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Cannes 2013

'Dumb Ways to Die' Kills With 2 Grand Prix—in Direct and PR

Oreo's blackout tweet also wins a Lion

Chorus of the damned.

CANNES, France—Dying never felt so good.

McCann Melbourne's super-viral "Dumb Ways to Die" train-safety video for the Melbourne Metro stormed the Cannes Lions festival on the first day of awards here, picking up two Grand Prix and narrowly missing out on a third.

The three-minute, animated music video—in which adorable blobs make the stupidest decisions and gruesomely pay the ultimate price—took the Grand Prix in the Direct Lions and PR Lions contests. It also added a Gold Lion in the Promo & Activation Lions category.

The ad is closing in on 50 million YouTube views, but it was more than an online video. The song itself—written by Australian musician Ollie McGill from the band The Cat Empire and performed by Emily Lubitz of Tinpan Orange—was made available for sale on iTunes, and reached the top 10 in the global iTunes chart within 24 hours of its release. The integrated campaign also later led to a gaming app.

"Dumb Ways to Die" likely isn't finished winning Lions, either. It is considered a front-runner—perhaps even the favorite—to win the Grand Prix in the Film Lions contest later this week. It could get love in other categories too—such as Integrated Lions.

Two U.S. agencies won gold in the PR Lions contest. Draftfcb in New York picked up one gold for the Oreo Daily Twist campaign. And Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles took home two golds for its Toyota campaign in which a Tundra towed the Space Shuttle Endeavor.

The U.S. silver winners in PR were: Ogilvy in New York for IBM's "The World's Smallest Movie" and Y&R in New York for Virgin Airways' "Upper Class Park Bench."

The U.S. bronze winners in PR were: Havas PR in New York for its #GivingTuesday campaign for the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation; Ketchum in Los Angeles for the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance; and Ketchum in Washington, D.C., for its "McKayla Maroney Is Finally Impressed ... With 7-Up Ten" campaign.

In the Direct Lions category, U.S. agencies won no golds but did pick up four silvers and one bronze. Draftfcb took home one silver for Oreo, and 360i picked up a separate silver for Oreo—for the famous blackout tweet from the Super Bowl. And Leo Burnett won two silvers for its "8 Million Protagonists" campaign for the Village Voice.

The bronze in Direct went to Pereira & O'Dell in San Francisco for Intel and Toshiba's "The Beauty Inside."

The PR judges awarded 95 Lions in all—the Grand Prix, 20 golds, 29 silvers and 45 bronzes. The Direct jury handed out 61 Lions—the Grand Prix, 13 golds, 19 silvers and 28 bronzes.

The awards were presented at a ceremony here tonight inside the Palais des Festivals.

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