Cannes: Leos and Saatchi & Saatchi take first Aussie Gold

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 21 June 2016

In the first raft of Cannes Lions awards, Australia has won a slate of gongs across the Direct and Promo and Activation categories, including a Gold Lion for Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett Sydney. However, less impressive was Australia’s performance in the Radio and Press categories, where despite six shortlisted campaigns, none were awarded.

Saatchi and Saatchi won a Gold and Silver Lion for its Land Cruiser Emergency Network for Toyota.

Leo Burnett Sydney won a  Gold and Silver Lion for Brainband for Samsung. It also won a Silver for Ceebrity Tantrum for Saumsung and the Melbourne office won a Bronze for Headspace and the Reword project.

A Silver Lion went to DDB Sydney for The Naked Ute for VW.

Bronze Lions also went to Whybin\TBWA Melbourne for GayNZ for ANZ Bank, Clemenger Melbourne for Lazy Yak’s Laziest Competition Ever, DDB Sydney for #ComeOnIn for Sydney Opera House.

Australian agencies won a total of 10 Lions in Promo and Activation from 25 shortlisted campaigns

In Promo and Activation, the Grand Prix went to US retailer REI and Venables Bell & Partners for its #OptOutside campaign, which eschewed the traditional retail phenomenon of Black Friday, opting instead to close its doors and encourage people to go outdoors rather than into stores to snaffle discounts.

Judges were said to have been divided between this and Y&R New Zealand’s McWhopper work, according to president of the jury Rob Reilly, global creative chairman for McCann. He added that part of its appeal was that it was an “anti-promotion”.

Reilly said the jury deliberately focused on awarding work from big brands, that drove a commercial return and impact on business, being “hard” on charity-based work. There has been criticism in recent years that too much work for charities and not-for profits has been awarded because it’s “easy”. Direct jury president Mark Tuttsell, global CCO for Leo Burnett, echoed those thoughts.

Australia was awarded a further four Lions in Direct from 24 shortlisted entries. 

TBWA Melbourne was awarded a Bronze Lion for Pocket Money – Equal Futures for ANZ Bank, Leos Melbourne was awarded a Bronze for its Reword work for Headspace.

DDB Sydney won a Silver and Bronze Lion in Direct for its Sydney Opera House project #ComeOnIn.

New Zealand took eight Lions in Direct with Y&R Auckland’s McWhopper campaign winning two Golds and Silver Lion.

Colenso BBDO Auckland won two Golds for Brewtroleum for Heineken, DDB NZ won a Silver and two Bronze Lions for Unforgettable Soldiers for Sky TV.

In Direct, the Grand Prix was given to the Swedish Tourism Association and INGO Stockholm for ‘The Swedish Number’ which invited people from all over the world to ‘dial-a-Swede’ and ask them anything about their country in a project that aimed to celebrate 250 years of free speech. The jury said that it “transcended tourism” adding the work’s “brutal simplicity was its potency”. 

“I think you have to learn something from a Grand Prix,” president of the Jury Mark Tuttsell said.

The Glass Lion was also handed out in a ceremony today with the Grand Prix going to Mindshare Mumbai for its six pack band project for Unilever’s Brooke Bond Red Label Tea brand. The project saw the creation of a Bollywood band made up of transgendered people to tackle the stigma against trans people in India. The Glass Lion was introduced last year to drive gender equality in creative work.

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