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Cannes Lions 2010 roars

Ad agency Special Group were deemed to be very special indeed on Monday night in France, tripping back and forth to the podium more frequently than diarrhoea sufferers to a loo. The Special ones were being rewarded and awarded at the International Advertising Festival with Lions for their Orcon and Iggy Pop campaign.

All in all, the team took home four Lions: the Grand Prix for Best Integrated Campaign Led by Direct Marketing, as well as a Gold (also in the Direct category) and a pair of bronzes in the Promo and Activation category. Curious Film, Liquid Studio and Roundhead Studio were credited as doing the hard work.

Special weren’t the only Kiwis visiting the podium either. DDB and Aim Proximity both came away winners.

DDB picked up a Gold and a Silver Lion for the Live Rescue’ campaign for Coastguard NZ. AIM Proximity grabbed a Bronze Lion for Missing Pictures for Tower insurance, the only one of their 8 nominations to end the night with an award.

Elsewhere in Cannes, animation shop Cirkus is aiming to create an episode of its ongoing Exquisite Corpse series during the 6-day festival with help – and quite possibly hindrance – from festival attendees.

In the Media section of the awards, winners to be announced, Colenso BBDO is shortlisted for Real Stories, its campaign to launch The Pacific for TV One. Which rather begs the question of what makes a successful campaign. Yes, all those letters and an aerial dogfight over Mission Bay did wonders for drawing attention to the product, and – at least according to Colenso BBDO – “25% of New Zealand watched the premiere.”

But over the series’ run viewing figures dropped like an Italian footballer. Still, as the old advertising saying goes, “Sell the sizzle, not the sausage.” Or, as another saying goes, “You can polish a turd …”

In the Radio Awards, DDB and Liquid achieved a very excellent six awards from six nominations for the radio campaign for Sky TV’s Arts Channel. One ad won a Gold Lion and two won Silvers for Best Scriptwriting. All three also won Silver Lions in the Publications & Media awards category.

For an industry that lives its trying to catch a few seconds of your attention, it sure takes its time partying. The festival runs until Saturday, with the Film awards shortlist announced on Friday and winners announced later in the weekend.

NZ is having a good run so far. Fingers crossed.

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