Leo Burnett showcases Top 50 global ads in Cannes Predictions 2005

MUMBAI: The week long annual International Advertising Festival commences once again on 19 June in Cannes, France. And as it has since 1986 globally and 2000 in India, Leo Burnett released its 2005 Cannes Prediction Reel, which is a compilation of more than 50 commercials that the agency believes stand the best chance of reaping a Cannes Lion.



The annual Cannes Prediction reel comprises 50 commercials culled from the world's top 25 award shows over the past year. However no Indian ad figured in the final short-listed 50 commercials that were aired in Mumbai on 10 June at the Leo Burnett Cannes Predictions 2005.



Ads from UK (14), USA (14), France (5), Netherlands (3), Thailand (2), Argentina (2), Australia (2), Germany (1), Peru (1), Norway (1), South Africa (1), Canada (1), Japan (1), Spain (1) and Brazil (1) were the ones that made it to Leo Burnett's Top 50.



The audience was asked to list their Top 20 out of the ads that were aired. If one of their twenty choices wins the Grand Prix, it earns 50 points. For every Gold Lion one chose, they receive 30 points; Silver Lion wins them 20 points and Bronze wins them 10 points. The Cannes Lions winners will be announced at the end of this month.

The Leo Burnett Cannes Predictions contest was started for educational and entertaining purposes and the votes cast bear no influence on the decisions made by the Cannes Lions jury.

Each year, former worldwide director of creative resources and former president of the International Advertising Festival at Cannes Donald Gunn hosts an internal prediction contest for Leo Burnett employees. Gunn also distributes the reel to the media. The reel became a much-anticipated tradition, informing the press and industry leaders of commercials most likely to win Cannes Lions each year.

After successfully predicting 13 of the past 15 Grand Prix winners, Leo Burnett's Cannes Predictions Reel is now considered to be the benchmark for commercials that will win at Cannes.

While many ads in the 2005 reel had the audience in splits as humour dominated the script, some others with a public service message surely gave the audience food for thought.

What's HOT!

Can't stop clicking! -- Energizer 'Mano Japonesa' ad

One of the ads that really went down well with this writer was the Energizer ad ('Mano Japonesa' i.e: Japanese Arm) by Grupo Gallegos, USA. The ad features a man who says he had got an arm implant from a Japanese donor and since then he just can't stop snapping photos. The ad showed the man in various real life situations like in a men's urinal, at the dining table or sleeping in bed. Now this is the clincher - in all the above mentioned situations, the man is shown clicking pictures away furiously with the Japanese arm! The punch line is that it's good that he has Energizer batteries. Well directed and subtly shot without wasting too many words, this ad does tickle the funny bone.

'We just lost our pilot to Bud Light!'

Another ad worth a mention is that of Anheuser-Busch's beer Bud Light by DDB Chicago. The ad shows a few skydivers ready to take the plunge, when one of them suddenly develops cold feet and refuses to jump. One of his friends then tosses a six-pack of Bud Light out of the plane to entice the intrepid skydiver, only to have the pilot abandon his plane for the brew without dwelling twice on the fact that he wasn't even wearing a parachute.


"What's with their voice?"-- Japan's Ajinomoto Stadium ad

An ad for Japan's Ajinomoto Stadium titled "Husky Girls" by Dentsu Inc. Tokyo is another well made ad with a funny side to it. A young boy is shown coming to Japan and is awed by the beautiful girls there. The one thing that strikes him wherever he goes is the beauty of the girls. But he is repulsed by every girl he tries to talk to when he hears their hoarse voice. Puzzled, he just moves on and bumps into an ordinary looking skinny girl. She, for one, has a normal feminine voice. He ends up in bed with her and later the girl asks what made him choose her. The shot then cuts to the Ajinomoto Stadium, where all the pretty girls are cheering their favourite football players. Now that explains their hoarse voice and the passion for the game.


A public service ad for the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in UK titled "Ventriloquist" by Saatchi & Saatchi, London is also worth mentioning. The ad revolves around how child abusers control their victims. It portrays a small girl as a puppet controlled by a ventriloquist, who is her abuser. The girl-puppet is left powerless by her abuser - unable to make friends, pay attention at school or speak to her mother about what is happening to her. The ad ends by asking people to call a number to help the NSPCC put a stop to cruelty to children.

Some of the other ads that did feature in this writer's Top 20 preferences were Volkswagen Gold (Kids on steps), Germany; FedEx (Top Ten), USA; Virgin Atlantic (Upper Class Suite), South Africa; Sagem-X5 (Tokyo), France; Honda (Yume No Chikara, UK; (Stairs/Crying), Argentina and Pepsi (Surf), Brazil to name a few.

What's NOT!

Honda's 'Grrr' ad

An ad which just didn't manage to make it to the favourite list of this writer was an elaborate animated ad emphasizing Honda's quiet diesel engine amid picturesque beauty - rainbows, flowers, birds, swans and what not. The ad was just too long coupled with a sing-song musical gaga about changing something if you hate something. The ad has been made by UK's Wieden + Kennedy and is titled "Grrr."

It remains only a matter of time till we find out what's hot and what's not as the Lions are set to roar in Cannes next week.

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