Xbox 'The birth of gaming"

Xbox 'The birth of gaming'

Direct Lions: Cannes 2021 Decoded

DAVID Madrid/DAVID Miami picks up second Grand Prix for ‘Stevenage Challenge’ for Burger King, while McCann London wins three Lions for Xbox

By Creative Salon

Burger King's 'Stevenage Challenge' campaign by DAVID Madrid/DAVID Miami encouraging people across the world to try and transform Stevenage FC into the biggest football club online took home the Direct Grand Prix.

Direct Jury President, Reed Collins, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy APAC, said: “It was unanimous amongst the jury. Everybody thought that this stood above the rest of the work as a benchmark for Direct. It was a spectacular insight, idea and understanding of hacking the system.”

McCann London won a Gold for ‘The birth of gaming tourism’ for Microsoft Xbox, as well as a Silver and Gold for the campaign.

The campaign saw Xbox transformed into a travel brand, for the first time promoting not gameplay, but games as tourist destinations. It was built around a partnership with global travel guide publisher Rough Guides, which worked just like their guides to countries, but with all the advice entirely for virtual worlds.

WundermanThompson won Silver for ‘Unscripted’ for BT Sport; TBWA/London won Silver for BECO. #STEALOURSTAFF; Adam&EveDDB won Bronze for ‘BMR: Play Connected” for Adidas X FIFA as did McCann Bristol’s ‘Goability’ for Motability.

In total 64 Lions were awarded from 1,978 entries: 13 Gold, 20 Silver and 30 Bronze.

We asked jury member Al Mackie, Chief Creative Officer, RAPP, UK for his insights into the category.

What were the key trends in the Direct Lions category?

There were probably three things that stood out in the Direct Lions.

Brands seem to be clambering to get the attention of the 2.7 billion gamers worldwide and some of them are doing it really well. Burger King’s Stevenage Challenge on FIFA20 was a lovely example of connecting with consumers. A well thought through experience that made use of the platform. And looking out for the underdogs of UK professional football feels bang on brand for Burger King.

I’ve watched a lot of work over the last couple of months using deep fake technology. Sometimes the idea felt like a demonstration of the technology but there were a few examples that used it to power some great creative work.

Perhaps the biggest trend though was the amount of work based on brand’s purposes - at times it was hard to differentiate between this and charity work. There were a lot of discussions in the final rounds on how direct work was and the difference between reactions and measured responses.

What advice would you give to marketers wanting to win a Direct Lion next year?

No two Juries are the same, so I wouldn’t assume to know what next year’s jury will be looking for. But clarity of thinking still seems to help good work rise to the top.

The huge increase in purpose driven work means you need to be clear about the problem you’re trying to solve.

Selfishly, I’d love to see more work focusing on craft in the direct categories. And I think a lot of the Direct Jury felt like there were only a couple of stand-out pieces that did that this.

What was your favourite work in this category?

The Stevenage challenge (which won the Grand Prix). And I liked the insight, focus and power of the True Name campaign.

I also liked the Anticorruption Hackathon and as I listened to other jurors discuss its cultural relevance, I liked it even more.

But it was nice to see some light-hearted work in there too like Tide’s laundry night going after a new audience. And Diesel’s cheeky ‘Enjoy Before Returning’ work that embraced unwanted consumer behaviour.


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