At the Cannes 2010 Awards, the Outdoor Grand Prix was awarded jointly to Diesel’s ‘Be Stupid’ and an ambient idea for Andes beer. While the Andes beer relied on technology, the Diesel outdoor campaign was the traditional poster campaign. According to Adweek:
Outdoor jury president Tay Guan Hin, Regional ECD of JWT Asia said, Diesel’s “Be stupid” manifesto is “bold, fresh, lively and goes against the flow of conventional thinking.
U.S. juror Kathy Delaney, chief creative officer and president of SapientNitro added: “What the campaign did beautifully was create a tone of voice and manifesto for the target. It was one of the campaigns that did not rely heavily on technology to get the message out, and it was very strong in its voice, tone, manner and DNA.”
I had offered a counter point about the Diesel campaign: one can be dismissive about it, but it creates buzz and gets people talking about the brand. Is it designed to sell more jeans? Hell, no. Does it build affinity towards the brand? I think among a certain set of people who think paying $300 for a pair of jeans is cool, it would. Or so I think.
Anyway, I am digressing. Did this campaign deserve a Grand Prix? I think not. If the Grand Prix is meant for path breaking thinking on using the Outdoor medium, how does this fit in? HBO’s ‘Voyuer’ was path breaking – it made you think of Outdoor medium as you never did before, using technology. The Zimbabwe currency campaign gave a twist to a traditional medium. James Ready coupon billboards did that too. Even the Nestle Polo Snow Stamp (won a Gold in the Outdoor category at Cannes 2010) demonstrates unconventional thinking. All of these have a strong idea behind them first – the creative use of the medium came later.
With Diesel you could argue that there was an advertising idea – of creating an unconventional manifesto. But how does it set a new benchmark in using Outdoor as a medium? Maybe, I am just stupid.