Special brings home New Zealand’s first award at Cannes Lions 2022

Special has brought home New Zealand’s first Cannes Lion 2022 award – a Gold Lion in the Health and Wellness category – for its David’s Unusables campaign on behalf of Motor Neurone Disease New Zealand.

David’s Unusables tells 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.

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.  

An example of the David’s Unusables creative.

Tony Bradbourne, Founder, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Special New Zealand, is in Cannes to celebrate Special’s expansion as a global network alongside partners from Special Sydney, Special Los Angeles and Special London.

“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.”

David Seymour, who starred in the campaign, said he is proud that his 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, Executive Creative Directors 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.

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