Campaign Staff
Jun 24, 2023

APAC agencies win Titanium and Glass Grand Prix at Cannes Lions

Momentous night for Asia Pacific as The Monkeys, Australia and Cheil Worldwide, Seoul bagged Grand Prix in the Titanium and Glass categories, respectively, on the last day of the 70th Cannes Lions.

Titanium Grand Prix winners 'The First Digital Nation' from The Monkeys(L) and Glass Lion Grand Prix winners Cheil Worldwide for 'Knock Knock'(R)accept their awards in Cannes on Friday evening.
Titanium Grand Prix winners 'The First Digital Nation' from The Monkeys(L) and Glass Lion Grand Prix winners Cheil Worldwide for 'Knock Knock'(R)accept their awards in Cannes on Friday evening.

The Monkeys’ powerful work for The Government of Tuvalu has won the Grand Prix in the coveted Titanium category and Cheil Worldwide's 'Knock Knock' campaign for the Korean National Police that aimed to reach out to the victims of domestic violence has been awarded the Grand Prix in the Glass: The Lion for Change category. 

Cannes Lions - Titanium

The winning work, ‘The First Digital Nation,’ is a chilling reminder of climate catastrophe  and inaction threatening extinction of an entire Pacific Island nation, Tuvalu.

The campaign draws global attention to a grave situation. Nearly 40% of Tuvalu’s capital district regularly gets submerged in high tides. If no drastic measures are taken, rising sea levels will swallow this low-lying Pacific archipelago before the close of the century. With time running out and the threat of submergence imminent, Simon Kofe, Tuvalu’s minister for Justice, Communication and Foreign Affairs, shared during November's COP27 radical plans to preserve the country’s invaluable assets like its culture, heritage and history into the digital realm.

Addressing the summit through a speech delivered from the metaverse, Kofe declared, “As our physical land vanishes, we are left with no alternative but to pioneer the concept of a digital nation. Islands like ours cannot withstand the rapid escalation of temperatures, rising sea levels, and droughts. Therefore, we will recreate them virtually.”

The campaign (watch above) was materialised by The Monkeys (part of Accenture Song) – the initial phase of the project entailed creating a virtual replica or a digital twin of the Teafualiku Islet, the smallest island in Tuvalu. The virtual representation served as the cornerstone for the broader digitalisation effort. Regular updates on the project’s progress are broadcast on, this allows for a global audience to get involved and governments to be pressurised into taking actions so other smaller nations don’t meet the same fate.

‘The First Digital Nation’ beat others APAC contenders in the category like Dentsu Japan’s ‘The Well-Being Index’ that swiped a gold in the Creative Business Transformation category and Special Auckland’s multi-awarded ‘The Last Performance campaign for insurance company Partners Life.

Jury president David Droga, CEO and chair of Accenture Song, Global noted, “This is not a technology idea as such. This is a storytelling idea. This is an idea about changing perceptions and setting precedents. This was—from the shortlist all the way to the last vote—the highest awarded entry from the beginning.”  

Glass: The Lion For Change

Recognising work that challenges gender stereotypes or prejudice in advertising, the idea behind Cheil's 'Knock Knock' campaign was inspired by Morse code. Cheil created a solution that allows victims in dangerous situations to alert the police by tapping on any number, without saying anything.

During the pandemic, there was a global surge in reports of domestic violence, except in Korea where they decreased by 9% (source: Korean National Police Agency).

Now this drop did not indicate a decrease in domestic violence itself, but the Police suspected it being due to the victims not even being able to make emergency calls and seek help as they are isolated and confined in the same space as their abusers. 

In an environment where it was increasingly difficult to report abuse, ‘Knock Knock’ provided a solution that enabled predominantly female victims to call for help without using words. All they had to do was dial 112, press any digit twice as if sending a Morse code. The police will then send a link to the caller that enables live location tracking and a secret chat mode that allows the caller to communicate with the police with minimum exposure. 

Jury president Tea Uglow, founder, Dark Swan Institute, Global noted at the awards gala: "All our metals went to work that moved the needle. All of our metals went to work that went beyond awareness into action, beyond campaigns into structural, observable empowerment for women." Uglow added: "We cannot say something must be done. We demand campaigns that do something." 

Uglow called the initiative “a staggering achievement” and that the work her jury awarded will have a lasting impact on society beyond the usual campaign cycle.

The Glass category is called the Lion for Change, and the jury highlighted the commitment it took to implement this new service in Korea. Uglow noted it took “years and months and hours, an intense relationship with the government and the police in order to develop something that will work, that will save lives, that will punish perpetrators, that will support law change and that actually transforms emergency services.”

She further continued the work is “not something that you can enter into lightly and it’s quite something that that’s the stage Glass has reached: to reach that level of sustainability – as in it’s not going away – and effectiveness in that it will literally save women’s lives.”

'Knock Knock' picked up top honours including a trio of Grand Prix at Spikes Asia (Media, Mobile and Glass), three D&AD's before closing the season with a Glass Grand Prix at the 70th Cannes Lions.  

Another Titanium winner from APAC was Draftline Shanghai's 'Corona Extra Lime' campaign (watch below) for AB InBev along with David Bogota and David New York, which helped Chinese lime farmers grow better limes and increase income. 

Campaign Asia

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