Grey Group Wins 23 Cannes Lions

Cannes 2023
Grey Group’s work was recognized with 23 Cannes Lions this week at the International Festival of Creativity in France, the industry’s global benchmark for creative excellence. The collective’s performance is evidence of strong momentum.

The wins are further evidence of Grey Group’s continued momentum—a hungry new leadership team, motivated by an ambition to be the world’s most entrepreneurial creative company and community that shapes culture and enriches people’s lives. Under Global CEO Laura Maness’ leadership, Grey has earned a slew of creative awards for work done on behalf of some of the world’s most influential companies, which has translated to Agency of the Year (and similar) honors on six continents and a total of 53 Effies—including five Grand Effies in each of Grey’s major markets. 

The news also comes on the heels of Gabriel Schmitt’s appointment in the role of Global Chief Creative Officer. Gabriel joins from FCB New York where he was Co-CCO and led the agency’s creative resurgence. 

Perhaps most impressive is the breadth of studios and types of work recognized by the Festival. Winners include: 


Direct: The Postponed Day, LALCEC - Not-for-profit / Charity / Government (Grey Argentina)

Direct: The Postponed Day, LALCEC - Single-market Campaign (Grey Argentina)

Pharma: The Most Beautiful Sound, ASCO - Innovative Use of Technology: Patient or Healthcare Professional (Grey New York)

PR: The Postponed Day, LALCEC - Media Relations (Grey Argentina)

PR: The Postponed Day, LALCEC - PR Effectiveness (Grey Argentina)

Outdoor: Life Extending Stickers, Makro - Social Behaviour (Grey Colombia)


Brand Experience & Activation: The Postponed Day, LALCEC - Social Behaviour (Grey Argentina)

Design: Life Extending Stickers, Makro - Point of Sale, Consumer Touchpoints & In-store Collateral (Grey Colombia)

Entertainment: Christmas Always Finds Its Way, The Coca-Cola Company - Brand Partnerships, Sponsorships & Collaborations (Grey London, Grey New York, Grey Argentina)

Entertainment Lions for Gaming: The Pringles NPC, Pringles - Brand Partnerships, Sponsorships & Collaborations (Grey London)

Health & Wellness: The Postponed Day, LALCEC  - Non-profit / Foundation-led Education & Awareness (Grey Argentina)

Outdoor: Life Extending Stickers, Makro - Display (Grey Colombia)

Outdoor: Natural Intelligence, Nikon - Cultural Insight (Circus Grey, Peru)

Outdoor: Receipts to Keep (Fighting), University Zumbi Dos Palmares - Consumer Services / Business to Business (Grey Brazil)

PR: The Postponed Day, LALCEC - Brand Voice & Strategic Storytelling (Grey Argentina)


Direct: Receipts to Keep (Fighting), University Zumbi Dos Palmares  - Consumer Services / Business to Business (Grey Brazil)

Entertainment Lions for Gaming: The Floor Is Flava, Frank’s Redhot - Brand Integration for Games (Grey New York)

Entertainment Lions for Gaming: Love Squad, Waoo - Use of Gaming / Streaming Platforms (Uncle Grey)

Health & Wellness: Daniel’s Apartment, ViiV Healthcare - Brand-led Education & Awareness (Sra. Rushmore)

Industry Craft: The Unforbidden Fruit, Dole Sunshine Company - Print & Publishing (Grey London)

Outdoor: Competitors' Greatest Feature/In Charge of the Competition, Volvo - Automotive (Grey Brazil)

Pharma: The Most Beautiful Sound, ASCO - Patient Engagement (Grey New York)

PR: Taste My Face, Applebee’s - Content Creation & Production (Grey New York)

“This year’s wins are a great reminder of what we’re capable of at Grey Group. We’ll celebrate these as a job well done, but we’re just getting started and I’m excited for much, much more to come,” said Schmitt. 
A closer look at the Famously Effective work:
4x Gold Lions, 3x Silver Lions - LALCEC, The Postponed Day

In Argentina, the challenge of encouraging women to prioritize their health by undergoing annual breast check-ups posed a significant problem in the fight against breast cancer. Alarming statistics revealed that 40% of women at risk-age failed to undergo their annual mammograms, and a shocking 20% had never had one, citing lack of time or caregiving, and work responsibilities. To address this issue and save lives through early detection, Grey Argentina worked with LALCEC to devise a creative solution aimed at raising awareness and inspiring action. The campaign recognized the inadequacy of a single awareness day, such as international Breast Cancer Day, and strategically employed PR and social media as the foundation of a widely publicized postponement to encourage awareness and action. As a result, Argentina saw a +300% year-over-year increase in mammograms and breast health checkups. 

