McCann New York’s “ADLaM” campaign for Microsoft won the Grand Prix in Creative Business Transformation at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, its second Grand Prix of the festival.
McCann New York’s ‘ADLaM’ for Microsoft wins Grand Prix in Creative Business Transformation
“ADLaM” tells the story of how Microsoft digitized a West African language’s alphabet. The language in question is called Pulaar, which more than 40 million people across the globe speak. In 1989, brothers Ibrahima and Abdoulaye Barry created a handwritten version of the alphabet (called ADLaM) for the first time—but it wasn’t digitized until this McCann effort. With a new Microsoft font called ADLaM Display, the language can now move into the digital age.
“ADLaM” was also awarded the Design Grand Prix on Tuesday.
“By the end of the century, 90% of the world’s languages could be extinct,” Shayne Millington, co-chief creative officer, McCann New York, said earlier this year when the project debuted. “In a world where one language is lost every three months, the ADLaM project embodies the importance of preserving and securing the future of the world’s multitude of cultures and languages, and as a result, the precious memories, myths, rituals, and deep knowledge that has been passed down over centuries.”
According to the Cannes Lions website, the Creative Business Transformation Lions “celebrate the creativity that drives businesses forward—creative thinking that changes how businesses organise themselves, how people work and how customers engage with them.”
Local businesses in Guinea now use the font for products such as packaged goods. Plus, the font has been integrated into the Guinean education system: It’s now the primary language in Guinean schools, with McCann also creating educational materials for educators using ADLaM.
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