Bravest Cannes Lions 2023 Grand Prix Winners

Bravest Cannes Lions 2023 Grand Prix Winners

News by Anja PaspaljAnja Paspalj
Published: June 20, 2023

This year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity marks its 70th year of existence, and one to remember. 

Taking place until June 23, Grand Prix winners have already been announced. Among the winners are some of the bravest and most empowering campaigns in global advertising, including those tackling employee healthcare and freedom of speech in media. 

Check out some of the Grand Prix winners here (with more to come). 

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Health Grand Prix for Good 

Publicis Groupe was recognized for its “Working with Cancer” initiative, aiming to broaden support for employees battling cancer in the workplace. 

Originally launched at the World Economic Forum last winter, the campaign now has the support of more than 600 businesses worldwide including Google, Disney, L’Oréal, Meta, and Walmart. 

Its emotional campaign spot sees two people living separate lives, both dealing with the reality of living with and fighting cancer in their daily lives.  

Besides the great success of “Working with Cancer,” this year’s Cannes Lions jury recognized the potential of this global humanitarian campaign to change the future of employee care in the workplace.  

“As an industry, there are not that many causes or social initiatives that we can wholly affect. Erasing the stigma of cancer in the workplace is one we can take on and change forever,” stated Arthur Sadoun, the global CEO and chairman of Publicis Groupe.  

Health and Wellness Grand Prix 

This year’s Health & Wellness Lions Grand Prix was awarded to Auckland-based creative firm Special for its Partners Life campaign concerning life insurance titled “The Last Performance.” 

The unusual spot tackles the topic of life insurance in New Zealand, opening with a jarring statistic: “When it comes to life insurance, New Zealand is one of the most underinsured in the world.” 

The rest of the spot sees fictional characters being “brought back to life” and expressing their surprise at what caused their death, speaking to the advertising power of top agencies specialized in video production

According to Special, the campaign led to a 135% increase in traffic to the Life Partners website during the campaign period and a 26% increase in brand awareness.  

“It’s an idea that uses media in a brilliantly creative and innovative way. It’s an idea that manages to put the words “entertainment” and “advertising” side by side,” said Mel Routhier, the Health & Wellness jury president and chief creative officer of VMLY&R Chicago. 

Pharma Grand Prix 

Dentsu Creative took home the Pharma Grand Prix for its work with Eurofarma. The Brazil-based pharma company and the creative agency worked to create the revolutionary “Scrolling Therapy” app. 

The app is targeted towards people suffering from Parkinson’s with the aim of slowing down the disease. The experimental app uses artificial intelligence to allow Parkinson’s patients to engage with social media using their facial expressions, motivating them to use their facial muscles.  

Currently available for free on Google Play, “Scrolling Therapy” is an example of the creative potential in mobile app development and how the growing trend of AI can be used for the benefit of society. 

Outdoor Grand Prix  

The touching campaign by Uncommon Creative Studio London for British Airways steps away from the benefits of technology and brings back a unique human touch to advertising. 

A simple white background offers a play on the list travelers are asked to check when stating their reasons for travel.  

Instead of the existing options, “Business” or “Leisure,” each ad showcases a third reason for traveling, the only one that counts. From “Stag do. Pray for me” to “Because I made a promise,” the campaign taps into the deeply personal reasons why we travel. 

The campaign itself includes more than 32 short spots and over 500 print, digital, and outdoor executions.  

Print and Publishing Grand Prix 

Impact BBDO teamed up with the An-Nahar newspaper based in Lebanon for an impactful campaign showcasing the effect of the crisis in Lebanon on local journalism.  

The limited “Newspapers Inside the Newspaper” edition of An-Nahar features six discontinued Lebanese newspapers within its pages, giving back the voice of journalists who have lost their own during the crisis. 

(Source: Impact BBDO)

“The Grand Prix was awarded to a brave piece of work that put into action a publication-based idea to defend the sanctity of a free press and did it in a way that we hope sends a signal to the industry on how eternally innovative the future of publication can be,” stated the jury of the Print & Publishing Cannes Lion Grand Prix. 

Digital Craft Grand Prix

Nike’s work with AKQA studios took this year’s Lion in technological artistry for its spot titled “Never Done Evolving,” featuring legendary tennis player Serena Williams. 

Following Williams’ retirement announcement, Nike released the “Never Done Evolving” spot, the result of a year-long study leveraging machine learning: “An AI study in the form of avatars that reveals the evolution needed to become the greatest of all time.” 

The final spot presents Williams playing against herself, combining footage of the tennis legend from her first Grand Slam at the 1999 US Open to her last game at the 2017 Australian Open. 

The spot was also released in time for Nike’s 50th anniversary,further elevating how the sports brand shifts boundaries. 

Entertainment for Sport Grand Prix

Beer brand Michelob ULTRA expanded the world of basketball with Dreamcaster, showcasing the brand’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility.  

By turning basketball data into a language for the blind and the visually impaired, Michelob ULTRA was able to work with Cameron Black, who became the first blind person to take on the role of sports commentator at a New York Knicks game.  

“Using an AI language model, complex basketball data is translated in real-time into simple to understand game-play information and consumed by Cameron in an 80-cell braille display,” states an official blog post.  

Rob Doubal, the Entertainment Lions for Sport jury president, praised the project for engaging fans and being “one of the best and most innovative live broadcasts of the year.” 

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Film Craft Grand Prix

“We Cry Together,” a short film featuring rapper Kendrick Lamar and “Zola” actress Taylor Paige, was awarded the Grand Prix for Film Craft, speaking to the growing overlap between the advertising and entertainment industries. 

Directed by Lamar, Jake Schreier, and Dave Free, the film is based on the artist’s popular song of the same name and is praised for its affecting script and honesty. 

 “From the choice of the camera choreography, the lighting, the framing, the language, the drama, and the truly extraordinary performances, all these craft decisions culminate to make the brave piece of work that effectively challenges us to question ourselves,” stated Kim Gehrig, the director and jury president of this category. 

Entertainment for Music Grand Prix

Two spots took the throne for 2023’s Entertainment for Music Grand Prix.  

Apple's empowering ad "The Greatest" was released to raise awareness for International Day of Persons with Disabilities and show how the tech company’s products are created to be accessible for users with disabilities.  

The song “I Am the Greatest” by indigenous Australian singers Spinifex Gum took the spotlight in Apple’s campaign, with lyrics originally from Muhammad Ali’s speech of the same name, awarded the campaign the Grand Prix in the category of Entertainment for Music.  

Simultaneously, the production company Smuggler's work for Michael Kiwanuka’s music video “Beautiful Life” shared this year’s throne with Apple. 

Shot on 16mm, the stunning spot features a diverse spot and explores the topic of mental health through the perspective of four teenagers. 

(Source: SMUGGLER)
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