Richa Vij

Cyber Lions: Crazy girls, iPod sneakers and unreal models

The Grand Prix winners of Cyber Lions at Cannes 2007 present an instructive lesson in the interactive use of the Internet as an advertising medium

The three Cyber Lion Grand Prix winners this year at the 57th International Advertising Festival, Cannes 2007, are online campaigns which have used the interactivity and peer power of the medium to their advantage. Here’s a look at them and the lessons they impart about the medium.

The first winner was a reality show equivalent on the Internet. Picture this: Two women kidnap a man and do strange things to him in their quest to become famous. And that’s not it – all this was streamed live on the Internet 24x7 for five days from the hotel room. The catch is that all this was done to promote Diesel’s new range of Intimate Collection underwear for men. The girls called themselves the Heides and they became famous as their live antics on the Diesel website were promoted on YouTube and MySpace. Viewers could even decide what was to be done next to the hostage, by voting on the site. The ‘Heides 15 MB of Fame’ campaign won the Cyber Lion Grand Prix in the Websites and Microsites category.

Cyber Lions: Crazy girls, iPod sneakers and unreal models
Heides 15 MB of Fame
Apparently, the audiences loved the campaign and a spokesperson at Diesel claims that hits on the site went up three times, from 29,000 on an average to 100,000 visits on the third day. The campaign was developed by Swedish agency Farfar.

The second campaign was for Nike+, which won in the ‘Innovative Ideas’ category. The Nike+ website provided customers with directions to sync their iPod with their Nike shoes through software. The tutorial videos helped runners do the job and enabled them to form a community to share workout music. The campaign was created by the New York based Interpublic Group digital agency, R/GA, and also won a Cyber Lion Gold this year. Nike claims that 94 per cent of its customers recommended the product to friends.

Cyber Lions: Crazy girls, iPod sneakers and unreal models
Nike+ website
The third campaign,
, which won in the Viral Advertising category, was a true YouTube phenomenon. The video created by Ogilvy & Mather, Canada, shows a simple-looking woman transformed into an unnatural beauty, with a little help from make-up and Photoshop. The viral was created for the Dove Self Esteem Fund with the tagline, ‘No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted’. The video was viewed more than 460,000 times on YouTube.

We spoke to two heads of digital agencies in India for their opinion on the campaigns, which still have no equivalent in India.

Cyber Lions: Crazy girls, iPod sneakers and unreal models
Dove Evolution
Krishna Kumar, CEO, Media2win says, “Digital consumption is increasing and these campaigns are perfect. They allow brands to create new relations with the consumer though technologically advanced advertising. The Diesel campaign is a bold piece of communication that says exactly what the brand stands for. As for use of the medium, a live web cam is the best example for interactivity in real time.”

Chaya Brian Carvalho, managing director and CEO, BC Web Wise, says, “The Diesel campaign takes the Web 2.0 features to the brand very effectively and the concept has managed to engage the audience very well. The Nike+ concept is very striking and its web integration with the product is fantastic. I hope we’ll do something like this soon in India, too.”

The Cyber Lions received 2,711 submissions from 41 countries – 8 per cent more than last year. India also made a mark at Cannes, with 36 entries in all, including Tribal DDB’s ‘Protected Entry’ campaign for MTV, which was shortlisted for the Cyber Lions.

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