19 June 2019

Cannes Lions: Media winners 2019 

Nike picks up a Grand Prix in Media for a street art campaign promoting its Air Max sneakers in Brazil.

Sportswear brand Nike took home a Grand Prix in Media for its graffiti campaign to promote its new Air Max collection in Brazil.

Nike commissioned São Paulo-based street artists to paint graffiti characters wearing Air Max sneakers on the walls of the city. Customers could visit the street artworks and purchase the limited pre-sale Air Max sneakers through a geolocation feature on Using this method, the brand coordinated a series of ‘drops’ in different areas of the city over several weeks.

Nike also re-created six previously erased graffiti characters wearing Nike Air Max sneakers following the conviction of São Paulo’s Governor for damaging cultural heritage. The city's governor had previously whitewashed much of the city’s street art to the chagrin of many sneaker heads and graffiti artists.

Created by AKQA São Paulo, the Air Max Graffiti Stores campaign resulted in a 33% increase in Air Max sales as well as 22% more visits to, according to the agency.

‘We loved that it tapped into the cultural fabric of a city,' said Karen Blackett, Media jury president and chairwoman of MediaCom.  'It’s easy for brands to use influencers, but this was a brilliant example of a brand tapping into city culture and using it in a way that benefited the brand and city. We loved how the medium was the message and how it combined physical and digital.’

Blackett also spoke of the ‘immense task’ undertaken by her jury to sift through 2,196 submissions in her category. She bemoaned the fact that too many case studies ‘lacked excellence’ when it came to media execution despite an abundance of strong creative ideas. Blackett also commented on large number of entries focused on local markets rather than global campaigns.

'We wanted simple ideas that were brilliant ideas,' she said. 'Something that made you proud to work in the craft and jealous that you didn’t think of it. I asked the jury to think about what their heads were saying and what their hearts saying. When it came to the voting, this [Air Max Graffiti Stores] was the clear winner.'

Gold lions in the category were also awarded to:

Whopper Detour / Burger King / FCB Miami

Scent by Glade / S.C Johnson /Ogilvy Chicago

Keeping Fornite Fresh / Wendy’s / VMLY&R Kansas City

It’s a Thursday Night Tide Ad / Tide / Saatchi & Saatchi, New York

Hacking Prime Day / Cheerios Honey Nut / Mindshare, Chicago

You seeing this? / ESPN X NBA / R/GA New York

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