Marketing Report
WhatsApp, Xbox Games and Diageo campaigns win Grand Prix at Cannes

WhatsApp, Xbox Games and Diageo campaigns win Grand Prix at Cannes

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced the following Lions in the second Awards Show of the week.

In the Entertainment Track, the Entertainment Lions, Entertainment Lions for Gaming, Entertainment Lions for Music and Entertainment Lions for Sport were honoured, and in Craft: the Design, Digital Craft, Film Craft, and Industry Craft Lions were awarded.

Simon Cook, CEO, Lions: “As we celebrate the Craft and Entertainment Lions on the second day of Cannes Lions 2024, I’m once again inspired by the body of work that’s emerging from the Jury rooms. It is truly setting the benchmark for world-class creativity that is driving the industry forward.”

In the Entertainment Lions, 762 entries were received and 27 Lions awarded by the Jury: three Gold, eight Silver and 15 Bronze.

The Grand Prix went to ‘We Are Ayenda’ for WhatsApp by Creative X, Palo Alto, and Modern Arts, Los Angeles, USA.

The campaign’s documentary tells the inspiring and harrowing story of the Afghan Girls National Football Team using the encrypted messaging service to help flee the country following the Taliban taking control in 2021.

Geoffrey Edwards, Managing Director, Creative at Gale US and Entertainment Lions Jury President: “‘We Are Ayenda’ is a powerful documentary film for WhatsApp, telling the story of 25 members of the Afghanistan Jr National Football team. We follow how they navigated their escape during the Taliban takeover of the capital city of Kabul in 2021 by using the safety features on WhatsApp. The film represents hope and demonstrates a perfect marriage of narrative storytelling with the brand playing a central and critical role. Stories like this represent the power that brands and entertainment have to Impact real change in the world.”

In the Entertainment Lions for Gaming, celebrating creative work that connects people to brands through gameplay, 407 entries were received and 15 Lions were awarded by the Jury: two Gold, five Silver and seven Bronze.

The Grand Prix went to ‘The Everyday Tactician’ for Xbox Games Pass by McCann London, UK.

 The brand listed a new tactician job posting for a professional UK football club that could only be applied for through its newly launched Football Manager 2024 game, creating a documentary that followed the new hire transferring his digital expertise over to a real-world football team.

Lydia Winters, Chief Storyteller, Mojang Studios and The Entertainment Lions for Gaming Jury President: “‘The Everyday Tactician’ consistently stood apart through its unique point of view, community engagement, engaging storyline, and stellar business results, creating a multifaceted campaign that perfectly demonstrates a truth we already know in gaming – it can change lives, create confidence, and build transferable real-world skills. It not only disrupted a 130-year-old football club but also the way society thinks about what gaming truly brings to the world.”

From 442 entries received in the Entertainment Lions for Music, honouring creative musical collaborations and branded music content, 16 Lions were awarded: two Gold, five Silver and eight Bronze.

The Grand Prix went to ‘Errata at 88’ for Diageo by AlmapBBDO, São Paulo, Brazil. Diageo’s whiskey brand Johnnie Walker wanted to celebrate the forgotten founding mother of the Brazilian music genre Bosa Nova, correcting the historical error by telling Alaíde Costa’s story and returning her to perform at Carnegie Hall after six decades.

Madeline Nelson, U.S. Head of Independent Label Relations, Amazon Music and Entertainment Lions for Music Jury President: “With the diversity of work, this year, our greatest challenge was to delve deeply into cultural insights, allowing us to understand unique perspectives. Johnnie Walker, as a brand that celebrates people’s journeys, took the deepest dive of all. They created a fully integrated campaign to honor the story of Alaíde Costa and re-write her name in the history of Bosa Nova. We had the opportunity to recognize work that will breed new levels of inspiration for the creative community and ‘Errata at 88’ does exactly that.”

Celebrating creativity that taps into fan culture and leverages the power of sports and esports in connecting people to brands, the Entertainment Lions for Sport received 665 entries and 21 Lions were awarded by the Jury: four Gold, six Silver and 10 Bronze.

The Grand Prix went to ‘WoMen’s Football’ for Orange by Marcel, Paris, France. Orange’s clever bait-and-switch campaign showcased what first appears to be the skill of the national men’s French football team but is then revealed to be the prowess of the women’s national side disguised as the men through deep fake technology.

