Arif Durrani's Blog

Ogilvy snatches Cannes Lions Media Grand Prix

So this year's winner of this year's Cannes Lions Media Grand Prix is... creative agency Ogilvy and Mather (O&M) Amsterdam?

The fact that an ad agency has walked away with media's top prize this year will no doubt raise a few eyebrows, especially among those who still view Cannes as being dominated by advertising's old guard.

Perhaps, in this age of convergence we should welcome ad agency's winning recognition for its media work. A sign of the times and a reflection of fluid parameters.

However, the fact is O&M's name may take all the headlines, but its work on behalf of funeral insurance and brand Dela also relies heavily upon a partnership with Eindhoven-based media agency MediaValue.

Based around the idea that people should send their family and friends messages of love before it's too late – yes, before they die – a series of mechanics helped ensure widespread exposure and engagement.

It relied heavily upon user-generated content, with newspaper ads starting with the single word "Dear" encouraging people to write their own message. The best entries were then turned into posters and placed in prime locations.

Melanie Varley of MEC Global said: "It took UGC to a new level."

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Arif Durrani is the editor of Media Week and head of media for Campaign.

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