Four Golds for Canada in Cannes: 2 for FCB, 1 each for Rethink and Ogilvy

It was a very effective night for Canada in Cannes Wednesday, with FCB winning two Gold Lions, and Rethink and Ogilvy winning one each.

FCB won a Gold and a Bronze in the Creative Effectiveness Lions for “Project Understood,” which saw the agency work with Google to train software to recognize the distinct speech patterns of those with Down syndrome.

FCB’s work for Canadian Down Syndrome Society over the last five years has been breaking new ground in non-profit marketing (and winning plenty of award show accolades along the way). That five-year campaign earned FCB and CDSS their second Gold in of the night in the Creative Strategy Lions.

Also in the Creative Strategy Lions, Rethink’s “Draw Ketchup” for Kraft Heinz, which already won Gold on Monday night, won another Gold.

After winning two Grand Prix in Cannes last year, Ogilvy’s “Courage is Beautiful” campaign, built around searing portraits of exhausted health care workers in the early days of the pandemic, won a Gold and a Silver Lions in Creative Effectiveness,

In total, Canada won four Gold, three Silver and five Bronze Wednesday night across the Strategy Track and Experience Track competitions. The 12 wins take the overall Canadian tally after three nights to 32 Lions: 7 Gold, 6 Silver and 19 Bronze.

See the full Canadian winners list below and each of the case videos for each of the seven Grand Prix announced Wednesday night.


Creative Effectiveness (2 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze)

The Creative Effectiveness Lions are for previous winning work proven to deliver “sustainable business impact over time.”

Ogilvy Toronto and London shared the hardware for Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful.” The campaign won two Grand Prix last year, and earned a Gold and Silver this year.

Last year, “Project Understood” also won multiple Lions and added a Gold and a Bronze Wednesday night, while Juniper Park\TBWA’s “Signal for Help” for the Canadian Women’s Foundation was awarded a Bronze Lion.

The jury awarded 21 Lions in total from 258 submissions. The Grand Prix went to FCB Chicago and Michelob Ultra for “Contract for change”

Creative strategy (2 Gold)

There were 574 submission to the Creative Strategy Lions, and just three Golds were awarded—two of them for Canadian work.

Rethink and Kraft Heinz won Gold in Print & Publishing Monday night, and now have a second Gold Lions to go with it for Kraft Heinz’s “Draw Ketchup.”

FCB won its Gold for the five-year long campaign to raise awareness, and tackle misperceptions about Down syndrome (check out the case video for the review of that work).


There were 19 Creative Strategy Lions in total, with the Grand Prix to BBDO Belgium and Decathlon for “The Breakaway—The first e-cycling team for prisoners”


The Experience Track Lions are for work defined as delivering “intelligent customer journeys and immersive experiences.” There are five distinct competitions in the Experience Track.

Creative Commerce (1 Silver 1 Bronze)

FCB Toronto and Ontario Lottery Corporation won a Silver Lion for “Dream Drop,” which saw OLG sell clothing that came with code redeemable for a Lotto Max ticket every week for one year. FCB also won a Bronze for Bank of Montreal’s “Gear Up,” which provided a better “shopping experience” for kids in need of soccer equipment. See the case video below.

The Creative Commerce Lions saw 374 submissions this year, and 17 Lions were handed out. The Grand Prix went to Leo Burnett Chicago and Wingstop for “ThighStop.”

Brand Experience & Activation (1 Silver, 2 Bronze)

Three frontrunners for Canada’s top campaign of Cannes all won in Brand Experience & Activation. Rethink Toronto and Kraft Heinz won a Silver for “Heinz Hot Dog Pact,” while FCB won Bronze for Ontario Lottery Corporation’s “Dream Drop,” and Zulu Alpha Kilo also won Bronze for Pfaff Harley-Davidson’s “Tough Turban.”

After winning a Grand Prix in Radio & Audio earlier in the week, “The Unfiltered History Tour” by Dentsu India (Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurgaon) for Vice Media, added the Grand Prix in Brand Experience & Activation, a competition that saw 57 total Lions awarded from a total of 1,919 submissions—making it the Festival’s third most popular category behind only Film and Direct.

Creative Business Transformation

There were 158 submissions, and nine winners in the Creative Business Transformation Lions, none of which come from Canada. The Grand Prix went to L&C New York and Done Sunshine Company / Ananas Anam for “Pinatex.”

Innovation Lions

Though it has been around for several years now, the Innovation Lions was the most lightly entered competition of the Festival this year, with just 117 submissions—down from 161 last year and 187 the year before that. There were five submissions from Canada, none of which were shortlisted, and the jury awarded just four Lions in total.

The Grand Prix went to Leo Burnett Sydney and Suncorp Group for “One House to Save Many.”

Mobile Lions

Of 543 total submissions to the Mobile Lions, 16 were from Canada—although none made the shortlist. The jury handed out 21 Lions in total, with the Grand Prix going to Google, T Brand Studio, Wieden + Kennedy, Gut Miami for “Real Tone.”

David Brown