image for McCann Bristol scoops Cannes Lion

McCann Bristol scoops Cannes Lion

Published on Tuesday, 25th June 2019, contributed by McCann

McCann Bristol has been awarded a coveted Lion at the advertising industry’s most prestigious global event, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, for its work with domestic abuse charity Refuge.

The team at Bristol, picked up a Bronze Lion at the show for its campaign ‘Turn to us’ which uses powerful reversible poetry to raise awareness of domestic abuse and provide a reminder that no one should suffer in silence. The poems were produced for Christmas, Valentine’s Day and most recently, Father’s Day. Read one way, from top to bottom, they tell a loving tribute but when read from bottom to top, they reveal controlling and violent behaviour.

The Bristol award contributed to an amazing Worldgroup tally of 73 awards this year including being named Network of the Year for the first time ever. 

The Cannes Lions are the most established and coveted awards for the creative and marketing communications industry. The awards have been running since 1954 and a Cannes Lions trophy is recognised globally as the ultimate achievement in creativity.

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said: “We couldn’t be happier for our colleagues at McCann Bristol for this momentous achievement – but perhaps our biggest achievement with the Turn to Us campaign was the change we’ve been able to affect for the thousands of people that need our services every year. Domestic abuse is a life and death issue, the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country today. Refuge is here to provide support and sanctuary to those who need its services.

“The focus of the Turn to Us campaign was showing women and their children that at any time of year support is available and no-one should suffer alone - whether it be Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Father’s Day. Since the campaign’s launch we have seen an increase in the people coming forward. No one should experience violence at home. Help is available.”

In the initial 4-week campaign period, over 27,000 women contacted Refuge or visited the website, the December launch generated an uplift of over 2000% in web traffic and the poems have achieved a reach of over 500 million, these figures which are a stunning testament to the work.

Jon Elsom, Group Creative Director at McCann Central said: “Winning a Cannes Lion for our work with Refuge is a huge moment for us at McCann Central but importantly it’s a first time ever win for  our McCann Bristol team. It’s sobering to think that families across the country will be victims of violence in their home, even at the most festive of occasions. That makes the work that we’ve put into these carefully crafted poems all worth it. They really are a tribute to the often life-saving action Refuge undertakes every day. As the poems continue to have such a far and wide reaching effect, we are happiest with the awareness we’ve managed to raise amongst people who need Refuge’s services the most.”

These accolades top off an incredible slew of awards already received for the campaign including The One Show and D&AD in May. More importantly, the charity has seen calls to its hotlines shoot up significantly in the immediate days after each advert has run.

The campaign was created by Zane Radcliffe and Ken Sara of McCann Bristol. Media for the final advert was negotiated by Universal McCann based in McCann’s Bristol office. Everyone involved in the campaign has donated their services to Refuge free of charge.

Read more: McCann Bristol Scoops International Accolade