Dan Wieden, honored with The Lion of St.Mark by Cannes Lions Festival

Advertising, Cannes Lions

Dan Wieden, Co-Founder and Global Executive Creative Director Wieden+Kennedy, will receive this year, from Cannes Lions festival, the prestigious award Lion of St.Mark, an accolade celebrating and honoring his long and outstanding contribution to creativity in communication.

Dan Wieden grew up in Portland (USA), graduated from the University of Oregon and worked briefly in PR before applying his writing talents to the advertising business. Initially, he wrote trade magazine copy for a timber company, that he decided to start changing the face of communications as we know it.

In 1982,  Dan Wieden and his creative partner, David Kennedy, founded Wieden+Kennedy, with the 1st client being than the upstart company Nike. After being told by Phil Knight, founder of Nike, that “He didn’t believe in advertising”, Dan and David set about making some of the greatest advertising that doesn’t believe in advertising ever made. Dan famously coined the Nike tagline “Just Do It”.

The agency that started with five employees has now, almost 30 years later, offices in Portland, New York, London, Amsterdam, Delhi, Shanghai, Tokyo and São Paulo and nearly 1,200 employees around the world.

Notwithstanding the incredible growth of Wieden+Kennedy, Dan’s motivation and goal was to start a different type of advertising agency, one where people could perform at their best without structures and bureaucracies and where creativity would not be lost as the agency grew.

Dan has won numerous awards and accolades, but what his clients most value and appreciate is Dan’s relentless ability to dream and inspire. His fight to remain independent and continue to provide a place where fellow dreamers can work has resulted in some of the best work of our time and an environment where people and clients both can flourish.

In its 30th year under Dan’s leadership, Wieden+Kennedy has grown to be a global brand in its own right. W+K operates 24 hours a day, in dozens of languages, on projects as varied as branding international companies, operating an experimental advertising school and producing sports documentaries and TV series while releasing some of Japan’s best music through W+K Tokyo Lab.

All the while, every office has at least one pro bono client and has followed Dan’s example and played an active role in supporting the arts and culture of the host city.

In 2010, Wieden+Kennedy was designated Agency of the Year by Adweek, Ad Age, Campaign, Creativity and SHOOT. It was the first time in history one agency has swept the honour, and further proof that Dan’s vision of an independent, creatively led agency can make meaningful, progressive and challenging work for its diverse client base that includes some of the world’s most recognisable brands such as Coca-Cola, Chrysler, Delta Airlines, ESPN, Heineken, Honda, Kraft, Levi’s, Nike, Old Spice and Procter & Gamble.

It is thanks to Dan that Titanium Lions launched in 2003 to honour ground-breaking ideas that are provocative and point to a new direction; work that, according to Dan, “causes the industry to stop in its tracks and reconsider the way forward”.

Dan’s integrity and brilliance have inspired a generation and gained worldwide respect. While his work is much admired, his vision has reverberated across the industry, changing the course of brand marketing and redefining the structure of the business (…) We are extremely proud and honourd to present Dan, one of the nicest people in the industry, with the Lion of St. Mark for his outstanding contribution to creativity in communications.

Terry Savage

Chairman Cannes Lions

This is a pretty big honour. To be honest, I’ve always identified with that renown military leader, of whom it was said, his men would follow him anywhere. Mainly, out of curiosity.

Dan Wieden

Dan Wieden will be presented with the Lion of St. Mark in Cannes during the Film, Film Craft, Titanium, Integrated and Branded Content & Entertainment awards ceremony.

The Lion of St. Mark trophy is based upon the original Lions awarded at the Festival which were modelled on the lion statue in St. Mark’s Square in Venice, location of the first Festival in 1954 and alternating host city with Cannes before Cannes became the Festival’s permanent home in 1984. The Lion of St. Mark accolade was presented for the first time in 2011 to Sir John Hegarty.

59th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity takes place in Cannes, between 17-23 June.

This year, Romanian agencies submitted 110 entries: 9 in Film Lions, 13 in Press Lions, 11 in Outdoor Lions, 19 in Radio Lions, 6 in Cyber Lions, 9 in Direct Lions, 16 in Media Lions, 8 in Promo & Activation Lions, 1 in Titanium and Integrated Lions, 15 in PR Lions, 1 in Creative Effectiveness Lions and 2 in Branded Content & Entertainment Lions and none in Design Lions, Film Craft Lions and Mobile Lions .

Per total, Cannes Lions 2012 received a record of 34,301 entries from 87 countries. An overall increase of 19% versus last year, entries have been submitted in 15 different categories: Creative Effectiveness, Cyber, Design, Direct, Film, Film Craft, Media, Outdoor, PR, Press, Promo & Activation, Radio, Titanium & Integrated and the new Mobile and Branded Content & Entertainment Lions categories.