Rethink wins five of Canada’s nine Lions

Rethink had the best showing among Canadian agencies at day four of Cannes Lions 2021, which saw Lions handed out in seven different competitions.


The agency won five Lions in all: In Radio & Audio, its Vancouver office won a Silver and a Bronze for client Over the Bridge’s “Lost Tapes of the 27 Club.”

Over the Bridge is an organization promoting mental health in the music industry. The “Lost Tapes” used artificial intelligence to create new songs from famous musicians who died tragically at the age of 27.   

Also in Radio & Audio, Rethink won a Bronze for IKEA’s “Baby Proof Spotify Ads.”

Rethink was the only Canadian winner in the competition, which saw the Grand Prix go to “Sick Beats” by FCB’s Area 23 for Woojer. “Sick Beats,” which also won a Grand Prix in Pharma earlier in the week, is a vest that uses music beats to help clear the lungs of children living with cystic fibrosis.

Brand Experience & Activation

Rethink’s other Lions came in Brand Experience & Activation, winning a Silver and a Bronze for one of the most memorable creative ideas to come out of Canada in 2020: “Ketchup Puzzle,” for Kraft Heinz.

FCB and Google also won two Bronze Lions for “Project Understood” for The Canadian Down Syndrome Society.

There were two Grand Prix winners: Mastercard and McCann New York for “True Name,” which let transgender and non-binary people use their chosen name on their credit card (see it below).

“Stevenage Challenge” also picked up its second Grand Prix of the week. The campaign by David, Madrid and Miami saw Burger King become the shirt sponsor for Stevenage F.C., one of the smallest professional clubs in English soccer, as a way to insert itself into the popular EA Sports FIFA video game (see it below.)

Mobile Lions

Mobile was the only other discipline that saw wins for Canada on Thursday, with single Bronze Lions going to:

  • Taxi and United Way of Greater Toronto for “The Unignorable Tower”;
  • FCB/Six Toronto and Lifestyles Healthcare for “Publicly Traded”; and
  • OneMethod and Good Fortune for “Receats.”

The Grand Prix went to another winner from earlier in the week, Telenor Pakistan and Ogilvy Pakistan for “Naming the Invisible by Digital Birth Registration” (see it below).

Creative eCommerce  

While there aren’t officially any Canadian Lions in eCommerce, No Fixed Address has reason to celebrate after its young New York office Mischief @ No Fixed Address won its first Lions, a Silver and a Bronze, both for the cheeky “Send Noods” campaign for Kraft Heinz’s Macaroni & Cheese.

The eCommerce jury chose two Grand Prix winners: One went to AB InBev and its in-house agency draftLine for “Tienda Cerca”—an ecommerce platform created to support small businesses closed down during the pandemic (see it below).

The other Grand Prix was awarded to FCB Inferno in London and the Big Issue with LinkedIn, for “Raising Profiles.” Another pandemic inspired campaign, “Raising Profiles” connected Big Issue street sellers whose business dried up during lockdown with customers using LinkedIn (see it below).

Creative Business Transformation

The new Business Transformation Lions saw just nine awards in total, with the Grand Prix for Marcel Paris and Carrefour for “Act of Food” (see it below).

Innovation Lions

There were just five Lions awarded in the Innovation Lions, and the Grand Prix was given to Unilever and Wunderman Thompson, Buenos Aires for “Degree Inclusive,” a deodorant designed for people with visual and upper body impairments (see it below).

Creative Effectiveness Lions

There were 11 Lions handed out in the Creative Effectiveness competition, including a Grand Prix forNike Crazy Dreams” by Wieden+Kennedy, Portland for Nike, which was a big winner the last time Cannes Lions were held in 2019 (see it below).

Grand Prix Winners

McCann New York and Mastercard — “True Name”

David, Madrid / David, Miami and Burger King  — “Stevenage Challenge”

Ogilvy Pakistan and Telenor Pakistan — “Naming the Invisible by Digital Birth Registration”

AB InBev and draftLine — “Tienda Cerca”

FCB Inferno with LinkedIn and The Big Issue  — “Raising Profiles”

Marcel Paris and Carrefour — “Act of Food”

Wunderman Thompson, Buenos Aires and Unilever — “Degree Inclusive”

Wieden+Kennedy, Portland and Nike— “Nike Crazy Dreams”


David Brown