Omnicom Group's DDB London and WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were selected as Grand Prix winners in this year's Print and Outdoor advertising category at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival awards.
The winners were selected by a jury of 22 that worked its way through nearly 800 short-listed entries.
"Cops," a print campaign for Volkswagen by DDB in the U.K., and "Missile car," an outdoor effort for TV station CH-9 Media by JWT, were "easy to understand while being true to what the brand stands for," said the press and outdoor jury president, Piyush Pandey, who is group president and national creative director of WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather in India.
In addition to the two Grand Prix selections, judges awarded 69 gold lions, 46 silver lions and 108 bronze to agencies in 71 countries.
Print advertising, the industry's oldest media form, is often viewed as being in decline as other media options such as the Web are growing in terms of their share of media dollars. But jurors today said print executions increasingly resemble those of outdoor ads in the use of bold shapes, colors and graphics and little copy.
'Used to stop people'
"Print now is being used to stop people," said judge Ian Grais, partner and co-creative director of Rethink in Vancouver, Canada.
As further evidence of the diminishing distinction between print and outdoor, fellow judge Bas Korsten, creative director of Omnicom's DDB Amsterdam, said "Eighty-five percent of the entries in print also did well in outdoor."
Some jurors argued that although print is often viewed as not being the source of innovation ("I'm not sure there's the possibility of doing something earth-shattering in print," said Mr. Piyush), creativity can nonetheless be displayed in print advertising.
"I think breakthroughs will increasingly come through using computer programs like Photoshop," said Sheungyan Lo, executive creative director for Northeast Asia of JWT's Bridge Advertising. He pointed to several Gold Lion recipients (France's BDDP & Fils' advertising for BMW, for instance) where creative directors employed computer programs to manipulate imagery. "Technology will make new visuals possible."