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Cannes Contenders: McCann Worldgroup’s ‘23 Competitors
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From emotional and heart-wrenching to hilariously ingenious, McCann Worldgroup shares its winning bets for Cannes 2023 with LBB

McCann Worldgroup, part of IPG, is a leading global creative solutions company, united across over 100 countries by the single mission to help brands earn a meaningful role in everyday life. Named the world’s ‘most creatively effective marketing services company’ at The Effie Awards in 2022 for a fourth consecutive year, the core Worldgroup network comprises McCann, MRM, CRAFT, and FutureBrand. It further partners with Momentum Worldwide, Weber Shandwick and UM, to deliver solutions across the entire marketing spectrum.

This year, McCann Worldgroup has shared with us their 10 best Lion-winning bets ahead of the Cannes festival next week. Ranging from profound to super fun, these spots have incredible scope in both brand outreach and effectiveness. Check them out below.

Zikaron BaSalon - Fighting to Remember

‘Fighting to Remember’, a campaign for Zikaron BaSalon from McCann Tel Aviv, aims to keep survivor stories alive for gen z by bringing real Holocaust survivors into one of the most popular World War II video games.   

On April 17, Israel’s National Holocaust Memorial Day, Holocaust survivors joined Israel’s top gamers as they streamed themselves on YouTube playing ‘Call of Duty: WWII ’. The survivors recounted their heart-wrenching, real-life experiences of key scenes, reminding everyone that these moments were not a game, but tragedies that shaped their lives and continue to impact generations that have followed.  

Adrian Botan, CCO at McCann Worldgroup said: “At a time when antisemitism is rising globally, ‘Fight to Remember’ aims to engage gen-z’ers with holocaust survivor stories, connecting them to this important narrative. Using gaming influencers and gameplay, McCann Tel Aviv and Zikaraon Basalon brought survivors and gamers together in ‘COD’ WWII maps to make Holocaust remembrance accessible for gen z.” 

SIgal Abudi, CCO at McCann Worldgroup Tel Aviv said: “'Fighting to Remember' ran across multiple platforms, and gamers streamed their COD walk-throughs with the survivors on YouTube, and social media including on TikTok and Discord, helping to translate Holocaust remembrance to the next generation.”  

Thomy - The Saurk

Nearly 70 years ago, Nestle’s Thomy condiment brand revolutionised the way people dressed their food with its iconic squeezable aluminium tubes. Thomy found its way into people’s homes and hearts, quickly claiming the biggest market share in mustard and mayo. More recently, Nestle and McCann Germany brought even more convenience to Thomy fans with yet another innovation, the most fun and unnecessarily efficient way to sauce your sausages: ‘The Saurk’. 

The world’s first tube-attachable ‘snack-cessory’ turns Thomy tubes into pieces of cutlery that dish out perfect amounts of Thomy joy with every squeeze. 

Donnovan Bryan, ECD at McCann Worldgroup said: “Joy is part of Thomy’s DNA. The Saurk combines saucing and forking to bring even more joy when adding sauce to your food. After everything the world has been through over the past few years, something to spread a bit of joy (not to mention getting more tubes of Thomy into every household) seemed absolutely, completely, entirely, unnecessarily necessary.”

Microsoft - AdLaM

Pulaar, the language of the Fulani people of West Africa, is spoken by over 40 million people. But for most of history, it had no alphabet. In 1989, two Fulani brothers, Ibrahima and Abdoulaye Barry, set out to preserve their language in written form with a new alphabet, ADLaM. One of their major hurdles has been ensuring AdLam’s survival in the digital age, across texts, emails, websites and social media. So, more recently, the Barry brothers partnered with Microsoft and McCann to create ‘AdLaM Display’, a font optimised for all modern communication platforms, which is now available via Microsoft channels and will soon be deployed widely across Microsoft 365 Office applications. 

The Mali government is in the process of recognising AdLaM as an official alphabet, which will expand access to the language in schools. In Guinea, the minister of education has taken steps to ensure ADLaM is recognized as Pulaar’s official alphabet, and dedicated schools where ADLaM is a primary language are being built to improve literacy. Businesses are adopting AdLaM in their communications, packaging and more. 

