VMLY&R South Africa Wins a Pride of Lions at Cannes Lions 2022

VMLY&R South Africa is proud to have bagged a Silver Lion and three Bronze Lions at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

VMLY&R South Africa Wins a Pride of Lions at Cannes Lions 2022
Pride of Lions at Cannes Lions 2022

VMLY&R South Africa is proud to have bagged a Silver Lion and three Bronze Lions at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. The wins were a Bronze Lion for Colgate NuGen in the Design category and two Bronze Lions and a Silver Lion for Vodacom Anti-Hijack Ads in Mobile, Creative Data and Media respectively. 

This is VMLY&R’s first year on the Vodacom account. To have picked up this much international recognition so early in the relationship is indicative that the forward-thinking technology brand has found its agency match. 

What makes both these wins extra special is that the work in question is so quintessentially African – addressing behaviour and issues that are entrenched in local audience’s lives.

About Colgate NuGen
In conceptualising this campaign for Colgate, VMLY&R was tasked with finding a new way to market toothbrushes, which have been sold in the same way for more than 200 years. Thinking of how the humble toothbrush actually exists in the lives of African consumers, it occurred to the team that African youth use toothbrushes for so much more than brushing their teeth. A toothbrush is a hairstyling tool, a keyboard brush and the best sneaker-cleaning solution out there! So, they conceptualised NuGen – new brushes for a new generation, with these three uses in mind.

Watch the case film: https://youtu.be/IDpPz9lzaxU 

“This is what happens when you listen to the people and give them what they want,” says Creative Director Tshegofatso Phetlhe. “Working on this project felt like a full-circle moment for the team, as most of us give our Colgate toothbrushes a second life through our haircare, sneakers and tech; and to be able to create a whole new product line from how we've been using our old toothbrushes? *Chef's kiss*. This win only affirms what we've always known: great work can come from anywhere as long as it's rooted in a truly human insight. From there on – all the world’s a stage.”

About Vodacom Anti-Hijack Ads
Navigation apps take motorists on the fastest route possible – but the fastest route is not always the safest. So, the team decided to use the geo-located ad spots that Waze offers to alert motorists of approaching hijack hotspots (identified using available crime data) and then use Waze’s existing technology to offer motorists an alternative route.

“Winning on the global stage with a piece of work that makes a positive difference in South African society is honestly a dream come true,” says Business Unit Director Alex White. “The team has shown incredible dedication and commitment to bring the brand’s purpose to life and making this happen in the first year of our partnership with Vodacom shows the incredible relationship we have built – which is just the start of something even better and bigger!”

A Great Day for South African Creativity
The wins have been especially exciting for Chief Delivery Officer Mpeo Nkosi, who is in Cannes, attending the festival for the first time. 

"As a first time Cannes Lions attendant, the experience has been inspiring,” she says. “Meeting and engaging with the best of the best in marketing and advertising and seeing work that has impacted people around the world. The statistics for winning a Cannes Lion are so insanely slim that winning four Lions for our clients, Colgate and Vodacom, has made me immensely proud of every single person that touched that work and helped craft it. Each of those awards are for campaigns that truly work in people's lives – which is the centre of our approach to transformational creativity – so we are really proud to have won."

Chief Creative Officer Ryan McManus who, incidentally, is also in Cannes as a judge in the Entertainment Lions category, was instrumental in bringing both concepts to life. “It’s always very inspiring to go to the Cannes Lions and see the best creative work on show by the most talented people in the business. To be able to bring home some Lions of our own is a massive honour. It shows that our creative teams in South Africa are right up there, among the world’s best, which is exciting not only for our agency, but for the future of the industry as a whole.” 

For more information on VMLY&R:
Press Enquiries:
Ben Wagner
Head of PR & Marketing
[email protected]
About VMLY&R
VMLY&R is a global brand and customer experience agency that harnesses creativity, technology, and culture to create connected brands. Made up of more than 11,000 employees worldwide, the agency has principal offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kansas City, New York, Detroit, London, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. VMLY&R works with client partners including Absa, BAT, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dell, Ford, Nando’s, New Balance, Pfizer, Vodacom and Wendy's. For more information, visit www.vmlyr.com. VMLY&R is a WPP company (NYSE: WPP).

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