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The Australian - Monday 29 June, 2009

Pride of lions for Australia in Cannes

The Australian Monday 29 June 2009

Pride of lions for Australia in Cannes

Simon Canning

PUBLICIST Mojo Sydney, which last week named former JWT global creative director Craig Davis as its new executive creative director, has narrowly missed winning the Film Grand Prix at the Cannes International Advertising Festival for its James Boag beer work.

The agency grabbed a gold Lion for the ad, which promoted the purity of the Tasmanian water used in the beer.

Using the line "This water just makes things better", the ad had the water turning canoes into speed boats, bikes into classic motorcycles and fish-scaling knives into light sabres.

The gold was one of four film Lions won by Australian agencies, with Clemenger BBDO Melbourne winning silvers for its work for Foster's Group and Droga 5 for its controversial VB Anzac Memories campaign.

Sydney agency BMF grabbed bronze for its Dare coffee campaign.

The film Grand Prix was won by Tribal DDB in Amsterdam.

The film Lions capped of one of the Australian industry's most successful years at the festival, winning a total of 45 Lions.

These included three Grand Prix awards for Cummins Nitro in Brisbane for its work on Tourism Queensland's Best Job in the World campaign -- the first time in the festival's history an agency has won three.

The early performance of the campaign had the ad's creators thinking seriously about the possibility of winning five Grands Prix after it was shortlisted for both the Integrated and Titanium divisions, along with The Hallway's Zuji Beans campaign.

However, judges snubbed the campaign completely, with the honours going to expatriate Australian creative director David Droga and his agency Droga 5.

Droga won both the Integrated and what is now Cannes' most coveted award, Titanium, for his work on the Obama for America campaign.

The campaign used social networks to help drive support for the election of the first black US President.

Australian agencies mined gold elsewhere in the awards during the week-long festival.

Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney won a gold Lion in the press division for its ad for the Pedestrian Council of Australia.

The ad, aimed at getting people to slow down when driving through school zones used the line "Kill a kid, kill a family". Saatchi also won silver for its press ads for Sony.

Leo Burnett continued to have success at Cannes for its Earth Hour campaign, winning Australia's only lion in the Outdoor division with a gold. It also took a bronze in design for the campaign.

Australia also performed strongly in the media category, winning a total of 10 Lions including three gold and a silver.

Cummins Nitro was again among the winners with the Best Job campaign taking gold.

Other gold winners were Lowe for its Missing H campaign for Football Federation Australia and Starcom Melbourne for a campaign for Mars.

The Mars campaign saw the agency create a fake, overweight AFL hopeful named Strauchanie who appeared regularly on the Ten Network's AFL show Before the Game.

The campaign was a first for the network but also involved in-store and on pack promotions that ran for 16 weeks.

While the global financial crisis had a major impact on the festival, with attendance down 40 per cent on last year, the number of visitors was the fifth-highest in festival history.