London shops Analog Studio and W&N won the highest prize in Digital Craft last night in Cannes for their work in turning Icelandic singer Björk into a surreal VR piece.
The six-minute video, dubbed “Notget,” is a spatial look at the artist’s world and was created for the HTC Vive for her eighth album “Vulnicura.” The work was picked, “pretty much unanimously” among the jury for its innovative use of virtual reality, said Henry Cowling, creative director at Unit9 and president of the digital craft jury. “It’s one of the easier discussions that I’ve ever been a part of or witnessed.”
He added, “What we loved about this piece is that it considered form and it considered composition and it considered storytelling from a spatial point of view—from the point of view of you being a person in the room. It’s the combination of a number of trends.”
While virtual reality has been available to creatives and advertisers for a few years, “this is the year that virtual reality has really come of age at Cannes,” Cowling said.
The work represents a shift from doing VR for the sake of doing VR to focusing on craft, he explained. Because VR is a more immersive medium, Björk’s video takes visual and sound into consideration as well as considering where and how someone watches the film.
“It’s not necessarily the strongest storytelling piece because it is essentially a music video, but it’s more about the journey, the very subtle arc of the user experience and I consider that to be storytelling,” Cowling explained.'
Meanwhile, Google was a big winner across several campaigns with gold, silver and bronze Lions. Tilt Brush, another VR project, won a gold and silver Lion while R/GA Sydney’s “Through the dark” work for Google Play won two gold Lions.
Other notable winners include Gatorade and TBWA\Chiat\Day’s “G Active” campaign and “The One Moment” from Morton Salt, OK Go and Ogilvy & Mather Chicago.
The 2-year-old Digital Craft category awards the execution of digital campaign and user experience.
“As a young category, there’s an onus on this jury to define what we mean by digital craft,” Cowling said. “I’ve had a number of people come up to me at the festival and say, ‘Isn’t digital craft basically everything?’ In some ways it is these days … but I think what this jury really wanted to focus on was the use of the media, the use of the techniques, the use of the tools that are available to us as digital artists.”