Microsoft’s work with AdLaM continues its long history of supporting the preservation of language and heritage of various cultures through its technology and platforms.

Adrian Botan, CCO at McCann Worldgroup said: “The ADLaM project embodies the importance of preserving and securing the future of the world’s multitude of cultures and languages, and as a result, the precious memories, myths, rituals, and deep knowledge that has been passed down over centuries.”

Mastercard - Where to Settle

Following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, almost 10 million refugees from the occupied territories crossed the Polish border. Many found shelter in major Polish cities that were already overcrowded, causing rental hikes and increased competition for jobs—all amidst an unprecedented rise in inflation. 

Knowing that smaller towns afford more opportunities, Mastercard introduced the ‘Where to Settle’ digital platform, a comprehensive digital tool that aggregates job and real estate data, anonymous Mastercard spending insights, as well as data from the Polish Central Statistical Office. 

The campaign was created with McCann Poland, in cooperation with Morizon-Gratka Group. The tool upholds Mastercard’s ‘Data for Good’ commitment: to leverage data responsibly in the service of society.

Adrian Botan, CCO at McCann Worldgroup said: “Mastercard’s ‘Where to Settle’ shows how creative data modelling can be used in a positive and meaningful way to help make people’s lives better.  

The tool upholds Mastercard’s 'Data for Good' commitment, and so far, 20% of the 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees who have settled in Poland have used the platform to find Polish cities outside of the major metropolitan areas to make a fresh start. I’m proud of the teams’ work, helping Ukrainian refugees find a home and feel empowered to make informed choices about their new lives in Poland.”

Junge Helden - Opt Ink

The ‘Opt Ink’ campaign for organ donation organisation Junge Helden offers Germans—25% of whom are already inked—a free tattoo designed by renowned ink artist Gara that serves as proof to loved ones and medical professionals of the individual’s consent to donate their organs. The program, created by McCann Paris and McCann Frankfurt, was introduced at major tattoo conventions in Europe, and more than 250 studios have effectively become organ donor recruitment centres by offering the ‘Opt Ink’ tattoo for free. So far, more than 2,500 individuals have gotten the tattoo, potentially helping to save more than 17,500 lives. The campaign also garnered more than 1.2 billion impressions with the help of influencers across the tattoo and medical communities.

John Mescall, Global executive creative director at McCann Worldgroup said: “Three Germans die every day awaiting an organ transplant, and ‘Opt Ink – Get inked. Give life’, combats the reality that in Germany, every citizen needs to ‘opt-in’ to become an organ donor.  

The free Opt Ink tattoo acts both as an organ donation consent form and proof of will, and I'm delighted that the medical profession has embraced this idea. So far over 2,500 Germans have been tattooed - showing the true power of creative communications to change people’s lives.”

Bimbo - The Greatest Guide

For 75 years, Bimbo, the world’s largest bakery company, has provided the buns for Mexico’s thousands of indie food vendors who are innovating hamburgers and hotdogs with unique recipes featuring unusual ingredients like octopus and grasshoppers. With ‘The Greatest Guide’, the brand helped more than 8,400 small business entrepreneurs stand out against the sea of fast-food giants through mapping tech and a first-of-its-kind suite of AI-driven branding tools. The creative process included an extensive collection of data from the vendors, which was then applied to mapping and generating AI signs that reflected the creativity of the food, as well as the rich traditional visual heritage of Mexican street signs. 

The campaign was conceived out of Vector B, a bespoke IPG unit for Bimbo Mexico comprising McCann Mexico, FCB Mexico and Mediabrands; and McCann Worldgroup agency Performance Art, the data-driven creative agency behind the award-winning ‘Black Elevation Map’.

Adrian Botan, CCO at McCann Worldgroup said: “Bimbo’s ‘The Greatest Guide’ highlights the diversity of Mexico’s cuisine and underscores the brand’s dedication to providing buns for the delicious creations of Mexico’s street food vendors. Creative food deserves creative data, and the campaign used data to give Bimbo the attention it deserves for its contribution to introducing new flavours from Mexico to the world.”

