As you may have seen, the results of the first-ever Creative Effectiveness Lions were announced in Cannes on Saturday - and congratulations are in order for Walkers and AMV BBDO for winning the Grand Prix. (Subscribers can also check out the winning case study.) It's clear that the new category, set up for 2010 Lions winners who are able to prove their campain's positive business effects, has captured the imagination of many: the organisers received well over 100 entries and the media buzz about the category has been pretty intense.
The Creative Effectiveness Lions themselves could be a sign of an industry trend, with ad awards focusing more on the link between a campaign's creative goals and its business results - rather than concentrating on creativity alone. Of course, there are already a few high-profile awards that focus on effectiveness; jury president Jean-Marie Dru explained at the Creative Effectiveness Lions press conference that UK agencies' good showing on the 2011 winners list was partly due to the fact that many had spent years proving business results in their various IPA Effectiveness Awards entries. The Warc Prize for Ideas and Evidence was also cited as a marker of the trend. And Tim Broadbent, another jury member, added: "I think the idea that creatives should be shielded from commercial reality is insane ... Cannes is growing up."
So, what tipped the balance for Walkers? The campaign itself was based around a 60-second TV spot, supplementary online videos and print - which generated hefty earned media support.
The Cannes jury was quick to praise the winning case's "crisp articulation" of the strategy (pun intended?). Particularly strong was its ability to "discount the discount" - showing that the positive business results following the campaign (including a 26% revenue rise) were due to the creative idea, rather than any other initiatives such as price cuts and promotions.
So it seems the new effectiveness Lions are here to stay. The jury said that the structure of the awards will not be changed in the short term at least - there will be no extra categories, 2012's edition will be open to 2011 winners, and so on.
Were you one of the lucky ones at this year's event? You can get a head start on your 2012 Creative Effectiveness Lions submission by browsing the full list of this year's entries here. Or you can skip straight to the winners' list here.