News & Views

Cannes Lions / Outdoor, PR & Glass Winners

by Patrick Jeffrey

McCann’s iconic statue picks up three Grands Prix on the first day of the festival

The Fearless Girl has swept the board on the opening day of the 2017 Cannes Lions festival. The campaign, by State Street Global Advisors and McCann in New York, won a Grand Prix in Outdoor, PR and also in the Glass category.

The now iconic bronze statue of a girl staring down The Charging Bull in Manhattan’s financial district was installed on 7 March, the day before International Women’s Day. It was designed to promote SSGA’s SHE-ETF, a fund that only invests in companies that have a female presence at the CEO, board or senior leadership levels.

According to McCann, this fund saw a 384% increase in its average daily trading volume in the three days following the launch.

Wendy Clark, CEO of DDB Worldwide and the Glass jury president, said: ‘This gripped the world’s attention, and it will do for years to come. Its simplicity in the use of symbolism transcends geography, transcends language and transcends culture. For us, it elegantly captures women’s journeys… and it also encapsulates our hopes and ambitions for every little girl in the world.’

In an interview with Contagious, Bruno Bertelli, global CCO of Publicis Worldwide and Outdoor president, added: ‘This campaign was able to create buzz without any additional elements. It was positioned in the right place, at the right time and managed to show the simplicity of outdoor while also exploiting social media in a very clever way.’

Earlier this year, the Contagious team caught up with McCann in New York to learn more about the insights behind the campaign. Devika Bulchandani, the agency’s managing director, told us that the original brief was for a print ad, but ‘we realised that this could be a much bigger opportunity than just doing the regular kind of work.’

Bulchandani also told us that the key to the campaign’s success was the fact that SSGA approached the conversation in a credible way. ‘I think the critical thing, if you’re going to take a social issue, is credibility,’ she said. ‘Brands have credibility when they’re actually doing something about [the issue], rather than just supporting a social cause or even exploiting one.’

In addition to boosting the trading volume of the SHE-ETF, Fearless Girl also generated 2,400 pieces of coverage in 128 countries.

Contagious I/O subscribers can read the full Insight & Strategy interview with McCann New York here. To find out more about Cannes Deconstructed - our annual presentation that includes the best work, key insights and jury interviews, email:

New Call-to-action