6 Ways P&G Stepped Up to Widen the Screen at Cannes Lions 2021

Last week marked the long-awaited return of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, an annual event that convenes the brightest in the industry to celebrate and recognize best-in-class creativity. Following its cancellation in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Cannes Lions returned this year with a fully digital event for the first time – and with it, P&G’s 18th consecutive year of participation.

Leading up to and throughout the Festival, we’ve seen growing calls among industry thought leaders for brands to demonstrate how they’re shaping society and backing their values with meaningful action. It felt fitting to use this year’s Festival as an opportunity to champion P&G’s partners and showcase our recent efforts to “Widen The Screen to Widen our View.”

Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard kicked off the week with a keynote alongside a host of special guests, spotlighting how we are building equality into every aspect of creativity, making equality the systemic way of bringing creativity to life. Marc outlined three key steps as part of the journey – Start inside. Use our voice. Change the system.

Throughout the week we focused on demonstrating our commitment to advancing equity in the creative and media supply chain with six pieces of unique content, addressing a wide array of topics from LGBTQ+ visibility to equality at home. We were also thrilled to once again celebrate our agencies, who were recognized with 10 Lions and 26 shortlists for their work on P&G brand campaigns.

See below for full highlights from the week!

A collage image of stills from P&G films that were recognized during the Cannes Lions 2021 festival.

We’re stepping up to Widen the Screen to Widen our View. And if we can use our voice as a force for good, build equality into everyday advertising through a commitment to accurate portrayal, and change the system to achieve equal representation in the creative and media supply chain – we can create a system built on the foundation of equality and inclusion. This will lead to greater creativity, provide access to opportunity, lead to equity in income and wealth, and drive growth and value for everyone.

Together, we’re widening the screen:

For Black Storytellers
Marc Pritchard and Damon Jones, P&G’s chief communications officer, hosted a Black Creator Showcase to discuss widening the screen to create stories that more accurately represent the full joy, beauty and vastness of Black life in media. They spoke with Ben Howard, associate creative director at Grey; Cai Thomas, documentary filmmaker; and Marshall Tyler, award-winning writer and director.

For LGBTQ+ Visibility
Brent Miller, senior director, global LGBTQ+ equality program leader at P&G, discussed resetting the standards of representation and the myths holding back the accurate and authentic portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community in advertising. He also provided an overview of a new industry partnership designed to increase LGBTQ+ visibility in advertising, called THE VISIBILITY PROJECT, with special guests Jari Jones, Black transgender actress, curve model, activist and creative; Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO, GLAAD; and Ryan White, award-winning director.

Through Inclusivity in Olympic Sport
Janet Fletcher and Laura Ims, P&G's global Olympics leaders, and Patty Orlando, creative director, Wieden+Kennedy, traveled back to the beginning of P&G’s Olympic journey. They provided an inside look over the past decade and discussed how they continually challenged themselves to do more, say more, and stand for more, using the Olympics platform to inspire others to think differently.

To Change Destiny
YoeGin Chang and Delphine Buttin, senior SK-II global brand directors, along with Shuqi Fu, SK-II senior brand communications director, shared SK-II’s journey of becoming a human brand and connecting with consumers through storytelling, all rooted in a brand purpose to #ChangeDestiny of skin, life, planet.

To Create Equality at Home
Marc Pritchard shared P&G’s journey to show that caregiving and household work has no gender, and the action still needed to shift the narrative. Marc was joined by special guests Gary Barker, CEO and founder of Promundo, and Eve Rodsky, best-selling author of Fair Play.

To Face Anything
Stephanie Headley, vice president at Olay, shared the brand’s journey to better reflect a more expansive and inclusive definition of what is beautiful. Stephanie was joined by guests including Madonna Badger, founder and chief creative director, Badger & Winters; Alyssa Carson, aspiring astronaut with her sights set on being the first person to go to Mars; and Jennifer Hudson, a two-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Academy Award-winning actress, and best-selling author.

And what would the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity be without awards? The Festival has been celebrating creativity since 1954, and its awards are among the most coveted for the creative and marketing communications industry. This year, P&G’s agencies won 10 Lions for their work on P&G brand campaigns. P&G is so proud to work with some of the industry’s brightest, and congratulates each of them!

See the full list and check out the links to the award-winning work below:

Tide Laundry Night for Saatchi & Saatchi New York

Two awards for Tide Laundry Night for Saatchi & Saatchi New York
Pantene #HairWeGo for Party Tokyo/Material Tokyo
Old Spice The Most Epic Seafaring Legend Ever Told for Leo Burnett Madrid
Olay Face the STEM Gap for Saatchi & Saatchi New York

Pantene #HairWeGo for Party Tokyo/Material Tokyo
Tide The Clean Jersey Swap for Saatchi & Saatchi New York
Tide Laundry Night for Saatchi & Saatchi New York/Biscuit Filmworks Los Angeles
SK-II The Centre Lane for Grey Tokyo/Blue One Inc. Tokyo/Ennet Inc. Tokyo