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Cannes Lions

Hispanic Agencies Bring Home a Record 20 Lions, Including 10 For Alma

By Published on .

Hispanic agencies won a record 20 prizes at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and half of them went to Miami-based Omnicom shop Alma for work for Netflix to promote the second season of "Narcos," the series about drug lord Pablo Escobar.

During the show's filming, a separate Alma crew shot footage in which the lead actors taught their most used Spanish expressions, starting with Pablo's Escobar's favorite, "Coma mierda." That led to the digital campaign "Spanish Lessons," which won seven Lions, including two golds in PR and Creative Data, three silvers in PR, Promo & Activation, and Media, and two bronzes in Cyber and Creative Data.

Alma created another social media furor with "Episode Leak," when the agency pretended the season two opener of "Narcos" had been leaked online. "Episode Leak" picked up a silver in PR, and two bronzes in the Cyber and Entertainment categories.

The most Lions the U.S. Hispanic market had ever won before was 18, in 2015.

New York-based independent shop We Believers won silver and bronze Lions in PR for "Volvo Survivor Sales Agents," in which real auto crash survivors described to car shoppers at a Volvo stand how driving a Volvo had saved their lives. We Believers also won a bronze in Creative Data for artificial intelligence project "AI Buddy."

The always surprising Mexico Tourism Board campaigns from Leo Burnett's Chicago-based U.S. Hispanic shop Lapiz are consistent award winners. To promote vacations in Mexico during the wet German winter, the agency literally made it rain tequila by creating a "Tequila Cloud" at a contemporary art space in Berlin. It was condensed from a mist to a liquid form that dripped like rain clouds whenever it rained in Berlin. Lapiz won a silver Outdoor award.

Miami-based The Community won a silver Print & Publishing lion for a campaign for brain-protecting Nutcase Helmets for cyclists, with the tagline "Helmets. Protecting us since ever." In "Lion, Dragon & Octopus," ads show people throughout history whose heads are being attacked, including a Roman gladiator that a lion is attempting to devour.

Omnicom shop Dieste won two bronze Lions, in PR and Cyber, for a social media campaign for Dallas bookstore The Wild Detectives that is the literary version of clickbait—those sensational but misleading headlines that make you click on a story. In the "Litbaits" version, clicking on the link takes the reader to the full text of a classic novel. For instance "You'll never guess what happened to this Kansas teen after a tornado destroys her home" leads to the Wizard of Oz.

Grey's Hispanic agency Wing created "The Cookbook You Can Cook," a bronze Media Lion winner, for Nestle's Stouffer. It's a real book, sold at Barnes & Noble, whose pre-seasoned pages are recipes that can be torn out and cooked in a frying pan after adding chicken or fish. It's an odd idea, but the case study claims the book sold out in a week. Wing also won a bronze Outdoor Lion for a public service campaign called "Adolf Salvador & Francisco Pablo" for Liga de Arte.

LatinWorks won a bronze Entertainment Lion for Major League Baseball's "Ponle Acento" ("Put on the Accent"). Recognizing that 27% of the league's players are Hispanic, and that correct spelling of many of their names calls for accents and tildes, LatinWorks added an accent to the MLB logo, and to players' names on the back of their jerseys.

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