Oddly Shaped Soccer Fields Earn Thailand Its First Grand Prix, in Design

AP Thailand and CJ Worx win big at Cannes

CANNES, France—Thailand won its first Grand Prix award ever tonight, thanks to a campaign from property development company AP Thailand and digital ad agency CJ Worx.

The campaign is called “The Unusual Football Field” and the idea is simple. In the heavily populated district of Khlong Toei in Bangkok, the agency took any empty spaces, no matter the shape or size, and turned them into soccer fields.

“The vision to break the norm or what is possible with an abandoned space—it’s very clever,” said Sandra Planeta, Design Lions jury president and founder of Planeta Design in Sweden.

Planeta said she and the other jury members spent a great deal of time discussing the concept of design in the process of selecting the Grand Prix winner and really looked at the power that design has to influence culture. “The Unusual Football Field” was a perfect example, she said.

“We wanted to pick a piece that shows the best qualities of our category and what design can deliver,” Planeta added. “And that piece was touching so many points. It’s breaking the grid, it’s doing something unusual, it’s so smart, it’s simple, it’s human, it’s bold. It really contains all the ingredients we’re working with. All 20 of us [on the jury] want to go back home and create different football fields.”

U.S. agencies took home a few gold Lions in the Design category. Ogilvy New York won two golds for its work on the “Refugee Nation” campaign for Amnesty International. VML in Kansas City scored a gold for Youth Ambassadors for its “Welcome to My Neighborhood” work. And Pereira & O’Dell won gold as well for the “Writing Our Rights: The Empowerment Workbook” for client Ignite.

Fearless Girl from McCann New York also walked away with two more gold Lions.