FCB wins Gold in first Creative Strategy Lions for “Endangered Syndrome”

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The first ever Creative Strategy Lions were handed out at the International Festival of Creativity in Cannes Wednesday evening, with a campaign from FCB Toronto among the inaugural Gold winners.

The Festival defines the new Creative Strategy category as being about “breakthrough thinking and transformational problem-solving that led to compelling creative strategy.”

As the first jury to award the Creative Strategy Lions, jury president Tracey Follows, founder of Futuremade, said that while they wanted to award brilliant creative, it was also important to “curate a body of work that would send the right signal for what we believe was excellence in creative strategy.

“We were rewarding creative strategy which is about, of course, brilliant thinking… to get you to creative concepts that lead to business growth, or a change of perceptions, or even alter behaviour in the real world,” she said.

Aside from the Grand Prix, awarded to Forsman & Bodenfors Gothenburg for “The E.V.A. Initiative” for Volvo Cars (see the case video below), just three Golds were awarded in the category. One of those went to FCB and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society for “Endangered Syndrome”—the multi-faceted campaign aimed at reversing the negative perceptions of parenting children with Down Syndrome.

“We had plenty of cases that went much beyond the category, much beyond commercial effects and had real cultural impacts… We had an awful lot of [submissions] that made the case for bringing back empathy to their category,” said Follows. “And of course, we had a variety of papers and submissions that are around purpose.”

But the Grand Prix for Volvo won special praise not just for its idea of improving driver safety for women, but also for sharing the data underlying its innovations with the rest of the auto industry.

“They’re working with or allowing their competitors to work on some of the benefits this data is going to bring. not just themselves,” said Follows. “And in that sense, they’re not only transforming the automotive industry, potentially, they’re transforming the world to make it a much safer, better place.”

David Brown