Special NZ wins Gold Lion

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CANNES, Last night: Special has won the first Gold Lion – in the Health & Wellness category for their work with Motor Neurone Disease NZ David’s Unusables.

Tony Bradbourne was there to collect it in person, alongside partners from Special Sydney, Special Los Angeles and Special London.

David’s Unusables showcased the true story of New Zealander David Seymour, a man living with Motor Neuron Disease. MND gradually causes the muscles that enable us to move, speak, swallow, and breathe to stop working – and as they do, we lose our ability to use everyday items.  

The integrated campaign deployed skillsets from Special’s creative, production, strategy, and media teams; and was the first campaign executed in conjunction with Special PR upon its launch in June 2021.

Bradbourne said: “This is testament to a brave client, and an even braver person in David Seymour.

“I’d like to thank them both, and everyone at Special who made this possible – from the creatives to the strategists, the business leads to the PR team – to win gold takes a real team effort, and I couldn’t be prouder of our team who are currently celebrating with a champagne breakfast back in Aotearoa.”

“I couldn’t be prouder of our team who are currently celebrating with a champagne breakfast back in Aotearoa.”

David Seymour, who starred in the campaign, said: “I’m proud my story continues to raise awareness in New Zealand, and now around the world. I wanted to share my story in this unique way because I strongly believe we need more awareness, understanding and funding to battle this silent, debilitating disease.”

In a joint statement, ECDs Lisa Fedyszyn and Jonathan McMahon said: “A Gold Lion is no easy feat, so we’re incredibly excited to receive one of the highest creative honours on advertising’s most prestigious stage.

“David’s story continues to have a positive impact on people around the globe and bring much-needed awareness to this cruel debilitating disease, and we’re extremely proud to be part of sharing it.

“Special started in Auckland before expanding to Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, London and Wellington. Special now employs 220 staff across six offices globally and has a unique business model that breaks down the silos between advertising, design, media, PR, digital and innovation.

Meanwhile, New Zealand continues to notch up more finalists shortlist.

  • Clemenger BBDO Wellington has secured a finalist in the Design Lions for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Mixed Meds, whilst Colenso BBDO has scored a finalist for Mars MyHooman.
  • FCB NZ and 3&7 have been shortlisted in the annes Film Craft Lions for Waka Kotahi/NZTATransport Agency Toll Booth.
  • Colenso BBDO has made the cut at the shortlist stage of the Industry Craft Lions. The agency has been shortlisted once for Pedigree Dogphonics developed with Production Partners and Porter Novelli.
  • And Colenso BBDO also secured a finalist for Spark Beyond Binary Code in the Digital Lions category.

View all shortlists here

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