For the uninitiated, the Golden Drum Festival is an awards program that celebrates creativity in advertising across Europe. In its 26th year, the Slovenian festival recently named its 2019 winners.

You’ll likely recognize some from this year’s awards circuit, like Ikea’s “Thisables” out of McCann Tel Aviv and “The Last Ever Issue” stunt from VMLY&R Warsaw that impressed judges at this year’s Cannes Lions. But others shine a light on some innovative campaigns that made a big impact in their respective countries.

At this year’s festival, McCann WorldGroup was named most successful agency network for the fourth year in a row. Publicis Italy’s Milan office took home the Golden Rose, which awards the best advertising agency of the year, while SOK Media in Helsinki was named best independent agency.

Take a look below at this year’s Grand Prix winners from the Golden Drum Festival.

Print, Mastercard and BNP Paribas: “The Last Ever Issue” by VMLY&R Warsaw

In partnership with the country’s leading newspaper, Mastercard and BNP Paribas teamed up with VMLY&R Warsaw to purchase Twój Weekend, a popular porn magazine in Poland, with the sole purpose of shutting it down. But before saying goodbye, they published one last issue that was unlike any other—instead of objectifying women, it celebrated them and promoted gender equality.

Design and Innovation

Ikea: “Thisables” by McCann Tel Aviv

Ikea’s “Thisables,” a range of products that makes it easier for disabled people to use the retailer’s furniture, was popular at this year’s Golden Drum Festival. The add-ons were created with help from a copywriter in McCann’s Tel Aviv office who has cerebral palsy, and can be purchased in-store or via 3D printing. In addition to taking home the top honor in both the design and innovation categories, “Thisables” also won the festival’s “best of Good” award, which honors work in the social good space. Additionally, it came out as the winner of the show’s “best of Why” category, which awards work based on the following question: Why does this work exist?

Digital and Mobile

Diesel: “Hate Couture” by Publicis Italy

Diesel turned haute couture into “hate couture” by taking hateful comments about the brand from online trolls and slapping them on its clothing and stores. The brand enlisted the help of celebrities including Nicki Minaj and Bella Thorne to promote the effort by asking them to find real insults hurled at them on social media and prominently feature them on their clothes. According to Publicis Italy, the effort managed to reach 800 million people—despite the fact that the campaign was not sponsored on social media. “Hate Couture” was also named the winner of the “best of What” category, which rewards work that is “moving frontiers” in traditional mediums.

Functional Efficiency and Engagement

HOK-Elanto: “Block Wish” by SOK Media

“Block Wish,” a digital initiative created for Finnish grocery chain Alepa, won the Grand Prix in both the functional efficiency and engagement categories. With dozens of locations, Alepa wanted to create something that would let customers access their favorite products at their local brick-and-mortar store. With help from a chatbot, “Block Wish” lets shoppers request items they’d like to see in-store at their nearby Alepa. According to the chain, it is used by every fifth Alepa customer, and helps each store better “reflect the lifestyles and flavor palates” of its customers.


Turkcell: “Unreachables” by TBWAInstanbul

Telecom company Turkcell recently found a way to make the voicemail greeting function on phones more useful. In partnership with The Families of Missing Persons Association, Turkcell made it possible for relatives of missing people to spread the word about their loved ones whenever they missed a call. Instead of just hearing a standard recording before leaving a voicemail, those who called a family member of a missing person would learn more about the individual who’d gone missing and be encouraged to visit the “Unreachables” website to find out more information.


Coca-Cola: “Half Full” by McCann Romania

To try and inject some positivity into the Romanian news cycle, Coca Cola created “half full” versions of its bottles, each complete with a snippet of good news about the country. For instance, one bottle read: “In 2018, the number of tourists visiting Romania grew by 6.3%.” According to McCann Romania, the stats were chosen by a team of journalists and PR people. On Facebook, users could create their own messaging for the bottles, which were displayed in Romania’s capital on out-of-home ads.


Reckitt Benckiser: “Turkey’s Water” by Havas Instanbul

To encourage people to save water (and to stop pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher), detergent brand Finish recently went to Turkey’s biggest economic forum and displayed drinking glasses that illustrated how much water is left in the country’s drying lakes. From there, the brand launched a campaign around the issue, and encouraged viewers to visit a website where they could determine their water footprint and receive tips on saving water. According to Finish, the effort resulted in increased market share for the brand.

 » Read More