Incredibly unusual ads take top Cannes awards

LAURA PETRECCA
Last updated 11:56 24/06/2014
Volvo Trucks

Action star Jean-Claude Van Damme performs one of his world-famous splits between two Volvo trucks being driven in reverse.

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Ads themed on self-discipline and selfishness grabbed the attention of judges at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity on Saturday.

The jury for the high-profile film awards announced a tie for the Grand Prix in their category, doling out equal honours for an ad that promoted Volvo trucks and an ad that touted an unusual gift line at U.K. retailer Harvey Nichols.

The Volvo video featured movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme doing an improbable-looking split between two moving trucks. Each leg is set on a truck that is driving backward, while Van Damme keeps a calm expression on his face. In his voiceover, Van Damme talks about having "a mind-set to master the most epic of splits."

The ad was designed to show off Volvo truck's precision steering.

The Harvey Nichols "Sorry I Spent It on Myself" campaign focuses on people who buy their loved ones inexpensive holiday gifts, such as rubber bands and paper clips that come in Harvey Nichols-branded packaging, so they can spend more on themselves.

The retailer actually sold the cheap, unusual presents featured in its ad - and sold out in just under three days.

Harvey Nichols' advertising approach was "brave" and "flew in the face of convention around holiday advertising," said film jury member Pete Favat, who is the chief creative officer at ad agency Deutsch LA, in Los Angeles. "For a retailer to take their highest-selling season and do something like this is remarkably bold."

He also praised the creative way that selfishness was made to be funny. "To take greed and make people laugh and smile about it is extremely difficult," he said.

In turn, the Volvo ad stood out because "it really had the product at the heart of the story" and also delivered a big "emotional punch," said film jury member Al Moseley, who is also president and chief creative officer at the ad firm 180 Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The Film Lion awards focus on traditional TV and cinema advertising, as well as films created for the Internet and other digital screens.

Here are more of the winners:

Made From Cool - Jack and Jones




Adventure Awaits – Lurpak Cook’s Range
  


Ayrton Senna 1989 – Sound of Honda
  


Whatever’s Comfortable – Southern Comfort

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You can see the rest here.

-MCT

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