Obama Campaign Takes Top Ad Prizes

Obama for America unanimously won two Grand Prix awards.

ByABC News
June 27, 2009, 7:36 PM

CANNES, France -- Barack Obama's historical win to become president also made history at the world's biggest ad competition where his election campaign won one of the most coveted Cannes awards.

Obama for America unanimously won two Grand Prix awards one Titanium and one Integrated in the finales Saturday. The Grand Prix for film went to a dramatic, interactive video by Tribal DDB Amsterdam for Dutch electronics giant Philips and its new $3,999 home-cinema TV. Titanium has become an increasingly prestigious category since it sets a new standard for the industry.

The winners capped the most prevalent theme this week for the thousands of ad makers and clients gathered at the ad fest on the French Riviera: ads today have to operate across multiple mediums, include user involvement and show results.

In this case the results were votes, user involvement spanned events, campaign volunteers, YouTube videos, Twitter, Facebook and media included everything from traditional mass media to social networking.

"They set the framework and let other people contribute to it," said David Droga, jury president and creative chairman, Droga5 in New York. "They turned (political advertising) from being one dimensional to something the whole country could contribute to. It was a fantastic idea. "

Despite representation on the Titanium and Integrated panel by three U.S. judges, not everyone was sold initially on the campaign, the first political campaign to ever win a Grand Prix here.

"I came into this not wanting to vote for the Obama campaign," said Rich Silverstein, co-chairman and creative, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. "But it was effective. You couldn't ignore it. There will never be a political campaign that doesn't uses these tools."

Also a first: a digital agency and video took the top prize in film, a category that traditionally awards the top prize to a TV spot. The video Cinema 21:9 introduced the "world's first cinema proportion TV." Viewers can click hot-spots to make it feel as if they control the film about a botched armed robbery at a hospital. The site (www.philips.com/cinema) has had more than 1 million unique visitors who spend an average of five minutes.