Cannes Names GS&P the Most Awarded Cyber and Mobile Agency of 2016
- December 14, 2016
In June, Goodby Silverstein & Partners took home the title of “Most awarded Cyber and Mobile agency in 2016” from the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.
This worldwide title is the result of 13 total Lions the agency earned, which included Cyber Lions across three clients (Adobe/AdCouncil’s “I am a Witness,” The Dali Museum's “Dreams of Dali” and The Hunting Ground's “Unacceptable Acceptance Letters") and Mobile Lions for “Dreams of Dali” and “I am a Witness.”
“I am a Witness” for Ad Council introduced the world’s first emoji created for a social cause. The emoji, which is now on every iPhone and Android phone, is a way of combatting not just bullying but also any apprehensiveness about stepping in that witnesses may be feeling.
“Dreams of Dalí” is a unique virtual reality experience created for The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. The experience takes you inside the mind of the legendary surrealist Salvador Dalí through one of his early paintings, Archeological Reminiscence of Millet’s “Angelus” (1935). The exhibition Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination—which Dreams of Dalí is celebrating, was made into a permanent installation following its success at Cannes.
The “Unacceptable Acceptance Letters” were created to help combat the alarming fact that one in five women and one in 16 men will be sexually assaulted at college. During college acceptance week, GS&P mimicked this online phenomenon by creating a series of films featuring students opening “Unacceptable Acceptance Letters.” As each student reads their letter, the copy reveals the chilling reality they will soon face, namely, that they may be sexually assaulted.
Overall 2016 was one of the most successful years for GS&P at Cannes as the agency won Lions across five different clients, including the above, as well as for Doritos “Rainbows” and SONIC "#SquareShakes."
Today, Goodby Silverstein & Partners announced it has promoted Meredith Williams, Michael Crain and Jason Bedecarre to the role of Group Account Director, as well as Julie Whitecotton to Associate Director of New Business.
"These promotions represent significant leaders at our agency who break the mold of a ‘traditional’ client handler; they are thinkers, writers and presenters,” said Brian McPherson, managing partner. “They work tirelessly in the pursuit of great work, and we trust them to lead some of our most important client relationships. These qualities make them incredibly important to our next phase of growth at the agency, both with new business and client retention.”
Meredith Williams, who also serves as Associate Director of Account Management, joined GS&P in early 2011 and currently leads GS&P’s growing Frito-Lay roster (Doritos, Tostitos, Cheetos and Grandma’s Cookies). Over the course of her time at GS&P, she has worked on Got Milk?, TD Ameritrade, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Comcast, Princess Cruises and The Honest Company. Before GS&P, she was at JWT in New York and Gotham Inc.
Michael Crain has been with GS&P for over a decade. During this time, he has worked closely on a wide variety of accounts including HP, Nintendo Wii, Comcast/XFINITY, Specialized, Super Bowl 50 and Bay Area Council. He also led Frito-Lay’s Cheetos, Tostitos, Ruffles and Doritos, the latter for which he managed “Crash the Super Bowl” for five years.
Jason Bedecarre came to GS&P five years ago from Cutwater, where he worked on Jeep’s “Have Fun Out There” campaign and Ray Ban’s “Never Hide.” At GS&P he has led Comcast/XFINITY, Google, the NBA and most recently, The Golden State Warriors, which he also helped the agency win.
Julie Whitecotton, a six-year GS&P veteran, managed account operations for Sprint, Corona Light and TD Ameritrade before transitioning to an internal marketing role overseeing the agency’s award-show process and entries. In her new role, she will oversee agency new business materials, including credentials and RFPs.
Goodby Silverstein & Partners announced that Margaret Johnson, partner and executive creative director, will become chief creative officer, and Derek Robson, managing partner, will ascend to president. As part of the rising leadership team, Brian McPherson, director of account management, and Leslie Barrett, director of new business, along with Bonnie Wan, director of brand strategy, and Christine Chen, director of communication strategy, will all become full partners.
McPherson and Barrett will also assume the title of managing partner.
Agency Founders and Co-Chairmen Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein will remain involved in the creative, but with Johnson continuing to oversee the department.
“We are reinventing our company every day,” said Co-Chairman Jeff Goodby, “and these are the people who will formulate the big changes, come up with the big ideas that will keep us not just relevant but game-changing. Our new president, chief creative officer, and new partners will make a difference immediately — and down the line, five and ten years from now.”
A 20-year agency veteran, Johnson was promoted to executive creative director in 2014 and to partner in 2012. This year she led GS&P to the third-most award-winning year in the agency’s history, which resulted in 13 Cannes Lions for multiple campaigns: Frito-Lay’s “DORITOS Rainbows,” SONIC’s “#SquareShakes,” “Unacceptable Acceptance Letters,” the Ad Council’s “I Am a Witness” and the Dalí Museum’s “Dreams of Dalí” (an Oculus Rift experience). In 2016, Ad Age named Johnson a Woman to Watch.
“Margaret has grown up at GS&P and has the DNA of the agency in her blood,” said Rich Silverstein. “She’s fearless and has led us with innovative creative thinking that taps into culture. She’s earned the admiration of our people and our clients, and there is no one else we would want to carry forth our legacy.”
New President Robson joined GS&P in 2005 and helped the agency position itself for the future, leading a major reorganization of GS&P for the digital age. The changes led to several Agency of the Year and Digital Agency of the Year awards throughout the following decade. In his new role, he will be responsible for providing strategic leadership for the agency by working with the partners and other members of the agency’s management team.
Brian McPherson, director of account management and a 20-year agency veteran, and Leslie Barrett, director of new business and a 16-year agency veteran, will now oversee operations, agency P&L and client and talent retention in their new roles as managing partners.
McPherson played a key role in leading Frito-Lay to some of its most award-winning campaigns, including DORITOS “Rainbows” and “Crash the Super Bowl.” McPherson’s team also developed Frito-Lay’s social media community efforts, which produced “Chester for Mayor” for CHEETOS and “Chip Kelly” for TOSTITOS. Additionally, he is now leading Adobe and Princess Cruises.
Barrett’s teams have consistently developed work awarded for both creativity and effectiveness across clients, including SONIC Drive-In, Häagen-Dazs, Thorn and Comcast. Over the years Barrett has led a number of the agency’s new business wins and, as a result, the agency recently evolved her role to Director of New Business. In the first six months of 2016, the agency’s wins have included StubHub, the Golden State Warriors, GREE and significant organic growth on Comcast and Frito-Lay.
Bonnie Wan, who has worked with GS&P in three separate stints since 1998, and Christine Chen, a 12-year GS&P veteran, will oversee brand and communication strategy, respectively. From SONIC’s “#SquareShakes” to Frito-Lay’s “DORITOS Rainbows” to Comcast’s “Emily’s Oz” to Adobe’s “I Am a Witness” anti-bullying emoji, Wan’s and Chen’s teams have played a key role in developing surprising new ways for people to experience and engage with brands.
In her new role as partner, Wan will continue to oversee brand strategy. She will also focus on accelerating the role GS&P plays in being a place where staff can maximize their potential both personally and professionally. Chen will continue to push the communication-strategy agenda of using media know-how and insights to amplify strategy and creative ideas, as well as to maintain rigor around how GS&P diagnoses business problems and approaches work.
We are proud to report that we have won 13 Cannes Lions from 36 shortlisted entries for five different clients, and that there is no more wine left in the south of France.