Chick-Fil-A - Brake Room

The food delivery industry has exploded over the past few years. Sadly, however, this has come at the cost of one group of people: those who deliver. More than 65,000 food delivery workers in New York go above and beyond to deliver for the city, and winter conditions make what they do even more challenging. While they’re always on the go, they essentially have no place to go in between stops. So, McCann teamed up with Chick-fil-A to create a first-of-its-kind rest station for the food delivery community. Called ‘The Brake Room’, It serves as a place for them to warm up, rest up, grab some coffee, charge their phones and use the restroom if needed, free of charge.

Adrian Botan, CCO at McCann Worldgroup said: “Chick-Fil-A’s ‘Brake Room’ is the rest station for the food community in NYC, supporting the 65,000 delivery workers in New York.   
Developed in partnership with McCann NY, it’s the  thank you the food delivery community deserves. Last year, New York’s delivery workers made 120 million stops, but they’re still turned away from the restrooms in the restaurants they pick up from. 
The ‘Brake Room’ is a first-of-its-kind rest station that gives delivery workers somewhere to relax, free of charge, between deliveries – ensuring that the people who keep New York fed have a place to warm up and charge up.”    


Twenty years ago, Heinz turned the ketchup world on its head with the first upside-down ketchup bottle. It was a massive success. But, the brand soon realised that, for whatever reason, 43% of people still stored the iconic upside-down bottle upright… which just isn’t right. It seemed that some people never learn! 

This problem led to a unique solution — the world’s first double-lidded ketchup bottle. Now, every side is the right side! Engineered with two lids that allow for easy squeezing, no matter how it is stored, this is a silly solution to a silly problem that works like a charm.

John Mescall, Global executive creative director at McCann Worldgroup said: “When Heinz developed the upside down bottle, everyone thought the problem of ketchup being stuck at the bottom was solved forever. But apparently, a lot of people need even more help than that. Enter ‘KETCH-UP&DOWN’, a crazy-simple solution to a problem that maybe shouldn’t exist, but most certainly does.”

Nurofen - See My Pain

Healthcare has a deeply rooted gender problem. Women over-index in all types of pain, yet they’re more likely to have their pain ignored or dismissed by healthcare practitioners. 

Moreover, almost all pain research is still done on only men, making society’s knowledge of women’s pain woefully incomplete. It’s a phenomenon known as ‘The Gender Pain Gap’. 

Reckitt painkiller brand Nurofen set out to tackle the issue with a commitment to ensure all pain is seen, regardless of gender. The brand commissioned a first-of-its kind ‘Gender Pain Gap Index report’. It also launched an integrated campaign bringing women’s real pain stories to the forefront - leveraging provocative packaging to raise awareness of the gender pain gap.

Adrian Botan, CCO at McCann Worldgroup said “‘See My Pain’ brings to life the realities of the gender pain gap, and the unfortunately all-too-common experiences of the one in six women who experience severe pain every day. Every aspect of this ongoing initiative is designed to create genuine, lasting change for the better in the medical and pharmaceutical industry, and we couldn’t be prouder of this incredibly important work.”

Enterogermina - Ready Player Mom

Junk food and soda are staples of gamers’ diets, to the detriment of their stomachs. They don’t care about it, but their mothers do, which is why Enterogermina, the number one probiotic brand in Brazil, sent their mamas on a mission—straight into their kids’ video game worlds. MRM Spain created avatar versions of top gaming influencers’ moms, who then surprised their offspring in-game while they played ‘Minecraft’, ‘The Sims’, ‘Complexo’ and more, to remind them of the importance of their gut health. Their lovable nagging took place before the gamers’ millions of followers, leading to a 16% jump in sales during the campaign’s run.

Adrian Botan, CCO at McCann Worldgroup said: “'Ready Player Mom' sends mamas on a gamified mission to tackle gamers’ junk food diets. This fun campaign gave top gaming influencers an in-game reminder from their mothers about the importance of their gut health. It was live streamed in front of millions of followers and generated tremendous social media and earned media attention, helping raise awareness of the importance of good gut health.”