'Mountain,' an epic TV spot created for Sony's PlayStation 2 marketing campaign by TBWA London, has won the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival's Film Grand Prix award.
The top honor, announced at this evening's final ceremony at the Palais des Festivals, was viewed by some not only as a statement about TBWA's excellent work, but as a comment about the growing presence and impact of digital games across the culture as well.
'Truly global commercial'
"In the end what swayed me toward 'Mountain' was the extraordinary use of music, and also it was a truly global commercial. The metaphor was so clear," said juror Linda Kaplan Thaler, CEO and chief creative officer of Publicis Groupe's Kaplan Thaler Group. She said the spot also demonstrated that even as countries fight each other, people from around the world are finding new ways to come together by playing online digital games on systems such as PlayStation.
Filmed in Brazil and directed Frank Budgen of Gorgeous, 'Mountain' is a mini-movie of epic scale reported to have used 500 extras as well as digital special effects wizardry that turned those images into what appear to be tens of thousands of people converging on the center of a city. There, in a joyously chaotic but cooperative effort, they climb on each other to create a mountain of human beings. At the top, a winning competitor briefly stands atop the peak, extending his arms to the sky in triumph before he is replaced by the next comer.
1936 Shirley Temple song
Created as part of PlayStation 2's worldwide "Fun, anyone?" advertising campaign, the spot features the song "Get on Board, Lil' Children" as performed by Shirley Temple in the 1936 movie Dimples.
"It's very profound, almost art," said film juror Charity Charity, global executive creative director on Reckitt Benckiser at WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, London. "It's tremendously evocative, a metaphor not just for life but for evolution."
'Mountain' is such a wonderful way of saying how you can strive, and all join in together. It's iconic," said Piyush Pandey, jury president and executive chairman and national creative director of WPP's Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai, India.
Two other contenders
In the end, the Film Jury judges were divided almost equally between three Grand Prix finalists: "Mountain"; Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, Chicago's "Real Men of Genius" Bud Light campaign; and a sleeper from Canada for Vim cleanse by Zig, Toronto.
"'Real Men of Genius' is a wonderful piece of work, improving with every execution, but it's not new," noted Mr. Pandey.