McDonald’s Ads Win Cannes Outdoor Grand Prix by Turning Golden Arches Into Arrows

Comedy Central also gets top honors for Trump Twitter Library

Jurors called the Canadian campaign 'iconic.'
Headshot of David Griner

CANNES, France—A clever and minimalist approach to sending motorists toward the nearest McDonald’s has won the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Lions, as has a Daily Show activation that created a “presidential library” of Donald Trump’s tweets.

Canadian agency Cossette created the “Follow the Arches” campaign, which cleverly cropped the McDonald’s golden arches to create direction arrows, with copy such as “on your left,” “on your right” and “just missed us.”



“It’s very deserving,” said Outdoor jury president Chris Garbutt, global chief creative officer of TBWA Worldwide. “If you live in Canada or the U.S., there’s all these ugly billboards on the highways that give you the next turnoff to a restaurant. (McDonald’s) took something and reframed it. It’s iconic. It’s confident.”

OMD Canada was the media agency on the campaign.


The other Grand Prix winner this year was The Daily Show Presents: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library. An activation with heavy signage elements, the “library” was a collection of famous and infamous Trump tweets, framed and displayed in satirical reverence.

Created with content studio 23 Stories x Conde Nast, the project generated 480,000 engagements and a mountain of PR visibility.


“It was fabulous because it invited the audience into the experience,” jury president Garbutt said. “It wasn’t a one-sided conversation.”

He acknowledged that the piece drew mixed opinions when being considered for Grand Prix, largely because U.S. jurors felt it might not have enough global resonance. But the international jurors disagreed.

“The Americans in the room thought it was too American, too New York,” Garbutt said. “But when we heard different points of view from people in the room, it’s actually truly inspiring. It used satire to combat a real tension and problem in a way that innovates the issue.”

Gold Lion winners from the U.S. were:

National Safety Council, “Prescribed to Death.” Agency: Energy BBDO. Production: Flare BBDO and The Mill. Media: PHD Chicago.
• Nike, “Australian Marriage Equality Swoosh Vote.” Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland.
March for Our Lives, “Price on Our Lives.” Agency: McCann New York.
National Down Syndrome Society, “C21: A Unique Dining Experience.” Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi New York. Media: Spark Foundry New York.
HBO, “HBO’s SXSWestworld.” Agency: Giant Spoon. Production: Mycotoo and Glass Eye.

Other notable gold winners include:
KFC Birdland (Hong Kong), “Hot & Spicy Fire.” Agency: Ogilvy Hong Kong
Burger King, “Scary Clown Night.” Agency: LOLA MullenLowe Madrid. Other agency partners: Weber Shandwick London, Alison Brod Marketing and Communications.

 


@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
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