rp Reacts: Our Favorite Cannes Lions Winners of 2021

The ad gods have spoken—the 2021 Cannes Lion winners have been announced, and our team is weighing in on our favorites.

Whether you're a member of the advertising community, a brand looking for inspiration, or simply an enthusiast of top-notch creativity, you've probably heard of a little something called the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. While the festival always showcases brilliance, we feel that the work produced in our industry over the last year has been especially powerful due to the honest issues addressed and messages shared to a world that was fighting to overcome a global pandemic.

In the final weeks of June, the winning work was selected, earning its teams a place in history for their dedication to their craft and commitment to finding the deeper meanings in difficult times. Our team is sharing some of our favorite Lion-winning work from this year's festival.

View all winning work here.

I really loved Woojer's "Sick Beats." This is innovation at its finest and it really moved me. Kudos to them for pushing what's possible and finding a way to bring joy to what has long been a dreaded medical procedure. The way the vest users reacted to this product says it all. It proves that we can always be recreating and reinventing to make things better.

Not even to mention the fact that it's just so impressive for a non-pharma brand to win in the pharma category after a year like 2020. This collaboration with Spotify is really next-level.

Lindsay Alexander, Senior Copywriter

It’s really hard to pick a favorite from this years winners list. Having creative recognized at Cannes means you’ve already won. Nike and Dove are probably the two most memorable campaigns from this past pandemic-filled year. I still get chills down my spine when I watch the Dove spot. Nike reminds me just how strong we can be when we band together to make change for the better through sport. 

I have to give it to Heineken though. I absolutely love this campaign. It’s smart, strategic, and most of all, it inspired other brands (their competitors) to follow suit and create similar activations in support of local bars. I don’t think there is a better compliment out there, so congrats to Heineken. Well done.

Matt Weber, Senior Producer/Production Manager

We often hear how music is therapeutic, but this Woojer work brings new life and meaning to that statement. It's always fascinating when brands find nontraditional uses for their products that can profoundly impact people's lives. Beautiful example of taking the worst part of a medical treatment and turning it into an experience that can actually become enjoyable.

Courtney Chauvenne, Social Content Strategist

I gotta say—the Parkscapes work for the Regent Park School of Music really moved me. It's an inspiring example of cleverness that makes perfect sense for the brand (creating tracks of music as an ad for a music school) and serves a change-making purpose. The strategy behind the work is both waterproof and original--targeting musicians rather than the public to help raise money for children's music lessons in a way that also provides the artist with a product (sampling tracks). Genius.

Carrie Polen, Sales & Marketing Coordinator

I just can't get the Heineken media innovation out of my head. The way they were able to create a win-win solution for both bars and their brand is brilliant. To pay these bars directly in their time of need WHILE getting their brand prime real estate at the point of sale works so well, because they aren't trying to hide the fact that they want to sell beer. There's no smoke and mirrors around the fact that advertising their product is a main priority, but there is a way to do it that benefits their long-time partners. 

Samara Anderson, VP of Sales & Marketing

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