Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Awards Ceremony Critique - PR Lions

For the first time in Cannes Lion history, a PR agency has won the Grad Prix! For the category of fast causal dining, Edelman and the Creative Artists Agency in Los Angles received two gold lions and the grand prix in PR for “Scarecrow.” This short animation, set to the song “Pure Imagination,” depicts a scarecrow as a worker for a larger food processing company. He quickly realizes that the company uses hormones and animal cruelty to make it’s products, so he ventures out on his own to make fresh food alternative: Chipotle Mexican food. This animation short exploded earlier this year on the Internet as well as the app store for their informative, interactive Iphone game. Players who completed the game were awarded Chipotle coupons.

According to the Cannes Lion website, the Scarecrow franchise has created a conversation about food in popular culture generating over 614 million media impressions. There have also been hundreds of stories including The New York Times and USA Today. “Columns in The New Yorker, LA Times, and others featured educated arguments about food issues by influential farmers, sustainability advocates, and consumers.” (Cannes Lion)  Since its launch, the film has generated over 12.5 million YouTube views. Over 650,000 have downloaded the game, playing an average session of 5 minutes. The song debuted #32 on Billboard’s Streaming Songs chart and has been purchased over 13,000 times on iTunes. “In its first month, The Scarecrow franchise sparked 18.4 million conversations across 17 social platforms with a 92.7 social sentiment score and, for the first time, made Chipotle the top social brand, replacing Taco Bell, on the Restaurant Social Media Index Top 250 list. Twitter impressions totaled 126,782,322 in the two months following the launch.” (Cannes Lion)

But what about this campaign made it the first grand prix won by a PR agency? Because it was first launched and solely promoted through PR. The animation was uploaded to YouTube and pushed across social media platforms. Only later on was a digital campaign added to promote the game because of the wide success the video had through PR. The campaign wanted people to think about where their food comes from, and through storytelling, they were able to accomplish this without putting the chipotle “name” on everything. The creative team brought the brand a cause and a pledge to have unprocessed foods. 
There were so many creative and heartwarming PR gold lions. Some more influential like the Sweetie campaign, where professional created a computer generated little girl to track down online sex predators. Another being The Fading News, where a Turkish website simulated what the Internet would be like if government officials censored it in response to the growing government rebellion.  After four hours, the website began to disappear, creating an uproar and awareness that forced the Turkish government to not pass the censorship law.
However, each campaign was extremely different when it came to the cause. Whether it was to promote a TV show, or stand up for women’s rights, these campaigns stood out because they made a radical change in awareness for their clients. Sometimes this awareness went from zero to a million like Rice Code. In a small village in Japan, rice farmers were having a hard time keeping their village in business after a drop in rice sales and an aging population. So in order to increase tourism, Hakuhodo Tokyo came up with the idea of rice art. They planted different colored rice to make pictures large enough to be photographed. Tourists could then scan the pictures with their phones and automatically be sent to a website wear they could order that rice. “Visitors actively took photos and shared it by themselves. And by doing so, the selling place of rice also spread. As a result, with mostly 0 budget, the project successfully attracted 251,320 visitors, about 30 times the population of the village.” (Cannes Lion)
This project was so inspiring to me because it dramatically helped a village no one had even heard about with almost not marketing budget, but a wonderfully creative idea. With so much media exposure and increasing rice sales, this village was changed forever with a new landmark in Japan. Wonderful PR is long lasting and increases the reputation of the organization. Each campaign gained dramatic attention to the products and a long lasting message.

The following are the grad prix and gold winners for the Public Relations category:

Grand Prix
The Scarecrow
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Fast Casual Dining
Edelman New York, USA
Creative Artists Agency Los Angeles, USA

Gold Lions
Food & Nutrition
This is Wholesome
Honey Maid Snacks
Droga5 New York, USA
Weber Shandwick Chicago, USA

Other Consumer Goods
Tui Catch a Million
Heineken New Zealand “Tui Beer”
Saatchi&Saatchi Auckland, New Zealand
Apollonation Auckland, New Zealand

Media, Arts & Entertainment
The Fading News
Radikal Newspaper
TBWA\ Istanbul, Turkey

Retail & Restaurants
The Scarecrow
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Fast Casual Dining
Edelman New York, USA
Creative Artists Agency Los Angeles, USA

Charity & not for Profit
Terre Des Hommes Netherlands
International Children’s Aid Organization
LEMZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Charity & not for Profit
The Autocomplete Truth
UN Women Gender Equality
Memac Ogilvy Dubai United Arab Emirates

Public Sector
Rice Code
Inakadate Village
Hakuhodo Tokyo, Japan

Corporate Reputation & Communication
Samsung Maestros Academy
Samsung Electronics Italy
Samsung Consumer Electronics
Leo Burnett Milan, Italy

Public Affairs & Lobbying
The Fading News
Radikal Newspaper
TBWA\ Istanbul, Turkey

Launch or Re-launch
Dallas Gas Station
TNT Dallas
Grey New York, USA

Brand voice (incl. strategic storytelling)
The Scarecrow
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Fast Casual Dining
Edelman New York, USA
Creative Artists Agency Los Angeles, USA

Influencer Communications
Bald Cartoons
Ogilvy Brazil São Paulo, Brazil

Integrated Campaign led by PR
Live Test Series
Volvo Trucks
The New Volvo FMX, FL, FM – Integrated Campaign
Forsman & Bodenfors Gothenburg, Sweden
Volvo Trucks Public Relations Sweden

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