Louise Johnson, CEO, Fuse UK and EMEA Entertainment Lions for Sport Jury President: “Orange's ‘WoMen's Football’ campaign brilliantly captures the meteoric rise of women's football through creative storytelling and innovative technology. By showcasing the prowess and excitement of the French women's national team, Orange aimed to challenge and dismantle outdated stereotypes about women's football. This campaign didn't just engage sports fans; it sparked widespread conversation, dominated headlines, and captivated audiences worldwide, proving that exceptional football transcends gender. The campaign's success, crowned with the Grand Prix accolade, highlights an exciting future for women's sports marketing, underscoring the power of positivity and creativity in changing perceptions and celebrating athletic excellence.”

In the Design Lions, honouring visual craftsmanship, 927 entries were received and 31 Lions were awarded by the Jury: five Gold, 11 Silver, and 14 Bronze. The Grand Prix went to ‘Sightwalks’ for Sol Cement by Circus Grey, Lima, Peru. The Peruvian cement brand created a new system that updated the international tactile paving system that helps visually impaired people navigate urban areas, creating new codes that direct people towards places of interest like banks or restaurants.

Fura Johannesdottir, Chief Creative Officer, Huge, Global and Design Lions Jury President: “The Grand Prix portrays that design is everywhere and can be at its best when it's "invisible". We loved that it is a global, inclusive and scalable design solution that can greatly improve people's lives and make the everyday better. We appreciated the simplicity of both the idea and the execution that was done through an old, but new medium. The Grand Prix for Design shows how great design solutions can be found in unexpected places, we just have to put on a different lens, look harder and see the world as it truly is.”

The Film Craft Lions, celebrating onscreen artistry, received 1552 entries and 46 Lions were awarded: seven Gold, 16 Silver, and 22 Bronze. The Grand Prix was awarded to ‘The Square Meter’ for Hornbach D.I.Y. / Home Improvement Stores by Heimat\TBWA, Berlin, Germany. The German DIY retailer created an intimate film that subtly commented on the rising cost of rent per square metre by following a man navigate his fantastical close-quarters home.

Prasoon Pandey, Ad Film Maker at Corcoise Films India and Film Craft Jury President: “It is not often that one gets to see all the cinematic arts come together so perfectly like synchronised swimming, to turn a DIY subject into a film with magical intrigue. This film is a wonderful reminder not only to all creatives and film-makers but also to clients that there is nothing called ‘low-interest category.”

From 552 entries received in the Digital Craft Lions, which celebrate technological artistry, 18 Lions were awarded by the Jury: three Gold, six Silver and eight Bronze. The Grand Prix was presented to ‘Spreadbeats’ for Spotify by FCB New York, USA. The music streaming platform’s B2B campaign featured a sprawling four-minute music video that was created entirely within the cells of Microsoft Excel.

Kentaro Kimura, International Chief Creative Officer and Corporate Officer, Hakuhodo Global and Digital Craft Jury President: “This work converted a very common and dry B2B media plan spreadsheet in Excel into a lively and exciting music video. They achieved an amazing level of craft in a very creative way through the use of decades-old technology instead of advanced technologies like AI. This highlights Spotify’s brand and how it stands out as unique among its competitors. The Jury unanimously decided to celebrate the Wow of great human creativity rather than the great use of technology.”

The Industry Craft Lions, celebrating the creative artistry, talent and skill required to bring a creative idea to life, received 1001 entries and 28 Lions were awarded: four Gold, nine Silver, and 14 Bronze Lions. The Grand Prix went to ‘The 100th Edition’ for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung by Scholz & Friends, Berlin, Germany.

After 99 iterations of the newspaper’s brand campaign where it selects an iconic person in culture and hides their image behind its large broadsheet – with context clues of who the person is being clear from their surroundings – the publication wanted to honour the 100th edition with an impactful person.

As right-wing extremism continues to rise in the region, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung chose to feature Margot Friedländer, a 102-year-old Holocaust survivor taken at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, to share a message of humanity, respect and tolerance.

Kalpesh Patankar, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett United Arab Emirates and Industry Craft Jury President: “Striving for bold and honest work over and over again is how you create ‘iconic’ work. But what truly struck a chord with us here wasn’t just the iconic nature of the piece… It was the message: “It’s important to me to be human.” In a time where the world feels divided, this work transcended our differences and dared us all to be human. Honest, beautiful, painful, hopeful, human.”

Winners of the Lions will be announced at the Award Shows taking place each evening throughout the Festival, from 17 to 21 June 2024. All shortlists and winners will also be available to view on The Work.