CANNES, France—A stunt with political undertones that encouraged artists to draw Nike Air Max shoes on their murals in São Paulo was awarded the Grand Prix in media. The move, by AKQA São Paulo, came after the city’s mayor cracked down on graffiti art, earned the award in part for its staying power, as well as its unique impact.
“A brand was brave and actually tapped into something that was already part of the culture in the city and made sure it had an impact,” said Karen Blackett OBE, chair of MediaCom UK and jury president.
Those who visited the art murals and scanned them on their phones were able to pull up and order the shoes, an additional layer to the project that added “direct contact with the core target audience,” Blackett said.
Blackett said she asked her jury to choose what their heads and hearts were telling them. All were “really jealous” they hadn’t come up with it, she added.
“When it came to the voting, this was the clear winner,” she said.
Nike also saw real results, including traffic to Nike.com, which saw a 22% increase in visitors after the murals were put up.
American-based companies otherwise swept the gold Lion media category, including FCB New York, Ogilvy New York, VMLY&R, Kansas City, Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, Mindshare, Chicago and R/GA, New York.