Cannes 2019: One Silver, four Bronze Lions for Canada in Outdoor and Design

Lg2 won Silver for "The You Inside Project," with Rethink, Leo Burnett and Sid Lee each taking Bronze.

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Canada had a lot of chances at nabbing some Lions in the Design and Outdoor categories. And that it did.

PL_pass_the_bill1616_corAmong the 11 Canadian campaigns shortlisted in Design, three were each awarded a Bronze Lion: Leo Burnett’s “Poster Banks” for TD, Rethink’s “Pass The Bill” for cannabis startup accelerator Leaf Forward (pictured, left) and Sid Lee’s “The Impactful Reminder” for the City of Montreal’s Vision Zero initiative.

A Silver Lion was awarded to Lg2 for “The You Inside Project.” Created for non-profit Gender Creative Kids Canada, the work involved the creation (along with partners SHED and Roméo + Fils) of a Russian nesting doll-style toy (pictured, top). Each doll represents a different potential stage someone might go through as they figure out their gender identity, and is meant to educate young people about the feelings they may be experiencing.

Lisa Greenberg, ECD at Leo Burnett Toronto and member of this year’s Design jury, told strategy one criteria the jurors were instructed to focus on was innovative work that could also be scaleable. But she adds that while the diversity of the jury (which included people from a range of design disciplines and skill sets, in addition to different markets) provided a more well-rounded perspective, it also made it more difficult for Canadian work to stand out.

“Canadian work showed up, it just didn’t all stay,” she says. “I couldn’t defend as much as I would have liked to, and some cultural things and nuances got lost. It’s such a diverse range of jury members, so that rounded it out a bit, but it made the point of view very different. Many things that won at D&AD, for example, didn’t even make it to the shortlist here.”

The Design Grand Prix was awarded to “Creatability,” an experiment from Google’s in-house Creative Lab that used the company’s AI capabilities to make creative tools more accessible, allowing users to make pictures and music by using their voice or moving different parts of their body.

In addition to its Design win, Rethink also won the lone Canadian Bronze Lion in Outdoor for “Pride Shield,” a campaign for Fondation Emergence that lined up 193 Pride Flags (one for every country in the world) to show how working together can help fight human rights abuses of LGBTQ+ people around the world – symbolized by how the flags were able to stop a bullet that was fired through them.

The Grand Prix in Outdoor was awarded to Wieden+Kennedy’s “Dream Crazy,” the Nike campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, among many other athletes. Jury president John Patroulis, worldwide CCO at Grey, said that while Outdoor is one of the categories that can have two Grand Prix in order to allow for more “traditional” static out-of-home work to compete with more interactive and tech-forward campaigns, that was not needed this year.

“It was a complete reversal, and it answered every set of our criteria,” he said, referring to work that was simple, that worked for the brand, was improved by the out-of-home context and somehow elevated the public space it occupied. “It’s also become one of the most iconic images in advertising. It was the one thing we kept coming back to.”

No Canadian campaigns won in Print & Publishing this year, but the Grand Prix was awarded to “The Blank Edition,” created by Impact BBDO in Dubai for Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar.

In the fall, An-Nahar printed a completely blank edition of its daily newspaper, featuring only its masthead and a picture of late editor-in-chief Gebran Tueni (who was among several assassinations of journalists and politicians in Lebanon in 2005) on the front page. The move was done as a form of protest against the political and economic situation in Lebanon, where struggles to form a government was resulting in mounting national debt, business struggles and health problems across the country (factors which were also preventing the media from doing their job and holding those in power to account, as several other outlets in Lebanon had recently closed).

Jury president Olivier Altmann, co-founder, CEO and CCO at Altmann + Pacreau, said that even though the financial considerations can sometimes put advertisers at odds with journalists from an ethical perspective, much of the top work in the category this year showed how creativity can help support freedom of the press, something work in the category is uniquely positioned to do.