Euro RSCG Australia, ‘Sponsor the White House’ (two Bronzes)
Coca-Cola South Pacific, Ogilvy Sydney, ‘Share A Coke’
The Reach Foundation, DDB Group Melbourne, ‘Open Book Project’
Pacific Brands, One Green Bean, ‘Search for Australia’s Well Worn Volleys’