Edelman and Creative Artists Agency took home the PR Grand Prix award at the Cannes Lions award festival in France today, the first PR firm to win the top PR prize since its inception in 2009.
The winning campaign for client Chipotle, called "The Scarecrow," was centered on a three-minute video and accompanying video game that touted the Mexican fast-feeder's sustainably sourced ingredients over the "industrial" farming methods of other eateries.
Game players who reached a certain level were awarded a Chipotle mobile coupon delivered to their devices. The video was set to "Pure Imagination" from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," performed by artist Fiona Apple and sold via iTunes.
[Added 6/18: The festival noted in a statement June 18 that "from a historical perspective, the first time a PR agency was named among the winners for the PR Grand Prix was in 2010 when FleishmanHillard partnered with TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles on Gatorade’s Replay campaign. The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity changed its rules in the PR Awards category in 2013, allowing for more than one agency to be listed as the Lion winner, the better to reflect the increasingly collaborative nature of the business. Prior to that, only one agency could be listed as the lead, and the other agency partners were listed as 'with assistance from.'”]
Despite Edelman's role in the Grand Prix, ad agencies once again dominated the 13 Gold PR awards in Cannes. Weber Shandwick played a supporting role in the Gold-winning "This is Wholesome" campaign for Honey Maid that was entered into the competition by Droga5, New York. Ogilvy PR with Ogilvy & Mather won a Silver Lion for a campaign with the Polish Academy of Sciences and Ketchum with Grey New York won Silver for TNT's campaign touting the third season of "Dallas."
MSLGroup chief client officer Renee Wilson chaired the PR Lion jury this year.