W+K Amsterdam’s Heineken Ad Wins Cannes Lions Grand Prix, Creative

A Heineken ad campaign from Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, the brand’s first global campaign effort, has won the Cannes Lions Grand Prix award in the creative effectiveness category, festival organizers confirmed.

Separately, a campaign from McCann Melbourne for Metro Trains called “Dumb Ways to Die,” won the Grand Prix in the direct category and a campaign from Ogilvy Brasil Sao Paulo for soccer team Sport Club Café Recife called “Immortal Fans” won the Grand Prix in the promotion and activations category.

According to W+K’s supporting brief, the Heineken brand had become a sort of “McBeer of the category, bought by many but celebrated by few.”

The task for Heineken: elevate the brand by elevating the drinker. The creative idea that sprang from that task was “surprising demonstrations of legendary behavior,” which became the framework for the campaign that was entitled “Heineken’s Legendary Journey: Justifying A Premium The World Over.”

The jury found that the campaign had achieved its goals of growing both sales and value share and also sustaining a premium price.

The Metro Trains campaign from McCann had several goals, including reducing train related accidents and generating buzz to multiply the campaign budget by 5%.

The “Dumb Ways to Die” campaign positioned engaging in unsafe behavior around trains as, well, the dumbest way to die. “We didn’t preach, we didn’t threaten, and we didn’t lecture,” per the McCann entry brief.  The messaging directed Metro riders to pledge to be safe around trains. “We wanted to get users of Melbourne’s Metro System to actively invest in changing their behavior.”

A Web site was created that has nearly 1 million pledges from visitors to be safe on trains. A music video on YouTube has received over 20 million views, while a song on iTunes has charted in 28 countries, making the top 10 in several.

The Immortal Fans campaign for Sport Club Reciffe aimed to push the passion of its fan base by literally enabling parts of fans to keep on cheering for their team even after death. The core of the campaign was the first Organ Donor Card program for a soccer team, designed to “keep the passion of the fans alive through the lives of others.”

The Donor Card program was launched at one of the team’s more important games where players went on to the field with patients. A stand was set up at the game so that fans could get their card done. Over 51,000 team donor cards have been issued. The program boosted team spirit while also saving dozens of lives and reducing the waiting list for heart and other vital organ transplants in the area.

Further awards will be issued at the Cannes Lions festival, going on throughout this week.

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