In a controversial decision, the Cannes Titanium jury, led by BBDO worldwide ECD David Lubars, awarded only one Titanium Lion, to Design Barcode, Japan and only two other entries made it as finalists - Droga 5’s ‘Still Free’ for Ecko Unlimited, which won the Cyber Grand Prix earlier in the week, from the USA (although Droga says we can claim it for Australia) and Monopoly Live via Tribal DDB London.
The jury all agreed that the Design Barcode work was a totally original concept, which is exactly what the Titanium was all about.
The awarding of the Titanium Lion to a small Japanese design agency that has re-designed barcodes caused its fair share controversy.
Feathers weren’t ruffled because the barcode idea won – it truly is a ground-breaking and stunning concept – but the fact that the judging panel wanted a never-been-done-before idea meant that integrated campaigns like VB ‘Boonie’, Virgin Mobile ‘Jason Donovan’, Adidas ‘Be the Ball’, Tooheys ‘Stolen Glasses’ and Lynxjet did not get up.
Integrated campaigns can be brilliant, but they are not new, argued the jury president David Lubars.
“We wanted to return to the original charter of the Titanium – Titanium is about the new, the first,” Lubars said.
Cannes chairman Terry Savage conceded the goal posts had been shifted and he is considering introducing Integrated Lions next year.
Controversy aside, the jury was unanimous in its decision to award Design Barcode.
The concept is a simple one – the agency has scored copyright to design all barcodes as branding devices. An example is the barcode on all merchandise for the Hiroshima Museum – it is in the shape of a mushroom cloud.
“We think this idea can lift the world and lift people. It could become a beautiful, global piece,” said Lubars. “It talks to literally everyone on earth.”
Another jury member, Australia’s Craig Davis, said the idea was literally an invention.
BMF Sydney ’s Warren Brown added: “This has been right under our noses. It’s quite stunning. It stopped us all in our tracks the moment we saw it.”
Lubars praised the VB ‘Boonie’ concept, saying all jurors thought the idea was brilliant and it was seriously considered for a Titanium Lion. The Boonie Doll was given to all jurors and were the hottest merchandise piece of the week.