P&G, The Lions' Darling

24 June 2004

Among the several requests to the Almighty recorded in Psalm 35 is a plea to "deliver ... my darling from the lions".

This week at the Cannes Lions International Advertisng Festival the psalmist's request was cruelly ignored and Procter & Gamble, the ad industry's universal darling, was duly presented with no less than three lions. Media Lions, to be precise.

Of the fifteen media awards on offer, three went to P&G media agency Starcom MediaVest Group. One (for Bonux detergent) hailed from the shop's Middle East office, whose efforts boosted product sales by 20%.

Enthused one of the jurists, Hewlett-Packard's global media director Scott Berg: "Great media creates new connections. It integrates into peoples' lives seamlessly. Bonux became part of their everyday life."

Starcom Tokyo collared a Lion for harnessing cellphone messaging to the Vidal Sassoon brand; while in Mexico City Starcom dangled the prize of a new house to persuade young mothers to share on radio the tales they told to their children.

The media Grand Prix went to OMD's innovative ploy for Chilean beer Cristal. In crosssover between content and commercials that wouldn't have gotten past the ethics committees of US or European broadcasters, OMD persuaded Chilean TV networks to morph a shot of the brand into movie scenes, then cut to an immediate commercial break.

• Meantime, the Cannes direct marketing contingent also wallowed in the limelight, with sixty-two Lions winners (19 Gold, 18 Silver and 25 Bronze) emerging from more than 600 entries.

The Lions Direct Grand Prix went by unanimous jury vote to a Virgin Atlantic cross-media campaign created by Australian agency, Host. It features a character described by AdAge as "a lonely, looking-for-love dude named Warren".

Opined jury president Howard Draft, boss of the eponymous direct agency: "Humor is seldom used in direct marketing, and every second of this campaign uses humor to convey consumer benefits."

Data sourced from: AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff