UX designer picks the winners at Cannes 2011

1. Old Spice Responses (Weiden+Kennedy) Wins Grand Prix, etc!

Let’s get this one out of the way. No contest. Why? Because it took an already winning execution and brought it into lo-fi down-and-dirty Ernie Kovacs territory. A couple of props, a towel, and a deep connection to the always-on mantra of the internet. Make a funny video about Aston Kucher and you think he won’t tweet about it? Oh, save that one for later.

2. Ikea, Cats (Mother) Shoulda went with “Write the future”

I don’t know why this will win, but somehow cats are fascinating to most people, and doing something with them that involves IKEA seems clever and perhaps I shouldn’t say more or I’ll talk myself out of this pick. I could have chosen Chrysler’s Imported from Detroit since people also like Detroit, but in Cats vs Eminem I choose cats.

3. Save as WWF (Jung von Matt) Wins Gold!

I just adore this one, it’s a perfect mix of technology and brand message. Really clever, perhaps it didn’t really get the bang it deserved because of Mac only support, but Cannes tends to award artistic purpose over popularity.

4. Ghandji font (Leo Burnett)

Since Cannes also has a fair amount of designers, they do like fonts, and once again a perfect marriage of art and brand message.

5. Don’t tell Ashton (Berghs School) Wins Bronze

Perhaps the fair amount of twitter-heavy campaign competition may overturn this one. I think the real winning aspect is the great reel they put together and the fact they are students, looking to get recognition. And they seemingly got it. Slight negative points for the final artwork, looks kinda like the million dollar homepage. Update, the rival "Pay with a tweet", won instead. I didn’t care for that one since they were giving away their book anyway… oh well.

Allstate Mayhem (Leo Burnett) Won Silver

I’m kind of partial, but there are a many great ‘clever/funny’ TV spots on the list – the Volkswagen Star Wars, the Kevin Bacon spot, among many many others. Because this was such a stretch for the brand itself to embrace, as well as that this is a character that literally embodies the reason you choose the brand, it’s my only Film pick.

6. 4th Amendment wear (Crispin?) Wins Gold!

There’s something inspiring about finding a new communications medium, something that hasn’t really been thought of before. This melding of metallic paint, X-Rays, social activism and underwear is just too good not to award.

7. Chrome speed tests (BBH) Won Gold

Google ads are just on a roll, they have a real fit with the brand voice. This is a favorite because of the DIY/OK GO vibe, as well as just being able to tell a fairly abstract story in a simple and visually stunning way. Their Arcade Fire music video thing is also cool and may best this one out, but since there isn’t a ‘brand’ in that other work, other than the band, I’m picking this one. Update, they went for the Arcade fire one, oh well

8. Johnny Cash Project (Chris Milk)

Ok, so there’s no ‘brand’ here, but we’re suckers for the long, slow burn of internet ideas, we’re trying to get people to slow down, relax, participate, share, you know, become friends with a brand. It takes time, and the adrenaline bursts of TV, outdoor and print are great, but internet measures time spent on site, giving up emails, sharing with friends, all that stuff takes time. So here’s a slow burn of an interactive project, each person making a personal contribution. And, it’s got that emotion thing. Check.

9. Decoded Bing/Jay Z (Droga 5) Wins Grand Prix!

And finally, another technical kind of campaign. Using QR codes, mobile, geolocation, gamification, jackets, all those things that everyone geeks out about this year. It supposedly had something to do with Jay-Z’s book, which removes the ’emotion’ thing, but we’ll have to wait till next year to see a campaign that fits that element in. Perhaps something I can work on?