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Work That Matters: Coca-Cola Named Creative Marketer of the Year, Wins 20 Additional Cannes Lions

By:  Jay Moye Jun 25, 2013
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Cannes, France – The Coca-Cola Company was presented with the 2013 Creative Marketer of the Year Award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, widely considered to be the world’s foremost celebration of creative excellence in brand communications.

“We are humbled and honored to receive this honor, which has been in the making for many decades,” said Joe Tripodi, chief marketing and commercial officer, who accepted the award Saturday night on behalf of Coke’s global marketing community and agency partners around the world. “The legacy we want to leave is of a brand and company that does good things for the world  and speaks to optimism, positivity and happiness.”

Since winning its first Cannes Lion in 1967, Coca-Cola has amassed more than 120 coveted awards for work spanning multiple brands, creative disciplines and geographies. That total includes 20 awards won last week at the 2013 festival, led by  “Small World Machines,” which shows that what unites us is stronger than what sets us apart. The inspiring film claimed nearly half of the company’s 2013 Lions.

Other winners included “Share a Coke” from Australia, the Coca-Cola Sharing Can” from Singapore, the “Million Reasons to Believe in Thailand” campaign and the Coca-Cola FM Amplifier” print ad from Brazil. Visit http://thecoca-colacompanyatcannes.com to learn more about the company’s awarded work.

Creative With a Conscience

Jonathan Mildenhall, VP of advertising strategy and content excellence, said “Small World Machines” in particular has the “secret formula the Cannes juries are looking for – brutal simplicity, genuine authenticity, seamless technology, an authentic product role and a strong social purpose.”

Work That Matters bottle graphic

His comment mirrored the central message of his keynote co-presented on day two of the festival with Ivan Pollard, Coke’s VP of global connections. The session, titled “Work That Matters” (#workthatmatters), explored the company’s rich heritage of producing creative that makes a difference and projects a culturally relevant point of view – highlighting lesser-known work including 1955 print ads featuring an African-American model named Mary Alexander, iconic TV commercials such as “Hilltop” (1971) and “Mean Joe” (1979), to current campaigns including “Security Cameras,” “Reasons to Believe” and “Play Fanta.”

Much of this work straddles borders, challenges racial prejudice and defies gender stereotypes – all guided by a common strand of DNA. “Each of our stories is relentlessly optimistic,” Pollard explains. “We have always believed that Coca-Cola is a brand that will loudly say ‘yes’ in the face of ‘no.’ For the last 60 years, as long as Cannes Lions has been around, we have consistently backed creativity that makes a difference.”

Check out this FastCoCreate infographic illustrating the “9 Principles of Work That Matters.

And social purpose is not just good for the world; it’s good for business, too. As Mildenhall notes, most of the last 15 advertisers to be named Creative Marketer of the Year enjoyed, at the time, either an all-time-high share price or record-setting sales.

“I have long been a believer that outstanding creativity leads to outstanding commercial results,” he adds. “For us, business success is a result of many drivers, but you cannot deny our share price success and volume growth over the past two years.”

Mildenhall concludes, “We have all worked incredibly hard to push our own creative benchmarks. Great work is pouring out from all over our system, and the drive for creative excellence is system wide. Today is the first day of the next creative mountain we must climb.”