Can a new award change the rules of the game?


Issue 40: Glassless Lion

It’s not about gender categories. It’s about quality ethical work.

This week the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity introduced another new category called the “Glass Lion” aimed to recognize the industry’s best work that promotes “inclusive, gender aware forms of brand communications rooted in creative excellence.” Now as a father of three girls, this is an issue that is very close to my heart. But why create yet another category, separated off in a glass house? Shouldn’t we be looking at all of the work entered in every category through this lens?

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Young Glory Professional team Effie Kacopieros and Christian Tough of DDB Sydney came up with the winning Lioness idea. They remarked, “The communications industry as a whole is a huge influence of culture and society and sometimes people working from within forget the power they have to shape societal attitudes. Possibly our idea has gained a lot of interest because it’s a conversation that has reaching tipping point, not only in our own industry but also across society.”

Jean Batthany, Group Creative Director, DDB Chicago

As the mother of two teenage daughters I can totally relate to the fact that more than half of girls lose their confidence during puberty. Leo Burnett’s Always film is a beautiful rally cry to help change what it means to do something ‘like a girl’ to mean being strong, confident and downright amazing. My hope is that it will soon be followed up be an effort to redefine #manup. 

Merlee Jayme, Chairmom & Chief Creative Officer, DM9JaymeSyfu Philippines

As a woman and a mom to four girls, I know it takes a lot to be called “beautiful”. All the beauty products in the world, their numerous offers and celebrity-filled campaigns have not helped in giving us the confidence. They only confirmed one thing. How “unbeautiful” we are. Dove’s Real beauty campaigns through the years have consistently elevated women’s self esteem. Ogilvy & Mather’s “Real beauty sketches” hit me hard. It was emotional and the insight was spot-on. At first, I thought that this insight of “undervaluing” yourself as a woman was very Asian. I didn’t think it went beyond race and age. I was totally surprised that it was universal. If I were one of the women being sketched, I would do exactly the same. In short, this campaign was brave because it was relevant.

Lucinda Sherborne, Head of Planning, DDB New Zealand 

I thought I’d throw one into the mix from DDB New Zealand for Lindauer that celebrates women from quite a different angle. It disrupted the conventions around both the wine category and codes of female representation. No couture dressed celebrities. No moment of consumption. Not a female in sight. Nor an overt, emotional ode to women and their woes. A humorous, tongue in cheek way of freeing women from the guilt of going out by turning the tables on men. Women are out, men are at home. The women don’t miss the men but the men miss the women. Strong, independent women being strong, independent women. A world where they come first and aren’t defined by men. Women love it. Men dispute it. And who cares, because that’s what women all think and want to believe.