Drink Beer, Save the World! DB’s ‘Brewtroleum’ Takes Home Cannes Outdoor Grand Prix

Colenso BBDO made a biofuel out of leftover beer ingredients

Headshot of Tim Nudd

CANNES, France—In a decision that takes the category well beyond its traditional parameters, the Outdoor Lions jury handed its Grand Prix award to Colenso BBDO here tonight for its ingenious campaign to create a clean-burning, conflict-free biofuel from the yeast left over from the brewing process of client DB Export's beer.

The campaign, which narrowly missed taking home the Grand Prix in the Promo & Activation category on Monday (it was edged out by REI's #OptOutside), was framed in the advertising with an irresistible appeal to beer lovers: Drink enough beer, and you could save the world.

"When you speak about outdoor work, your mindset is ready to see a billboard," said jury president Ricardo John, chief creative officer of J. Walter Thompson Brazil. "That's no longer true. Our Grand Prix solves a real business problem for a big brand. This is a Grand Prix that will make the category go even larger."

John was even blown away on a personal level by the campaign.

"How can you make people drink more beer? It's easy for me to drink more beer. But how do you give them a relevant excuse that's good marketing to you, but is also good to your whole family, your whole ecosystem, your stakeholders? And how do you use media to do that?" he said. "These guys, this agency, they managed to do this. They managed to claim that if you drink more beer, you'll save the world. That's the highest proposal that I've ever seen in my career in advertising. And it's my favorite one, because I do love beer!"

—U.S. Outdoor Lion winners

U.S. agencies won three Gold Lions in Outdoor: TBWA\Chiat\Day New York won a gold, as well as a silver, for its Airbnb "Animals" campaign. (The "Octopus" execution from that campaign also individually won a bronze.) Wing New York won gold for a Jorge Castañeda campaign. And Leo Burnett Chicago won gold for the Art Institute Of Chicago's "Van Gogh BnB."

Three other U.S. agencies won silver: McCann New York for Lockheed Martin's "The Field Trip To Mars"; TBWA\Media Arts Lab for Apple's "Color Bars"; and FCB Chicago for a Boeing campaign.

Grey New York won three Bronze Lions, two for Canon and one for States United To Prevent Gun Violence. Single bronze winners from the U.S. were: 360i New York for Canon; 180LA Santa Monica for Expedia; FCB Chicago for Contours Strollers; Energy BBDO Chicago for S.C. Johnson; and David Miami for Burger King. 

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.