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Amir Kassaei

Born in Iran. Grew up in Austria. Studied in France. Lived in Germany. Working globally. Chief Creative Officer DDB Worldwide

NYC, Shanghai, Berlin, Ibiza

The Value of a Gold Cannes Lion: Well-Crafted and Problem-Solving Ideas

DDB came away with an unprecedented amount of Gold Lions at this year’s Cannes Festival, winning four Grand Prixes and an additional 17 Gold Lions, including one in Creative Effectiveness. The number of Lions certainly makes me proud of our teams around the network, particularly when you look at the value of what a Gold Lion represents today.

As ECD Darren Spiller and our team in Melbourne noted, there was some great work at Cannes this year that was only awarded a Bronze Lion that would have definitely been a Silver or Gold in previous years.

In my Film jury, we looked for bravery, honesty and humanity from our winners. And I’m not just talking about a well-crafted idea, but being brave in the way the work attacks the problems of the client. Ours is not an art festival; it is about solving marketing problems with informed ideas, connecting with people and using media in the right way to create the most innovative solutions. This feeling was echoed by many jury presidents this year. Art and craft are part of our business, but the real magic is how we use them to communicate and connect with people.

Cannes has always been a place to get inspired. Seeing the industry’s current best inspires even better work. As our Chairman Emeritus Keith Reinhard once wrote, “Those of us who seek to work magic in our craft should learn to recognize it and applaud it wherever we encounter it. Which means we need to not only exercise our talents, but nourish them as well.” 

MARMITE FILM GOLD & OUTDOOR GOLD
adam&eveDDB London: Nick Sheppard & Tom Webber 

What is the value of Gold these days?
 
£800 apparently. We were offered that in cash for one of our golds while we were out in Cannes. An MD (who shall remain nameless) of a production company (who shall also remain nameless) wanted a replacement for one they’d lost years ago. We declined the offer. 

But the best thing that comes with winning a pair of Gold Lions is having proud parents. Fine, they didn’t cry, but we knew deep down inside they were chuffed to bits when we told them. So, Michael, Pepita, Angus and Janet, these are for you… but again, we’ll be keeping hold of them. 

SEE FILM | SEE OUTDOOR CAMPAIGN

MARMITE “KETCHUP/MAYO/PASTA” OUTDOOR GOLD

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“Those of us who seek to work magic in our craft should learn to recognize it and applaud it wherever we encounter it”

Bill Bernbach

RSL AUSTRALIA ANZAC APPEAL MOBILE GOLD

Darren Spiller, Steven Skrekovski Stephanie Luxmoore, Chris Andrews, Tom Hyde, Pascal Van Der Haar, Ant Hatton, Jonathon Yuen

What is the value of Gold these days?
The ANZAC Appeal campaign was an enormous project, a huge undertaking not just from the agency, but also the client and particularly the veterans themselves. 

We wanted to create something that changed minds, turned heads and started conversations… something that made a real difference. It was an emotional experience working with the veterans, hearing their stories and knowing just how much the campaign meant to them in terms of raising money and helping those in need. Winning Gold for something already so rewarding made it extra special. All the small details we sweated over and the extra yards we put in were even more worthwhile. The value of Gold is best judged against the quality of the work that was awarded bronze and silver (this year in particular). There was some great work that was only awarded bronze that in past years would have been a shoe-in for silver or even gold. Winning a Gold Lion should bring a huge feeling of relief and satisfaction but in truth it only makes you hungry to win more and think even bigger next year. 

SEE CAMPAIGN

McDONALD’S “CACTUS/BUBBLES/FIREWORKS” PRESS GOLD

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McDONALD’S PRESS GOLD
DDB Tribal Wien: Lukas Grossebner, Peter Mayer, Mike Nagy

What is the value of Gold these days?
Lucky us! We were super excited when we heard the news as it’s the first Press Gold Lion for an Austrian agency ever. 

SEE CAMPAIGN

WATER IS LIFE “DRINKABLE BOOK” OUTDOOR GOLD

A staggering 3.4 million people die each year from a water related disease and, in most of the cases, the victims didn’t know the water was unsafe to drink in the first place. Our “Drinkable Book”, created for WATERisLIFE, is not only a manual that teaches save water habits, but its packaging and pages can be repurposed an used as a simple filtration device to kill waterborne diseases.

It features a brand new type of paper invented by McGill University & University of Virginia chemist, Dr. Theresa Dankovich, and works like a scientific coffee filter. Each page of the book is coated with silver nanoparticles, which kill diseases like cholera, E. coli and typhoid. After passing water through the filter, there is a reduction of greater than 99.99% in bacteria count, which is comparable to tap water in the United States.

Each book contains 24 usable pages, each of which contains two filters which each last 30 days. In total, the book can provide a single person with clean water for up to four years.

MATH PAPER PRESS MOBILE GOLD

DDB Group Singapore: Neo Chun Guan, Marvin Liang, Sid Lim, Adrian Leong

What is the value of Gold these days?
As far as we know: the sum of good people and coffee, multiplied by nights of insomnia.

SEE CAMPAIGN

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