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Social Media, Alive and Well at The Cannes Lions 2009

Cannes_lions award I must admit, when I was first asked to judge the Promo category for the Cannes Lions 2009, I had a moment of hesitation, given my last few years as a social media professional. Sitting in one spot, in a room for five straight days looking at 1200 campaigns was more time than I've ever sat still anywhere at one time. But something happened along the way.

During the first three days, I looked at close to 400 pieces of creative from all over the world. Half way through the second day, I noticed an unexpected pattern emerging, a pattern that was global. Over and over, agencies were including social media results as part of the success metrics of their program.  Agencies around the world were listing the number of blogs that talked about their campaign, the number of friend referrals and the number of YouTube views.

Here at the Cannes Lions, the bastion of traditional creative excellence, social media as standing up and being counted amongst the best in the world. The Titanium Grand Prix and Integrated Grand Prix belonged to the Obama/Biden Presidential Campaign. Many of us social media professionals have been following the Obama social media campaign since its inception on line in 2007. The campaign connected 13 million people online, half a billion dollars was raided online solicited from four million people.

I judged the Promo category with 18 other brilliant individuals each from a different country, many of whom work for large network agencies managing diverse teams. The dinner conversation often revolved around how, as leaders, they were responsible for ushering in this new era of advertising. All my fellow judges were experimenting with different media and new emerging ways to engage and dialogue with their customers. Social communities may not have had a large head count at Cannes but social media tactics did.

As I enjoyed the great work, the fantastic wine and the best in class people, I started to wonder what category I should enter the social communities I am working on for clients like BlackBerry, next year in the Cannes Lions 2010. It might be time for a new category at the Cannes Lions to be considered, perhaps the Best Use of Social Media or Best Brand Social Communities.

Listed below are some of my favourite campaigns that used social media as an integrated part of their campaigns.

Titanium & Integrated Lions | Titanium Grand Prix and Integrated Grand Prix
Obama/Biden Presidential Campaign / Obama For America Washington, USA

Titanium & Integrated Lions | Titanium Lion
Whopper Sacrifice / Burger King / Crispin Porter + Bogusky Boulder, USA

Titanium & Integrated Lions | Bronze
You Got 30 Minutes / Domino’s Pizza / Crispin Porter + Bogusky Boulder, USA

Titanium & Integrated Lions | Bronze
Dance / T-Mobile / Saatchi & Saatchi London, UK

Cyber Lions | Bronze
Balloonacy / Orange / POKE London / UK

Cyber Lions | Bronze
Training Club / Nike / R/GA NY, USA

Media Lions | Silver
Human Race / Nike / R/GA New York, USA