VMLY&R Collects Cannes Lions Glass Grand Prix for “I Am” campaign in Brazil

Image of a trans woman holding her new name registration papers

June 25, 2021

The award marks Brazil’s first-ever Glass Grand Prix. VMLY&R Brazil also awarded Gold and Bronze for “The Commitment” in Track for Good. 

VMLY&R took home the distinguished Glass Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity for the “I Am” campaign, which the agency created on behalf of their client, Starbucks in Brazil, operated and licensed by SouthRock. The campaign represents Starbucks’ deep commitment to inclusivity in every market it operates.

In Brazil, it’s common for the transgender community to experience prejudice when the names they identify with are not reflected on their official documents. The process for legally changing names is expensive and bureaucratic, and the registry offices that process name changes may be challenging environments for trans individuals.

In partnership with Starbucks Brazil, VMLY&R transformed a local Starbucks store into a registry office. They invited members of the transgender community, including Starbucks partners (employees), to meet with diverse NGOs and have their names legally changed in a place where they are always welcome. VMLY&R participants were able to leave the store with official documents that finally reflected the names they identified with at no cost to them.

The result was a 7x increase in daily legal name changes in the city of São Paulo.

These efforts build on Starbucks’ long-time commitment to create positive impact in the communities the company serves through initiatives that drive meaningful change – including creating environments that promote inclusivity, where all are welcome.   

“We are honored to be recognized with a Grand Prix for the ‘I Am’ campaign. Since its launch in 2020, this initiative has sparked important visibility for the trans community, as well as discussion regarding respect and inclusion. Starbucks is proud to be part of this meaningful effort, for many of our partners and customers, which builds on our aspiration to create an environment where everyone is treated with respect and dignity,” said Claudia Malaguerra, managing director of Starbucks in Brazil. 

VMLY&R also hosted a virtualkeynote seminar at the festival alongside Starbucks Brazil and Valentina Sampaio, a celebrated international model and trans advocate. Together they discussed the campaign, the challenges facing the trans community and how brands can power the movement for equality forward.

“When brands can authentically become the change people hope for, they wield an enormous amount of power,” said Rafael Pitanguy, chief creative officer, VMLY&R Brazil. “Glass, the Lion for Change, honors those campaigns that truly made a difference. It is where marketing can help change the world, and what a fantastic feeling to be a part of that.”

This win marks the second Glass Grand Prix for VMLY&R, after winning it previously in 2019 for The Last Ever Issue. It is also Brazil’s first ever Grand Prix in the Glass category. 

VMLY&R Brazil was also awarded Gold and Bronze for “The Commitment” in the Cannes Lions Track for Good this year.

View the winning Starbucks “I Am” work here.

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