The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival is the largest worldwide gathering of advertising professionals. 2008 saw more than ten thousand registered delegates from ninety-four countries. Visitors to the convention numbers well up in the multiple thousands from all related industries. The Piazza San Marco in Venice was the inspiration for the current Lion trophy.
Thousands of ads from across the world are entered and judged; winning companies are awarded a Lion trophy honouring the most creative ads in a multiple of different mediums from traditional to state of the art digital. There are seminars, workshops and keynote speakers present throughout the seven day event. The participants of this, exhibitors, contestants and visitors are at the top of their respective fields and at the cutting edge of advertising technologies.
Cannes Lion International awarded Tourism Queensland's "best job in the world" campaign by Brisbane-based agency Nitro. This is their third top award for this festival. This award was in the digital category. The campaign was also awarded the grand prix award for best website and interactive campaign in the Cyber Lion category, these awards ad to the forwardly progressive week in Cannes for Nitro, whom was acquired last week by Sapient in a $50 million dollar deal. Nitro is also a front runner to win the Titanium Lion prize. The third Cyber Lion grand prix award was given to the United Kingdom agency AKQA for their eco-campaign for auto manufacturer Fiat, called Eco:Drive.
Because of the nature of the internet a small advertising budget can produce a truly astounding campaign that is global in nature. Digital technology allows the clever nature and creative processes of the advertiser to surface without the restraints of financial restrictions common in the more traditional advertising venues.
Warner Brothers was awarded the second Cyber Lion grand prix in the viral marketing area. This award was in consideration of the film The Dark Knight, the last film actor Heath Ledger starred in, Dark Knight went on to become one of the biggest grossing films.
"Why so serious" was promoted by a campaign created by US agency 42 Entertainment. This was an alternate reality game, interactive 'alternative reality' 'story telling' games were born of the internet and they are adapted well to their medium. These games are infinitely interchangeable and exceedingly interactive and involved. The campaign for this alternative reality game ran for over eighteen months and it encompassed events that occurred all over the world.