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Special awarded NZ’s only PR Lion in Cannes

Special has taken home a Bronze Lion in the PR category at the 2022 Cannes Lions festival for its David’s Unusables campaign on behalf of Motor Neurone Disease New Zealand. 

The Bronze Lion for Motor Neurone Disease New Zealand comes after also receiving a Gold Lion award in the ‘Health and Wellness’ category, and its multiple shortlists in both the ‘Direct’ and ‘Social & Influence’ category.

David’s Unusables was the first campaign delivered in collaboration between Special PR and Special New Zealand, after Special’s influencer, PR and activation division launched in the middle of last year.

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.

Held in France from 20 – 24 June, the Cannes Lions festival of creativity is widely regarded as the advertising and marketing industry’s global benchmark for creative excellence.  

Tony Bradbourne, Founder, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Special New Zealand, says the recognition is a testament to how well the teams worked across the agency “from creative, to production, strategy to media”.

“We would like to thank our incredible brave client Carl Sunderland, and everyone at Special who has made this possible.”  

Kelly Grindle, Head of PR and Influence at Special PR, added: “We started Special PR because we wanted to show that when you pair world-class communications, with the world-class creative and strategic teams of Special New Zealand, great things can happen. This award couldn’t speak more clearly to what we achieve together, and our unique offering in the New Zealand market.”

In a joint statement, Executive Creative Directors Lisa Fedyszyn and Jonathan McMahon said: “This was a real passion project for us, and we’re incredibly proud that this piece of work has continued to achieve the highest honours on advertising’s most prestigious stage.  We’re extremely proud to play a small part in sharing David’s story, and would like to dedicate these awards to him for his bravery and vision.”  

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.

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