Announcing the 2020 Digital AOY winners

FCB joins the list of this year's AOY winners, as Rethink and Sid Lee return to the podium for a second time.

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Every day this week, strategy is revealing the 2020 Agency of the Year winners. Full coverage, including shortlists for each category and the winners announced so far, can be found here.

Day three of the Agency of the Year virtual reveal celebrates the agencies that placed in the Digital category.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Gold winning digital agency is FCB, which impressed the judges with work for clients Canadian Down Syndrome Society, Michelob Ultra and BMO.

In second place, Rethink takes home a Silver medal for digital campaigns for Heinz Ketchup, Fondation Emergence and IKEA.

And finally, the Bronze trophy goes to Sid Lee, which received high marks for work created for IGA, Protect Our Winters and Parkinson Quebec.

Here are the features on each of the winning agencies, which also appeared in this month’s strategy magazine:

FCB puts creativity above capabilities
Rethink’s secret sauce
Sid Lee was born this way

You can get a snapshot of each agency’s winning cases below, including the Digital Campaign of the Year; for more detailed cases on winners profiles, visit the Agency of the Year site.

And make sure to check back here every day this week to see the winners in the other AOY categories: tomorrow, we’ll reveal the top agencies in Media. And for those who missed it, here are the winners in Design and PR.


Project Understood

Digital campaign of the year: Get this: in 2023, there will be eight billion voice assistants. The technology is becoming a way of life, say experts, however, it’s not very usable for those with Down Syndrome as the tech isn’t able to fully recognize their atypical speech. That’s where “Project Understood” comes in. FCB worked with Google and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society to create a platform that allows people with Down Syndrome to donate their voice and teach the tech to better understand them.

Cal for Cal

FCB asked Michelob Ultra drinkers to donate their sweat equity for a cause. It asked people to burn calories, share their hard work on social media and watch as the brand turned their energy consumption into food donations, calorie for calorie, to food banks.

Financial Fairness

For BMO, the agency created an online film exposing the microagressions that erode a women’s financial confidence. Influencers helped change the narrative, while a petition pushed to remove gender bias terms, like “gold digger,” from dictionaries.

SILVER: Rethink

Heinz on Film - Image (105910)

For years, Hollywood has given Heinz Ketchup the cold shoulder. With appearances in hundreds of award-winning films, the brand decided to take credit once and for all. Since IMDB is open-sourced, it edited the cast list with its cameo spots. But before it could tell anyone about its actor page, IMDB deleted it. So Rethink created a movie database that lived on the brand’s social feed, with content sourced entirely by users.

Pride Flagging_extended

Hate speech thrives online. Social media cos 2 don’t take enough action to moderate their platforms, so Rethink and Fondation Emergence did it for them. It created a plug-in that flags homophobic words in posts, striking through them with the Pride symbol of inclusion.


Ambient noise playlists on Spotify are a gift to parents trying to get their baby to sleep. But not everyone has a premium account, so they risk waking their baby with the sounds of sometimes obnoxious ads. IKEA cares about sleep, so Rethink found the most popular sleep-aid playlists and replaced the loud, baby-waking ads with silent, calming spots from the retailer instead.



IGA wanted to help Fondation Charles-Bruneau fight cancer in youth. So Sid Lee went to work, selling stick-on tattoos that came to life via AR. It invited news anchor Pierre Bruneau to get a tattoo of his own, but didn’t tell anyone that was it a fake. When the truth was finally revealed (with the anticipation drawing plenty of news coverage), people bought 225,000 tattoos, raising $450,000 for the charity.

Fact AvalancheSM

To “fact back” against climate change deniers, Protect Our Winters created an online tool that buried them in the truth. Every time a person tweeted a false fact, users who signed up were alerted via notification and invited to respond with a proven scientific fact.


Sid Lee started an experiment for Parkinson Quebec. In it, people with the disease were asked to trace a circle image on a mobile device, tracking the speed, pressure and tremors of their hands. The three data points were then translated into an artistic representation of the disease, as it progresses, day by day. Each piece was sold, with the proceeds donated to research.