The Postponed Day Frame 3 copy.jpg
1x Gold Lion, 2x Silver Lions - Makro, Life Extending Stickers

According to Colombia's National Planning Department (DNP), approximately 6.1 million tons of food are wasted yearly in Colombia, while globally the figure reaches 1.3 billion tons annually. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) finds that about 40% of this waste is fruits and vegetables. To combat this serious issue, promote sustainability, and foster more responsible consumption, Grey Colombia partnered with Makro to create Life Extending Stickers, an initiative that seeks to extend the lifespan of fruits and vegetables by providing consumers with information and recipe suggestions based on their level of ripeness. 

Makro Media Cannes
1x Gold Lion, 1x Bronze Lion - ASCO, The Most Beautiful Sound

Inspired by the concept that sound can be the universal translation of hope that transcends geographies, inspires patients, researchers, and donors across the world, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Grey New York together isolated the sound of breast and lung cancer cells at the precise moment of cellular death to create the first-ever audible expression of cancer cells being destroyed. The Most Beautiful Sound launched on cancer’s biggest stage at ASCO’s annual meeting in Chicago with a 90-second film, immersive listening stations and a microsite. 

Most Beautiful Sound.jpg
 1x Silver Lion, 1x Bronze Lion - University Zumbi dos Palmares, Receipts to Keep (Fighting)

Cases of racism in Brazilian businesses skyrocketed by 800% from 2020 to 2022, resulting in numerous lawsuits and 251 confirmed deaths. One prevalent form of racism in the retail environment was the unjust requirement for Black individuals to show receipts when leaving stores, leading to the receipt becoming a symbol of racism as well. In response, Grey Brazil helped University Zumbi dos Palmares, the country’s only institution dedicated to Black inclusion, launch an impactful out-of-home campaign showcasing real receipts from victims who were unfairly forced to prove they hadn’t stolen. 

1x Silver Lion - Nikon, Natural Intelligence

In a world where artificial intelligence (AI) has taken over pop culture, Nikon, one of the most iconic brands in the photography world, launched a campaign reminding people not to give up on the extraordinary beauty that exists in our real, natural world. The print and outdoor campaign spurns AI, presenting mind-blowing photos of natural places in our world that are stranger than fiction, shot by photographers using Nikon cameras. Photographers used keyword prompts from AI websites, demonstrating that photography and nature are truly capable of surprising us, beyond our imagination.  

1x Bronze Lion - Volvo, In Charge of the Competition/Competitors’ Greatest Feature

This is the age of electric mobility. Global sales of electric cars increased by 41% in 2022 and by 2023, 50% of Volvo’s sales will be from EVs. By 2020, the goal is to have a pure electric fleet—an environmental commitment that made the brand the leader in sales ranking. However Brazil’s continental extension makes charging infrastructure an obstacle to expanding electrification. To overcome this, Volvo invested US $2M US to improve the electric infrastructure by building charging stations across the country. The catch? No catch. The stations were universally compatible and thus available to all electric vehicle owners—a testament to Volvo’s commitment to safety and a brighter future for all.

1x Bronze Lion - ViiV Healthcare, Daniel’s Apartment

For 40 years, GSK’s ViiV Healthcare has been taking care of people with HIV, to help make their lives better and more normal. But two out of ten people living with HIV haven’t told anyone because of fear of rejection. So GSK created a social experiment to see if living with HIV still elicits prejudice and discovered that many people are hypocritical on the topic—with 81% of participants exhibiting some level of bias. Fortunately, the campaign reignited conversation on the topic with the ultimate goal of eliminating it forever.

