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CANNES, France—The Philippines, which before this year had won just one Gold Lion and a handful of silvers and bronzes, nabbed the Grand Prix in Mobile here tonight for an inspired campaign by DDB-owned DM9 Jayme Syfu that turned old cellphones into school textbooks.
The Philippines lacks the resources to migrate heavy physical textbooks over to tablets and e-readers, as more developed countries are doing. But the country does have plenty of old mobile phones. Over a six-month period, DM9 and Smart—the country's largest telecom—worked with textbook authors and publishers to translate schoolbooks into 160-character text messages, programmed them into thousands of surplus SIM cards, inserted the cards into old handsets and branded them as TXTBKS.