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.