News & Views

Cannes Lions / The Glass Lion

by Alex Jenkins

The inaugural Glass Lion was awarded earlier today to Indian sanitary towel brand Whisper for its Touch the Pickle campaign, via BBDO India, Mumbai.

It encourages women in India to break cultural taboos around menstruation, including the myth that touching jars of pickles will cause the food to spoil. A 30-second spot racked up 1.8m views on YouTube in a month after being uploaded in July 2014. Meanwhile on Facebook, Whisper encouraged fans to share their experiences and asked which taboo women hated the most and how they've overcome them. The brand also enlisted the help of Indian celebrities Shraddha Kapoor, Kalki Koechlin and Neha Dhupia to publicise the #TouchThePickle movement on Twitter. Whisper further launched a live chat session with a doctor on Twitter so girls could get medical answers to any questions they have about periods.

Click here to download our Contagious I/O write up of the campaign from August 2014.

Cindy Gallop, jury president and founder of MakeLoveNotPorn and IfWeRanTheWorld, explained the juy's decision: 'What made us all unanimously feel that this campaign deserved the Grand Prix was the fact that it actively takes on and challenges a huge gender issue that affects every single woman. It does it in a way that is unafraid, open, innovative, disruptive. But at the same time humorous, impactful, very engaging.'

The jury further felt that the campaign was rooted in the brand values, the product and that there was a responsibility there that they would like to see more brands take on. Gallop also observed that, 'the nature of this campaign was particularly innovative when you consider the specific market for which it was created [i.e. India] and in which it has had a significant and extraordinary effect'.

Other winners of Glass Lions which received special mention from the jury were Always' #LikeAGirl, Feliz Dia Hombres from KAFA, and Share the Load from Ariel, which challenged the notion that housework was the sole preserve of women.

The jury was surprised by the global reach of the submissions, with entries coming from India, US, Egypt, Lebanon, Uruguay and Canada. Gallop observed that it was an eye-opening exercise for them: 'The geographic spread of entries exposed all of us to issues that we had no idea existed in different cultures, in different countries to an extraordinary extent. It reinforced how important the Glass Lion is.'

Jury member Jennifer Siebel Newsom, founder and CEO of The Representation Project, commented on the campaigns which addressed men as much as women: 'The campaigns that really inspired me are the ones that continue to focus on woman and women's voices and empowering women... but also campaigns that give men a voice to be their authentic selves and not conform to a hyper-masculine norm and don a mask of masculinity.'

In total, eight campaigns were rewarded from a total of 166 submissions. The full list of campaigns winning Glass Lions list is:

Touch the Pickle / Whisper, via BBDO India, Mumbai

Vote For Us, We'll Vote For You / KAFA, via Leo Burnett, Beirut

Feliz Dia Hombres / Urufarma, via Notable, Montevideo

The Equal Pay Back Project / National Women's Law Centre, via Droga5, New York

This Girl Can / Sport England, via FCB Inferno

Share the Load / Ariel, via BBDO India, Mumbai

#LikeAGirl / Always, via Leo Burnett, Toronto, Chicago and London, and Holler London

Give Mom Back Her Name / UN Women, via Impact BBDO, Dubai