During the last Cannes Lions Festival of Advertising, which ended last week, the UN Women campaign for gender equality made a great impression.

The campaign started with print ads. But it was online that it really spread. People started talking about it, sharing and tweeting. Big media picked up the story and it became a spontaneous PR phenomenon, leading to 3 gold Lions, 2 silver and a coveted Titanium Lion award.

See the work in the Cannes Lions website here. (Update: The Cannes Lions website no longer displays the winners for non-members. You can have a closer look at on AdWeek)

Why did it work?

Three things:

  1. It dealt with a sensitive subject matter.
  2. It had an iconic layout.
  3. It causes what I call the "brain popcorn" effect.

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