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Cannes entry videos could use their own Lions

Contributed by: Rusmir Arnautovic
Date: Tuesday 29, June 2010
Cannes entry videos could use their own Lions

Over the years, as non-TV categories have proliferated at award shows and new-media campaigns have gotten more complicated and difficult to explain, the case-study film has become an absolute requirement for these entries. Cannes has added Titanium, Cyber and Outdoor categories, among others, in the last decade, and certainly the quality of the entry film, rather than the work itself, helps to set winners apart from losers. This could be a problem. Or perhaps these videos have become such an art form on their own that they deserve their own Lion. Call it the Ambient, for best explanation of a multiphase, multifaceted non-TV advertising campaign in less than three minutes.

Indeed, many of the videos contain all the same images, phrases and clichés: "Overnight, the blogs went wild!" the announcer says, for example, as clips of blogger quotations appear on screen.
One entry that's been cleaning up on the award circuit, and is also poised to do well at Cannes, is Nike's Chalkbot for Lance Armstrong's Livestrong organization. On its own, the work, from Wieden +Kennedy, deserves all the kudos. It takes a historical and cultural fact—that local race watchers often chalk messages along the bicycle path of the Tour de France—and runs with it.
In Nike's version, the messages are written by a chalkbot—a Zamboni-like pneumatic robot. Through 48 very funny looking nozzles, it prints words of "courage, hope, and action" that individuals from all over the world have sent in. It's an inspired idea, beautifully executed.
But Wieden's entry video sets new standards for use of great music and documentary filming. First of all, it's unusually generous. The interviews feature not the agency folk but the telegenic geeks who actually built the machine, from a tiny Pittsburgh start up called Deep Local. Their descriptions are at the same time matter of fact and poetic. "It's not just a throwaway text. It's somewhere and it's comforting," David Evans, the CTO of Deep Local, says of the messages, as we see a little toddler boy walk over the chalk bearing the phrase "For my mother."
In the end, more than 100,000 people submitted messages. And apparently, the Internet did light up, and the blogs went wild.

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