A campaign by Starbucks that transformed a São Paulo coffee shop into a notary office where transgender people could legally change their names for free has won the Glass Lion for Change Grand Prix at Cannes 2021.
The “I Am” campaign, created by VMLY&R Brazil, addressed the prejudice that transgender can suffer when they don’t have their new names on official documents. However, the process for legally changing names is traditionally expensive and bureaucratic in Brazil, where notary offices can be intimidating environments for the transgender community.
Starbucks' campaign resulted in a sevenfold increase in daily legal name changes in São Paulo. Speaking in the jury debrief session, VMLY&R Brazil chief creative officer Rafael Pitanguy said the agency acted after a 2018 law change that allowed people to own a notary office without inheriting it. It's now working with NGOs in the country to help transgender people further with the legal process.
Glass Lions Jury President and Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John said the jury wanted to reward "the idea that a brand can do the double work of bringing awareness but go the extra step of taking what is actually legal action to change lives."
"To be able to see that happen was beautiful," she added.