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The Prestige Grand Prix Class of Glass Lions

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2015, introduced their Glass Lion For Change award, for advertising campaigns that challenged gender inequality and prejudice, and shattered the ‘glass-ceiling’ of biased, stereotypical representations in marketing initiatives and advertising communication messages.

1. WE Capital, Data Tienda

Cannes Glass Lion For Change Grand Prix 2022

Advertising Agency: DDB, Mexico City, Mexico

Production Companies: Estudios Machina, Bogotá, Colombia, and Ladoble Studios, México City, Mexico

WE Capital, a consortium of leading businesswomen, seek to empower female entrepreneurs with the financial freedom to successfully pursue their future-building initiatives.

The commendable campaign about helping Mexican women gain access to credit, also received a Cannes Creative Data Lion Grand Prix.

Cannes Judge Alan Kelly, chief creative officer at Accenture Song’s Rothco, reported that the simplicity of DDB Mexico and WE Capital’s motivational idea, blew them all away, and raises the bar in this category “to dig deeper and look further.”

2. Starbucks, I Am

Cannes Glass Lion For Change Grand Prix 2021

Advertising Agency: VMLY&R, São Paulo, Brazil

Film Direction and Production Company: Piloto, São Paulo, Brazil

The Starbucks Coffee Services Company, is committed to creating a positive impact in the communities they serve, with humanitarian initiatives that promote goodwill inclusivity at Starbucks where all are welcome.

True to their credo, Starbucks and VLM&R, with exemplary innovation, transformed a local Starbucks outlet in São Paulo into a registry office, where transgender people could legally change their names for free.

3. Twój Weekend, The Last Ever Issue

Cannes Glass Lion For Change Grand Prix 2019
(The 2020 Cannes Lion Festival was cancelled owing the Covid-19 pandemic)

Advertising Agency: VMLY&R, Warsaw, Poland

Production Company: Papaya Films, Warsaw, Poland

For 27 years ‘Twój Weekend’ (Your Weekend), was one of Poland longest running, and most read adult magazines, that reduced women to sex objects.

In December 2018, when the ailing publication was up for sale, VMLY&R teamed up with Polish news portal, MasterCard, and BNP Paribas, to purchase the magazine.

What happened next was groundbreaking. The new owners shut the publication down, releasing one last issue on International Woman’s Day, that took inspiration from the content of the original magazine.

Only this time, it featured conversation-sparking narratives of diverse and progressive femininity, correcting much of the misinformation that “Twój Weekend” spread over more than two decades, with all profits going to an NGO that provides equality education.

Jaime Robinson, chief creative officer at Joan Creative and Cannes Jury Judge, remarked:

“The Last Issue Ever turns a simple notion on its head and uses a platform already in place to undermine that same platform. The idea is transformative. It takes an object of degradation and turns it into something beautiful and says goodbye to it forever”.

4. Libresse/Bodyform, Blood Normal

Cannes Glass Lion For Change Grand Prix 2018

Advertising Agency: AMV BBDO, London, UK

Production Company: Somesuch, London, UK

Post Production VFX Studios: The Mill / Framestore, London, UK 

Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, the Essity FemCare Company’s ‘Blood Normal’ campaign for their ‘Libresse’ brand in Scandinavia, and ‘Bodyform’ in the United Kingdom, was directed by filmmaker Daniel Wolfe, with Director of Photography, Monika Lenczewska.

The campaign’s film scenario by AMV BBO Copywriter Nicholas Hulley, and Art Director Nadja Lossgott, cantered on Essity’s research that showed 9 out of 10 women still attempt to hide their periods, due in part to the many societal taboos about talking about menstruation, or even broaching the topic.

And as the ‘Bodyfrom’ website outlined, the #bloodnormal communication objective is to call time on period taboos.

“We show true-to-life situations; we show blood; we show the world that the only way to kill stigma is to make the invisible visible”.

“By bringing blood out of the dark, onto our screens and into the conversation we’re paving a positive path for women of the future. After all, shouldn’t period-talk be as normal as periods themselves?”

Lauren Connolly, ECD at BBDO New York, and Immortal Awards juror of LBBOnline’s free-to-enter award show said;

“Blood Normal changed society. It changed the category. It changed storytelling. It changed integration. It changed production.

And nothing about it felt like an ad, but like a giant leap forward.”

5. State Street Global Advisors, Fearless Girl

Cannes Glass Lion For Change Grand Prix 2017

Advertising Agency: McCann, New York, USA

The ‘Fearless Girl’ statue to commemorate International Women’s Day, received international acclaim. The inspirational symbolism of a young girl bravely confronting Wall Street, New York’s iconic huge bull, resonated with women of all ages globally.

The resultant news channel and social media responses, that vastly exceeded expectations, highlighted the fact that successful communication objectives can be creatively motivated by a non-traditional media execution.

Stephen Tisdale, Chief Marketing Officer of State Street Global Advisors, explained the rationale behind their phenomenally impactful ‘Fearless Girl’ campaign.

“People admire brands that have convictions and stand for something that has a benefit to society. No one wants to be marketed to, instead we sought to create a symbol for people from all walks of life, race, religion, and creed, to celebrate the power of women in leadership. This required an unconventional media approach”.