Katrina Dodd

24 June 2021

Cannes Lions: Brand Experience & Activation winners 2021 

Mastercard scoops a Grand Prix for changing the system, Burger King earns a third for hacking it

Two very different campaigns took top honours in the Brand Experience & Activation category at this week’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The first, Mastercard’s industry-leading True Name initiative, makes it easy for people in the trans community to have their chosen name on their bank card – rather than insisting that their legal name is displayed. The significance of this seemingly small change is in the respect – and courtesy – it shows for a community at the centre of an increasingly contentious and toxic debate about trans rights.

The campaign to launch the True Name feature was launched by McCann New York during Pride Month 2019, and other banking brands have since adopted the same policy.

The second was won by Burger King, completing a hat-trick of Grand Prix wins for its popular Stevenage Challenge activation. The brand’s budget-friendly collaboration with an underperforming English lower-league soccer team has earned it what former CMO Fernando Machado describes as ‘impossible sponsorship’. Working with Stevenage ensured the brand’s logo would appear in the game on the club’s football shirt, but incentivising gamers to sign stars like Messi and Ronaldo to perform – and share – tricks in exchange for Burger King prizes made for a premier league campaign.

The Stevenage Challenge has scooped an impressive haul of awards at Cannes this week, but the Burger King also claimed a Grand Prix in the Outdoor category for their notorious Moldy Whopper campaign.

Gold Lion winners 

Enjoy Before Returning for Diesel by Publicis Italy, Milan

One/Second/Suit for H&M by Uncommon, London

Lost Roads for Chevrolet by Commonwealth/McCann, Bogota

Pedestal Project for Color of Change by BBDO, New York

Anticorruption Hackathon for Znám Kamaráda by Prague & WMC|GREY, Prague

The Birth of Gaming Tourism for Xbox by McCann, London

Eurythenes Plasticus for WWF Germany by BBDO Düsseldorf

#GoEqual for Go Equal Movement by Africa DDB, São Paulo

The New National Anthem Edition for An Nahar Newspaper by Impact BBDO, Dubai

Tallk for Samsung by Cheil Worldwide, Madrid

Boards of Change for the City of Chicago by FCB, Chicago

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