Direct Jury President Fred Levron, CCO of Dentsu International, said his jury wanted to show the industry and clients what a direct Cannes Lions winner really looks like. Their choice for Grand Prix? A $13m, 60-second NFL Super Bowl ad for cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, from Accenture Song, New York, called ‘Less Talk, More Bitcoin’.
If that seems counter-intuitive, it’s important to experience the execution. In the midst of 50 or more high-polished NFL commercials from US megabrands, Coinbase elected to use its full minute displaying an image of a QR code onscreen. Reminiscent of an old computer game or retro screensaver, the QR simply bounced around the TV changing colour as it travelled. 20 million Super Bowl fans were interested enough that they decided to click through.
When they did, they arrived on Coinbase’s landing page. Individuals new to Coinbase were invited to join the platform, and receive $15 worth of Bitcoin — an offer that generated 500,000 new accounts. People already signed up to Coinbase were entered into a $3m sweepstake.
“So often, NFL campaigns are about layers and mechanisms and big budgets. But this campaign shows that modern creativity is all about understanding what the audience is doing,” Levron said. “Everyone stopped and engaged with this crazy call to action.”
The Direct Jury also awarded seven Gold Lions to six separate campaigns. Winners hailed from the US, Spain, India, the UAE and Denmark.