Canada wins two Golds in Promo & Activation

Leo Burnett's "#LikeAGirl" takes a Gold and Bronze at Cannes, while Grey wins Gold for "Groceries Not Guns."

Like a Girl2
Canada has something to be proud of, as it takes home two Golds and a Bronze in the Promo & Activation category. There were 117 Lions handed out in the category in total.

As predicted, Leo Burnett’s “#LikeAGirl” campaign was a big winner with a Gold and a Bronze.

In the spot, Procter & Gamble brand Always, the Toronto, Chicago and London offices of Leo Burnett and Holler London, filmed girls of different ages reacting to phrases like “run like a girl” or “throw like a girl.” Some younger girls took it to mean “run/throw as fast as you can,” showing they haven’t yet been affected by the term. Teens and young women, however, demonstrated the negative meaning of the expression by feebly running and throwing a ball.

“I think there was no discussion about why it worked so well, it was just understood,” says Canadian juror Rene Rouleau, CD at Proximity, about the viral campaign that has amassed over 58 million views since it launched this time last year. “I have a 13-year-old daughter, so the ‘Like a Girl’ campaign really spoke to me as a father, but also just universally, we all know that expression and they kind of inverted it and Ju-Jitsu’d it, if you will.”

Our other Gold went to Grey Canada for “Groceries Not Guns,” a campaign for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

The campaign showed people holding items like an ice-cream cone, which is banned from Kroger stores while firearms are still accepted, and was part of the org’s efforts to convince the grocer to ban open-carry of firearms.

“That was fascinating because of the international jury, I literally had people coming to me saying, ‘That’s not real, that’s not true,’” says Rouleau. “[North Americans] just know it [to be true], but they were dumbfounded. So I think on a global scale that was a real eye-opener for the judges.”

As for the Grand Prix in Promo & Activation, that went to Grey London in the U.K. and its Volvo “Life Paint” campaign. The car co created a spray that can be applied to bicycles and clothing that appears invisible during the day, but glows in the dark at night, making the user more visible to motorists.

“You couldn’t have Chevy Life Paint or Dodge Life Paint, it had to be Volvo,” says Rouleau. “No other brand could have owned that. In the car category, Volvo is equated with safety.”

“When we first got together as a jury, we spoke about finding work that lifted creativity to a new level,” said Jury President Matt Eastwood, world CCO at J. Walter Thompson. “Not only is it an incredibly elegant extension of Volvo’s 30-year strategy for safety, but [we felt] like it lifted society to a higher level.”