PAT BARON chief creative officer mccann australiacreativebaron@gmail.com

Cannes Lion Grande Prix Media

Last night ‘Dumb Ways To Die’ won the 2013 Cannes Grand Prix for Media and 5 Gold Cannes Lion’s for Cyber. There’s no doubt that ‘Dumb Ways To Die’ has caught Cannes imagination in an unprecedented fashion. 

There’s been an energy and enthusiasm for the campaign that seems to have gathered momentum. Admittedly, its record-breaking haul of Grand Prix is partly a reflection of its eligibility in an unusually broad range of categories at the ever-expanding event but there’s clearly more to it than that.

Measured by YouTube viewings, ‘Dumb Ways To Die’ has been a huge success. Some reports suggest it has been viewed 500m times (though YouTube’s own measure suggests the figure is closer to 50m) – either way, that’s more viewings than Australia has people, an impressive achievement for a film that aimed to draw attention to dangerous behaviour on railway platforms and at level crossings in the state of Victoria.

Many are championing ‘Dumb Ways To Die’ for its effectiveness – but we haven’t enough data as yet? Has it been labeled effective because it’s been shared by millions of people on social networking sites or because it’s meaningfully reduced rail deaths?

No one can deny that it’s a fun piece of work and that it’s been widely shared but if that’s enough to win the biggest prize at Cannes, next year’s winner could be a new piece of technology, a video of a kitten doing something cute or anything across any media.

It’s no longer a level playing field. Television commercials are being beaten by films made with the complete freedom afforded by the internet across multiple platforms. It’s a landscape that will only evolve further and quickly.

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