Representing disability, standing up for equal voting access and changing the portrayal of women in advertising were just a few of the societal, social and economic issues embodied in last night’s Lion-winning work for the Film, Integrated and Titanium categories.
In the final awards show of Cannes Lions 2017, the message was clear; making a conscious decision to break out of the advertising bubble and, in Titanium & Integrated juror John Mescalls words, “create work not only designed to live in the world, but also to somehow move the world forwards”, is the way the industry needs to head.
McCann New York’s Titanium Grand Prix-winning ‘Fearless Girl’ for State Street Global Advisors was lauded as an example of just that, with Jury President Tham Khai Meng hailing it a “mind-blowing, disruptive, irreverent” timeless icon that’s “beyond everything we’ve ever done”. The bronze statue stands defiantly opposite the Charging Bull, a symbol of the American economy, in the heart of corporate America as a symbol of women today and tomorrow.
Titanium & Integrated juror Chloe Gottlieb summed up the need for such a symbol: “For years, decades, our industry has treated women like mindless purchasing machines and never given women the respect or acknowledgment as fully formed human beings with hopes and dreams. And this year was a watershed moment for the portrayal of women in advertising.”
Pushing the industry and the world forwards were equally central to Blink Productions and 4Creative’s ‘We’re the Superhumans’ for Channel 4, a piece that was described by Jury President Pete Favat as one which “threw the windows open” and started a new conversation on the representation of disability.
He said: “It’s bold, proud, it has diversity, gender equality, craft, originality and makes us feel a range of emotions. It makes us happy, makes us think, it’s extremely provocative and the most important thing we discussed was that it pushes humanity forwards.”
“It has everything you could put into a piece of film, and answers so many of the questions we ask ourselves about pushing our industry forwards.”
Meanwhile, the Integrated Grand Prix was awarded to 180LA’s ‘Boost Your Voice’ campaign for Boost Mobile, which formed a unique relationship with its customers by enabling them to exercise their most fundamental American right inside a Boost Mobile store: voting.
Since the 2012 presidential election, 868 voting stations were eliminated in low-income and minority neighbourhoods, so Boost Mobile stories in these areas were transformed into voting stations on Election Day to improve accessibility for all. President Tham Khai Meng described it as an “incredible piece of work” that cuts through, transcends media and integrates into culture and society.