1x Bronze Lion - Dole Sunshine Group, The Unforbidden Fruit

On International Fruit Day 2022, Dole wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter to His Holiness, Pope Francis, to rectify the biggest PR disaster in the history of fruit: the calamity of Original Sin. Published in the only newspaper he reads, La Repubblica, the letter sought to redeem the reputation of the “forbidden fruit” to forever improve its global reputation and to encourage people to eat more fruit, which in turn would benefit health. They requested a tiny change to the Bible: replacing the word “fruit” for any other unhealthy snack, like donuts. The letter allowed Dole to tap into the world’s biggest influencer, without really expecting him to lift a finger. The press coverage proved no fruit should be forbidden.

1x Silver Lion - Pringles, The Pringles NPC

The Pringles chip is perfectly designed for gaming: less grease, less mess, more game. So Pringles partnered with XBOX to write the next chapter in gaming: Pringles offered humans the chance to get a job as a non-playable character in the game Train Sim. The position? Re-stocking Pringles vending machines in Train Sim railway stations, of course. The pay? $25,000. To find the ideal candidate, Pringles kicked off a recruitment campaign on social platforms, in OOH, and with virtual posters inside other video games, targeting gamers as they played. One of the job requirements—that you had to be a human to apply—‘annoyed’ existing NPCs. So, Pringles used their virtual rage to promote the job offer, sharing social films of the peeved video game characters venting their rage. Ultimately, a successful candidate was selected, transformed into an NPC and transported into Train Sim live on Twitch. And in the game he will stay. Indefinitely.

1x Silver Lion - The Coca-Cola Company, Christmas Always Finds Its Way 

Coca-Cola and Christmas are synonymous; the season has been foundational to its marketing for decades. It is also filled with big meal occasions—Coke’s biggest driver of growth. So to reclaim its rightful throne as the leader in Christmas advertising, the brand used “Christmas always finds its way” to share stories about how the unstoppable force of Christmas spirit can overcome any challenge. In true Coca-Cola style, the longform films were available at mass scale, and thanks to a partnership with Amazon Prime Video were available in 148 countries and 14 languages on Prime Video.

1x Bronze Lion - Applebee’s, Taste My Face

Applebee’s took aim at flirty Gen Zers who—after two years of isolation—were ready to mix and mingle, and created “Taste My Face,” three custom-flavored lip glosses that tasted like wing sauce. Launched with the world’s first “datable” music video, it featured an all-singles cast who could be DMed and asked on a date. The campaign earned 3.4+ billion impressions—with 18 million #tastemyface views on TikTok, including a (free) shout-out from one of the biggest beauty TikTokers (Mikayla Nogueira, 14.4M followers). Applebee’s doubled brand love from Gen Z, reached a four-year high on visits from the under-29 crowd, and increased Gen Z’s interest in dining at Applebee’s by 17%.

1x Bronze Lion - Frank’s RedHot, The Floor is Flava

For this year’s “Big Game” (a.k.a. the Super Bowl), Frank’s RedHot launched a custom-built immersive Fortnite game that takes place on a chicken-wing shaped island. The island, surrounded by orange, saucy lava—otherwise known as Frank’s RedHot Lava, or Flava—invites players to die in the most fun and delicious way imaginable. And to incentivize players to succumb to the sauce and sacrifice themselves for the zing, we worked with Fortnite and SuperAwesome to allow players to emote (celebrate) as they died for the first time ever in the game. The Floor is Flava had 1B+ impressions across Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, with 41,000 total games played over 2 months and a 13-minute average play time, which is over the benchmark for Fortnite.

1x Bronze Lion - WAOO, Love Squad 

Research shows that gaming has become the primary motivation for choosing a high-quality internet provider, and in 2022, gamers accounted for 1/3 of the world’s population. An interest requiring a lot of time—and a great broadband connection—was an interesting opportunity for WAOO, but time spent gaming can also lead to loved ones feeling neglected. So WAOO created the ultimate customer-service: a virtual hitman service “Love Squad”—five pro-gamers ready to assassinate your partner in either GTA5, Fortnite, Call of Duty Vanguard, or Counter Strike, all in the name of love. WAOO provided a fun and entertaining service through gaming that allows couples to kindly meddle with each other’s online worlds, one assassination at a time.

At Grey, famously effective work is the rule, not the exception.