Google Scoops Up 5 Creative Awards at Cannes Lions Ad Festival

The Wilderness Downtown - Arcade FireGoogle, a company that has made its name off search and has famously eschewed brand advertising for over 10 years, have picked up five awards for creative and inventive advertising campaigns. Zach Rodgers, Managing Editor at ClickZ, reported from Cannes that Google's in-house agency, named Creative Lab, and it's external agency partners have scooped the Grand Prix, gold and silver honors for the following campaigns:

  • "The Wilderness Downtown," an interactive music video for Arcade Fire, showed off the features of the Chrome browser.
  • "Chrome Speed Tests," was created by BBH New York and Google Creative Lab. A series of online videos used lab-like experiments to prove the browser's speed.
  • "Art Project," created in-house, adapted Street View technology to let people virtually navigate museums and galleries around the world.
  • A series of 13 billboard ads for Google's mobile app used phonetic spellings to show the usefulness of its voice search. Created by BBH London.
  • "Demo Slam," by Johannes Leonardo NY, pitched videos about cool applications of Google technologies against each other and asked users to vote up a winner.

Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was also named media person of the year. Speaking on Wednesday, Schmidt recalled the first mass media ad the company ever produced for the $3 million Super Bowl ad spot in February 2010, saying, "Hell has frozen over… In the decade that I'd been with the company we would never have thought that there's value in that." As Rodgers notes in his article, Google's approach to developing creative was characteristic of the values of the company.

"Rather than simply create what it [Google] thought was a good ad, it published several at once on YouTube in the weeks before the game. It aired the one with the most views. Then, when the ad finally ran, Schmidt claims Google was able to evaluate its return on investment very quickly by measuring the post-game spike in traffic and ad revenue. He said the ad paid for itself."

Google's Lion-winning ads create immersive and unique experiences, and as a result, even though their social products might not be there yet, as SEW contributors have previously commented the increasing 'socialness' of their brand is evident in their choice of Google Doodles and now through inspiring Chrome TV ads.