We had a bold, colorful showing at the 2019 Cannes Lions Festival, and we’re thrilled that the international advertising industry recognized our strong work. We earned 16 Lions across a variety of categories, including a Grand Prix for our groundbreaking work with the Lion’s Share Fund.
Mars is a founding partner of the Lion’s Share Fund, backed by the United Nations Development Programme, which calls for partners to contribute 0.5% of their media spend to the fund for each advertisement they use featuring an animal. The Lion’s Share campaign – our unique initiative aimed at supporting wildlife conservation and animal welfare, took home the Grand Prix and Silver Lion in the Sustainable Development Goals category alongside Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and Finch Melbourne.
And who doesn’t love a Broadway musical? Skittles® ‘Broadway the Rainbow’ campaign earned praise in Cannes after its sellout run in New York coinciding with the Super Bowl, the biggest advertising platform in America. And this 30-minute musical generated eye-popping results. Without even airing an ad during the big game, we generated a record-breaking 2.5 billion earned impressions for the brand. Based on our partner’s analysis, we beat ads that aired on television by leaning into a truly creative idea. In partnership with DDB Chicago and production company Smuggler, our ‘Broadway the Rainbow’ campaign brought home 23 prizes: 12 total Lions including four Gold, five Silver, three Bronze and 11 shortlists. We also picked up Silver Lions for Snickers® ‘One for Two’ campaign with BBDO New York and also for Extra® gum’s ‘Extra Reminders’ campaign with Clemenger BBDO Sydney.
Yes, we like winning awards, especially among such an impressive array of competitors. But more than that, we like how our words and messages matter. Mars leaders led and participated in several talks throughout the festival on how brands can better portray intersectionality in their ads.
“We’ve started asking how all our award-winning creative is shaping society,” Berta de Pablos-Barbier, Mars Wrigley’s global category officer, said in a Holmes Report article about the need for marketing to be representative and inclusive. “For the first time, we’re not saying we’ve done a good job, we’re saying we’re not good enough and that we’re serious about fixing a problem we’ve been part of.”
During the festival, Berta participated in a number of panels to discuss the issue, including the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media “Getting Intersectionality in Advertising Right” panel. Top-tier industry media like The New York Times, Ad Age, BizWomen and MarketingWeek also featured Mars leaders and our work.
In addition to speaking at the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media’s panel, Berta de Pablos-Barbier (second from right) Mars Wrigley’s chief category officer, joined other top leaders to discuss how marketing can impact inequalities in society.
The “Building a Coalition for Industry Transformation” talk showcased Mars Petcare executives, with Collette Burton, CEO of Whistle, and Leonid Sudakov, president of Kinship. They discussed the launch of Kinship, which will accelerate new businesses in partnership with startups focused on pet healthcare, nutrition and science.
Jane Wakely, chief marketing officer for Mars Petcare, joined panelists from Unilever and WeUK to discuss if a brand’s purpose and corporate responsibility initiatives truly impact sales. These leaders shared how they must embrace both financial and social goals while trying to balance purpose and sales, and whether we’re right to measure sales when it comes to purpose.
We’re honored by our showing at Cannes this year and reminded of the responsibility we have to create content that matters. We offer hearty congratulations to our marketing talent and agency partners for these prestigious and well-deserved Lions.