FCB scoops another ‘Grand Prix for good’ with Cannes Lions Health prize for Pearson’s ‘Project Literacy’


London’s FCB Inferno has won the Cannes Lions Health and Wellness Grand Prix for its integrated campaign ‘Alphabet of Illiteracy’ for education company Pearson’s Project Literacy. FCB Inferno is pretty good at good causes advertising, last year it won the Lions Health and United Nations Foundation Grand Prix for Good for Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’.

Project Literacy aims to tackle what Pearson calls the “global illiteracy crisis” which affects one in ten people worldwide. FCB Inferno was briefed to raise awareness of the severity and consequences of illiteracy and position it as an urgent global issue. Using the building blocks of reading and writing the ‘Alphabet of Illiteracy’ is a body of evidence suggesting illiteracy is the root cause of many global problems.

The A-Z links illiteracy and 26 major problems such as aids, female genital mutilation and drug abuse. The integrated campaign in cinema, DM, print, online and social, led to an online petition to global leaders to push illiteracy up the political agenda.

FCB Inferno CEO Frazer Gibney says: “Illiteracy is at the root of the world’s biggest issues. Project Literacy was established to put this problem at the top of the world’s social agenda, not least the United Nations. This is a deliberately provocative campaign designed to create the strong reaction needed. We are incredibly proud to be working with Project Literacy, witness the results and to now be recognised by the Cannes Lions judges.”

Pearson vice-president of brand and social impact Emilie Colker says: “This campaign has brought a largely invisible issue to the attention of millions. It was a bold and provocative campaign and with nearly 13 million views of the ‘Alphabet of illiteracy’ video, a reach of 462 million and an increase in traffic of 200 per cent to partner organisation websites, this is a movement we are so proud to be part of. We see this as the start of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of illiteracy and its effects.”

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