The McCann Time Capsule: A McCannes History
McCann has a lot of creative awards momentum going into this year’s Cannes Lions Festival that starts this weekend. But we also have an award-winning history at that international festival going back a half century to when the show’s location still alternated between Venice and Cannes.
In 1967, McCann New York’s work for Coca-Cola won a first prize in the TV category for a spot called “Involvement,” which just showed a Coke bottle with water condensation forming on it as the commercial progressed. There was no other motion, just an accompanying sound track of associative sounds (e.g., a hot weather forecast, snippets of Coke jingles, soda pouring into a glass, people playing and laughing) to involve the viewer solely based on the sounds. It would be the first of Coke’s more than 100 Lions that it would win over five decades that led to it being honored as the Cannes Lions “Creative Marketer of the Year” in 2013.
McCann had other multiple Cannes wins in that decade as well. Two years before, in 1965, for example, three McCann agencies won first prizes at Cannes: Toronto for Rose Brand Pickles (TV); Cologne for Goodyear Tire (Cinema), and Milan for the Esso Tiger (Cinema). The Esso Tiger would be a winner in 1966 as well in the Venice venue, though from a different McCann agency. Hamburg took first prize, this time for Esso Tiger work in what was called the Mixed Techniques category. Because of the weather, an entire Esso gas station needed to be constructed inside the studio in which the animated Esso Tiger could appear.
But the agency’s record at Cannes also includes a number of Grand Prix awards, literally won by agencies in all of our regions. Europe’s has included Milan’s Levi’s campaign winning in 1992 (Print) and Romania winning in 2011 for the Rom chocolate bar (Grand Prix in both the Direct and Promo & Activation categories, as well as Titanium for overall best innovation idea). Latin America has Lima’s won in 2014 for Coca-Cola (Media). In North America, San Francisco won Grand Prix in 2008 for Xbox both in the Integrated Marketing and Film categories, and The Martin Agency won a Grand Prix in 2015 in Film for the Geico “Unskippable” campaign. APAC has picked up Grand Prix thanks to Hong Kong’s in 2009 for Nike (Design) and Melbourne’s in 2014 for V/Line (Creative Effectiveness).
And of course McCann, through Melbourne, holds the all-time Cannes record for winning not only the most Grand Prix in a single year, but the most Lions overall. Melbourne’s “Dumb Ways To Die” campaign for Metro Trains dominated at Cannes in 2013, winning an all-time record of five Grand Prix Lions (PR, Promo + Activation, Radio, Film and Integrated) as well as another 18 Gold Lions.