Taking my cue from the excellent Diablogue, I'm not going to comment on this Titanium Lion controversy.
At least, not directly.
But this is the home of stolen genius. So I will let you make up your own minds.
The only winner of the Titanium Lion this year was a company called Design Barcode. They design barcodes. Realising that a bar code scanner only reads a thin strip of the code, the went about making them pretty. I happen to really like their designs and I think it is a very cool idea.
Over to Dave Lubars, Jury President:
“When Dan Wieden conceived the Titanium Lion, it was to celebrate something bigger than a category like film or outdoor. It was about rewarding monster ideas. It recognises and rewards the brave thinkers who are reconsidering the way forward, who are breaking the rules – even rules set down by famous award shows. As a recipient of the first Titanium Lion, I’m glad to help carry on its vision”.
So far, so good. I don't think a monster idea has to be an advertising idea at all. And Dave agrees:
The thing that we’ve chosen we’ve never seen before and we think transcends even an ad or a piece of communication, it will lift the world, lift people, so in some ways it is even more powerful than some of the past Titanium winners.
And Craig Davis, JWT worldwide chief creative officer, went on to say:
“Our industry has banged on for a long time about ideas being re-valued and perhaps underappreciated and undervalued by clients in the marketplace, it’s also talked a lot about intellectual property. One of the things that I think is remarkable about this winner is the idea is trademarked, this is an idea that people own, it is proprietary, it’s an invention and partly for that reason is why it elevated itself from a very strong body of work.”
And I agree that possibly the biggest issue in the industry is the value of ideas: what are they worth and how can you own them? Although I'm not certain that anything that is awarded at Cannes is likely to lift the world.
But if the Titanium is all about being new and intellectual property and trademarked and that - shouldn't someone have checked?