Diana Marszalek 24 Jun 2019 // 6:37AM GMT
CANNES — PR agencies on Friday wrapped up the fifth and final day of the Cannes International Festival of Creativity by picking up some of the annual event’s most coveted awards — including the Titanium Grand Prix — for handling the PR component of the winning works.
Alison Brod Marketing + Communications, among this year’s most decorated PR firms, earned that prize for its use of PR to support Burger King’s “The Whopper Detour” campaign. The campaign also picked up five Gold Lions in the film category. Created by FCB New York, the initiative promoted the fast food chain’s app by giving users a 1-cent Whopper — but only if they open it within 600 feet of a McDonald's.
WE Communications also picked up a Titanium Lion for handling the PR supporting Microsoft’s “Changing the Game,” the McCann-led initiative showcasing kids with disabilities playing Xbox with the brand’s adaptive controller.
Ketchum took home a Titanium Lion for its PR work on “Viva la Vulva,” a video promoting the normalcy of women’s bodies. AMV BBDO London created the musical campaign for Essity;
The work also was awarded a Gold Glass – The Lion for Change award and two Gold Lions for film.
Precision Strategies was also among Friday’s big winners, earning a Grand Prix for Good for its PR work on “Generation Lockdown,” a March For Our Lives’ PSA challenging Americans to recognize that school gun violence should not be an accepted norm. McCann was credited as idea creator for the campaign, which also earned film category Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions Friday.
In the Sustainable Development Goals category, Cumulus Gurgaon was awarded a Gold Lion for handling the PR for The Open Door Project in India, which involves private school chain Millennium Schools opening its doors to disadvantaged kids after regular school hours. FCBULK is credited with idea creation.
Friday’s closing awards capped off the week for PR firms, which were recognized for their participation in in some of the Cannes Lions’ most celebrated campaigns. On Thursday, PR firms were credited on four of the five Grand Prix prizes awarded that day.
They included WE Communications, which picked up a Grand Prix in the brand experience and activation category for its PR around “Changing the Game. Hill + Knowlton Stockholm won a Grand Prix in the creative ecommerce category for handling the PR surrounding the first carbon emission limit credit card, which RBK Communication created for client Doconomy.
Alison Brod was awarded a Grand Prix in the mobile category, a day after “The Whopper Detour” picked up another Grand Prix in the Lion’s direct category. In the radio and audio category, The Outcast Agency was included in Grand Prix prize recipients for its work on HBO’s “Westworld: The Maze,” a game for Alexa-enable devices supporting the cable network’s “Westworld” series.
The spotlight was really on PR, however, Wednesday night, when the Lions in the PR category were awarded.
This year’s Cannes PR jury awarded just six Gold Lions — half as many as last year — but for the first time it did present one of them to a campaign where "idea creation" was led by a public relations firm, with Golin taking home Gold for its work helping McDonald’s celebrate its 50th anniversary. The “Big Mac 50th Anniversary” entry saw the Chicago-based PR firm handling PR, media and production as well as being credited with “idea creation.”
The category’s Grand Prix was presented to German agency Scholz & Friends — a creative agency that includes both public relations and public affairs capabilities — for its work on “The Tampon Book: A Book Against Tax Discrimination” on behalf of online retailer The Female Company. The campaign took as its starting point the fact that tampon sales in Germany are subject to a high rate of “luxury tax” and packaged tampons in a book, which reduced the tax rate and provided a vehicle for educating consumers and legislators about the absurdity of the tax laws.
Of the PR Gold Lions winners, 3PM/Weber Shandwick supported “Wind Never Felt Better” for AB InBev, which was led by Miami-based David.
Ketchum was among the night’s big winners in other categories, picking up awards for its PR work supporting several campaigns. The firm's biggest win came from supporting a Grand Prix in the social & influencer category for its work on “Keeping Fortnite Fresh,” the in-game attack on frozen beef that VMLY&R created for Wendy’s.
Ketchum also was awarded two Gold Lions in the media category — one for its work on“Fortnite,” the other for handling PR for the “Hacking Prime Day” campaign that Mindshare Chicago created for Honey Nut Cheerios. Ketchum scored another Gold Lion in the creative strategy category for its work on “Viva la Vulva.”
Highlights from earlier in the week include Outcast Agency picking up a Gold Lion award for a campaign it led. The agency, along with HBO and digital firm 360i, were recognized with Gold Lions in the digital craft category for "Westworld: The Maze," the Alexa-enabled game they created in support of the cable network's "Westworld" series.
Impact Porter Novelli in Dubai and Rogers & Cowan were the first PR firms to support Grand Prix prizes, in recognition of the work they did on campaigns led by other creative agencies.
Rogers & Cowan won a Grand Prix in the entertainment category, as well as Gold and Silver Lion Awards in the film category, for its PR work on Johnson & Johnson's AIDS documentary "5B." Impact Porter Novelli's Grand Prix was awarded in the print & PR category in recognition of the agency's work handling the PR around "The Blank Edition" campaign sister agency Impact BBDO led for Lebanese Newspaper An-Nahas.
Other winners that emerged in the festival's first three days include Current Marketing, which was awarded two golds and a silver in the design category, a gold in the print & publishing category, and a bronze in the digital craft category for its work with the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.
Powell Communications was recognized with three Gold Lions in the print & publishing category for its work supporting three Coca-Cola campaigns led by David, Miami. ICF Next also picked up a number of awards, including two Gold Lions in the outdoor category for its work supporting Skittles’ “Broadway the Rainbow." ICF Next was responsible for the PR for the production, a live musical Mars Wrigley, along with lead agency DDB Chicago, in lieu of a Super Bowl ad.
Weber Shandwick Paris’ Gold was for its work with Purina and McCann Paris supporting the “Street Vet” campaign for the company’s line of veterinary diets.