The Branded Content jury at Cannes did not hand out a Grand Prix this year, saying that no single entry displayed all of the craft, digital, and social elements required to elevate it to the top prize.
A total of 11 Gold Lions were awarded in the category, which is in its third year at Cannes, with three of those Golds going to Chipotle's "Scarecrow."
Jury president, Doug Scott, the global president of OgilvyEntertainment, said that the jury was deadlocked and debated the decision to not hand out the top prize for some time before putting it to a vote.
Jury member Justin Wilkes, radical.media’s president of media and entertainment, said that while the Gold winners excelled in craft, originality, execution, and effectiveness, the jury couldn’t single out "that one project that said, 'This is emblematic of where we want the industry to rise to now.’"
"That’s a challenge to the industry to step up and tell those stories and look at those platforms that have narrative at their core," Wilkes said.
Chipotle’s "Scarecrow" by Creative Artists Agency and Volkswagen Brazil’s "Kombi Last Wishes" by AlmapBBDO were singled out by Wilkes as favorites from the Gold winners.
Samsung’s Oscars Selfie by 72andSunny LA also won a Gold Lion, along with Sony Music’s "Bob Dylan Like A Rolling Stone" by Interlude, "Sweetie" for Terre des Hommes Netherlands by Lemz Amsterdam, "Amai Booth" by Ogilvy & Mather Argentina, and Honda’s "Project Drive In" by RPA.
Doug Scott said the Gold winners illuminated what great work is and "what we all aspire to create in our industry."
The jury also discussed the issues around defining the word "content," which Scott said was "a very difficult word in our industry."
Content at its best is "marketing so good that consumers don’t know it’s marketing," he said, adding that the jury’s goal was to bring rigor to the category.