CANNES, France—Already a winner at the International Andy Awards and Eurobest, "The Organic Effect," a campaign for Swedish supermarket chain Coop, took home the PR Grand Prix tonight at the Cannes Lions festival here.
The initiative from Forsman & Bodenfors was designed to strengthen the Coop brand and boost the concept of organic farming. The agency had a typical family of five switch from conventional food to 100 percent organic food for two weeks. At the onset, urine tests showed they had eight different pesticides in their systems. After just a few days, almost all of those chemicals were gone.
Swedish Environmental Research Institute IVL conducted the tests, and Acne Films produced an online video documenting the project.
"The Organic Effect" scored considerable media attention and garnered a gold trophy at the Andys for social marketing, as well as two bronze statues at Eurobest, one for PR and another for interactive. It also won a gold and a silver in addition to the Grand Prix here at Cannes.
"The PR jury will be handing out urine cups to everybody, just to continue the experiment to see how it goes," jury president John Clinton, North American head of creative and content at Edelman, joked at the press conference Tuesday morning announcing the PR winners.
Despite having what he called "cause fatigue," with so many brands hitching their PR messaging to social issues, Clinton said the Coop work was one of the relatively few cause-related campaigns that made total sense for the client.
"People have been talking about organic food forever," he said. "I think if you did a poll that asked if you ate organic food, everyone would put their hand up. But in reality, very few people do. What we thought was that this actually got people to pay attention in a surprising and somewhat alarming way, and caused a reaction and a change in business. And we felt that was very meaningful and very worthy of the Grand Prix."
—U.S. Lion Winners
All told, U.S. agencies won 13 Lions in the PR competition:
Leo Burnett Chicago scored a gold and two silvers for "Van Gogh BnB" on behalf of the Art Institute of Chicago. (That work scored two golds and a silver in Monday's Promo & Activation competition, as well as a gold and two silvers in Direct.)
We Believers New York scored the other U.S. gold and a silver for its six-pack rings created for the Saltwater Brewery that are edible to sea creatures.
Venables Bell + Partners won a silver and Edelman a bronze for REI's #OptOutside. (That campaign also won the Grand Prix and a Gold Lion in Promo & Activation, as well as two golds in Direct.)
Winning single Silver Lions were: Arnold Worldwide New York for Reese's #AllTreesAreBeautiful; and TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles for Airbnb's "No Borders."
McCann New York won a pair of Bronze Lions, one for Tommee Tippee's Advice Wipes and another on behalf of Lockheed Martin's "The Field Trip to Mars." (The latter has also won two golds and a silver in Promo & Activation, and two silvers in Direct.) Also winning bronze: Zeno Group in Chicago for Netflix, and Ogilvy & Mather New York for the Ad Council's Prediabetes campaign.