Where to Settle

Cannes Lions 2023

Sustainable Development Goals: Cannes 2023 Decoded

McCann Poland takes home the Grand Prix for MasterCard's 'Where to Settle' while the UK receives a Bronze for BBD Perfect Storm's 'Ukraine Welcome Text'

By Creative Salon

McCann Poland won the Grand Prix in the Sustainable Development Goals as well as a Dan Wieden Titanium for 'Where to Settle'.

Taking the only UK award in the category is BBD Perfect Storms for 'Ukraine Welcome Text' which won a Bronze.

Countries have provided refuge to the millions fleeing Ukraine, but inadequate infrastructure puts vulnerable individuals at risk of human trafficking and slavery. To address this, BBD Perfect Storm and Unseen UK collaborated on 'Ukraine Welcome Text', delivering crucial information and directing recipients to an online hub to combat traffickers.

Two Golds were awarded to VMLY&R New York, Sao Paulo and Madrid for 'Dogs Without Borders' as well as Publicis Conseil for 'Solar Impulse, Prêt à Voter'.

8 Silvers were awarded including: The Monkeys for 'The First Digital Nation'; Howatson and Company for 'Exhibit A-I'; Leo Burnett Mumbai for 'The Biochar Project By Lays'; and Media Monks Sao Paulo for 'The Pride Research'.

Ten Bronzes were also won, with a total of 21 Cannes Lions handed out.

The judges said:

Jury president Jean Lin, Chief Culture Officer at Dentsu Group Inc., Global shared her thoughts on the judging process:

Creative Salon: What were the key trends/reflections in the Sustainable Development Goals Lions category?

Jean Lin: The submissions reflected the diverse world we live in post-COVID: In addition to addressing gender equality and reducing inequalities, this year we saw strong work in the areas of good health and wellbeing, decent work and economic growth.

Science-based humanity scales: When we talk about impact at scale it is often assumed that it needs a digital or tech solution, but it is not necessarily the case. This year we saw strong submissions that leveraged a science-based foundation that scaled with deep understanding of the communities they served and the natural resources around them. Data and technology always support, but are not the only scale factors driving sustainable development of our society.

Creativity and purpose accelerate a coalition for change: We were pleased to see that the private sector, innovators, and policy makers are more strongly coming together to create systemic change. This is where creativity is a powerful force to unite people and inspire change.

CS: What advice would you give to marketers wanting to win a Sustainable Development Goals Lion next year?

JL: The jury wanted to see creative solutions that address real issues and connect to the core of the business strategy and organization. The entries need a very clear way of articulating the impact that was achieved through the work. The value and contribution of the party entering the work also needs to be clearly defined. Often these solutions have multiple partners working together toward a common goal, but understanding how these partnerships interact provides a more holistic understanding of the scope of the work.

The world has heard a lot of sad stories about the issues we face, to make real change happens, we need more solutions and not just stories.

CS: What led to your decision in selecting the winning Grand Prix in the Sustainable Development Goals Lion category?

JL: The SDG Cannes Lions Grand Prix winner is a simple idea and powerful solution that helps Ukrainian refugees in Poland find a way to start a new life with dignity. We liked that it leverages data, technology, and partnerships across different industries and governments. The jury also considered the quick action that coordinated a swift coalition for change while linking beautifully with Mastercard’s continuous commitment for financial inclusion. This work is a positive and uplifting message to the uncertain world we live in, and an example of the change that will only happen at scale when brands act to deliver tangible solutions.


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