Reykjavík, Iceland — The ad agency Pipar\TBWA has been shortlisted for a Cannes Lion in recognition of their campaign for UN Women Iceland entitled “Gender-Based Violence is Closer Than You Think”. The Cannes Lions is one of the advertising world’s most coveted awards, and the particular award Pipar\TBWA is up for, the Glass Lion, is meant to celebrate culture-shifting creativity—which is an especially exciting accolade for an agency that specializes in disruptive strategies.
Pipar\TBWA’s campaign was developed as part of UN Women’s HeForShe global solidarity movement with the aim to increase participation among Icelandic men in the fight against gender-based violence. The main video of the campaign shows a group of men, known figures as well as everyday men from across Icelandic society, reading accounts of gender-based violence from women around the world.
What the men don’t know is that the last story they read belongs to the Icelandic women sitting across from them who has been handing them the letters. Regardless of their background, the men all share in the same poignant, heartfelt reaction to the woman sitting in front of them, demonstrating authentic vulnerability and empathy at the realization that gender-based violence is literally closer than you think.
We’re absolutely elated to be shortlisted for this campaign. This is an incredibly important issue for us all and we wanted to approach it with respect, but still create a moment that would break through the white noise. We’re so grateful to UN Women Iceland for entrusting us with this project and working with us to create an impactful platform for such a sensitive issue. This project has been at once heartbreaking but also a point of tremendous pride. And now we’re off to France to tell the story for the Cannes jury members! – Selma Rut Thorsteinsdottir, chief creative director for Pipar\TBWA
Finalists will present their cases to the jury in Cannes later this month, and the winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on June 21.
The main video for the campaign is available here:
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