The great crusade, a campaign for Qantas by Wonder Sydney, has won a gold lion in the inaugural year for branded content at Cannes, which saw Australia win three awards and New Zealand claim two.
Avi Savar, founder and chief creative officer of US content shop Big Fuel said: “Some of the best work we’ve seen this week has come out of Australia, which has been particularly strong for non-fictional storytelling. The great crusade was a contender to win the grand prix in this category.”
“It was a perfect example of strong tactical execution in branded content. It showed how to drive and motivate audiences, not just in creating video but taking the idea offline through events,” he said.
Host’s Kiwisceptics campaign for Air New Zealand and a campaign for Jacob’s Creek by Melbourne independent shop CumminsRoss claimed a bronze each.
New Zealand won two lions in the category, with Special Group Auckland winning silver for The Smirnoff Night Project, and Colenso BBDO’s Skate Pinball claiming a bronze for Mountain Dew.
The US won the grand prix with Cultivate campaign for fast food brand Chipotle, which also won top honours in the Film Lions.
Savar noted: “The Chipotle campaign shows us that a brand can truly build itself around content. There was no moment in this work that talked about special offers. It was about an emotion connection with the audience that is true to the brand.”
Cannes festival CEO Philip Thomas commented on the new category: “The worst thing we can do is launch a category that is either too late or too early in its development. We decided that time is right for branded content. We thought we’d get 400 entries – we got 800.”