To the surprise of just about nobody, State Street Global Advisors’ “Fearless Girl,” created by agency McCann New York, has won the Glass Lion Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. The Glass Lion is the award category for implicitly or explicitly addressing issues of gender inequality or prejudice.
On March 7 earlier this year, the night before International Women’s Day, the third-largest asset management firm in the world installed a statue of a defiant girl in front of the iconic Wall Street bull to highlight its campaign to increase the number of women on corporate boards. It sent a letter to 3,500 companies, urging them to improve their gender diversity.
The response was immediate and massive. It went far beyond a marketing campaign–in fact, many people didn’t know it even was one. But love it or hate it, it was one of the most talked about pieces of work by an ad agency and brand all year. Expect the Glass Grand Prix to be just the beginning of its Cannes Lions hardware haul. The McCann creatives behind the idea, Tali Gumbiner and Lizzie Wilson, are also members of Fast Company‘s 2017 Most Creative People In Business.
There were two Gold Lions winners in the Glass category. First is #GIVEHER5, a campaign by The Ammada Trust to raise money and awareness to provide girls in rural India with sanitary supplies for their period. According to the campaign, by agency Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi Mumbai, more that 350 million girls in India miss five days of school every month because of their period. As a result of the missed days, one in every five girls in India is forced to drop out of school.
Beer company Tecate grabbed the other Gold Lion for “Gender Violence,” by agency Nomades Mexico City. The spot took the beer ad cliche of manliness and turned it on its head to raise awareness around domestic violence.