Cannes Lions to award The Lion of St. Mark to Lee Clow (TBWA\)

Creativity, Festivals & Awards

Cannes Lions will announced that 2013 recipient of the prestigious Lion of St. Mark award will be advertising legend Lee Clow, Chairman of TBWA\Media Arts Lab and Director of Media Arts, TBWA\Worldwide. The award will honor Lee’s long and outstanding contribution to creativity in advertising and communications.


Lee is a creative icon, a source of inspiration and a genius at telling brand stories in an artful way – and not least a true Californian surfer! (…) Remaining true to his beliefs coupled with his fresh approach to work has led him to create some of the greatest campaigns ever made. It is with pride and honour that we present Lee with the Lion of St. Mark for his outstanding contribution to creativity in communications

Terry Savage,

Chairman Lions Festivals

I’ve been to Cannes many times, I’ve won some awards, but wow, this one is special. What an honour. Just to be in the company of John and Dan makes me proud

Lee Clow

Lee Clow works in advertising for over 40 years. He started at Chiat\Day in Los Angeles, when there were just 10 people and 2 accounts, and has been there ever since. He prefers to think of the industry as Media Arts: words, pictures and telling stories on behalf of brands. “I think if it’s good it will make you feel something. It can make you laugh or cry, it can surprise you or inform you, it can cause curiosity or inspire trust. But you must want to watch it.”, he says.

Whether it is the famous “1984” commercial for Apple’s Macintosh, or the crazy Energizer Bunny that keeps going and going, refreshing the world with Pepsi, or celebrating the world of sport for adidas with the Impossible is Nothing campaign, the love you feel for dogs in Pedigree’s Dogs Rule campaign to asking What’s G for Gatorade, it’s all work people want to watch.

And perhaps there’s no better example of Lee’s impact in the industry than his 30+year partnership with Steve Jobs. They created the famous ‘Think Different’ work for the rebirth of Apple in 1997. And during the past 15 years he has helped orchestrate Apple’s move into music with the celebrated silhouettes campaign for iPod and iTunes, and into phones with the re-defining iPhone, and then creating the Mac vs PC campaign before forging a whole new category with iPad.

Lee continues to find the business fun and challenging and believes we’re at the beginning of the most exciting time the “advertising’ business has ever seen. Whilst lots of people are talking about the challenge of the multi-media future, he believes it is the biggest opportunity for creative minds since the first Creative Revolution of the 1960s.

He believes that “today everything can be considered media. The Internet has changed the way people interact with brands. If you like a brand, you can seek it out. If you don’t like a brand, you can criticise it publicly. So everything a brand does must tell its story in a disruptive and artful way. Then people will decide whether they like your brand or will ignore it.”

Since he began with Chiat\Day and its humble beginnings at a hotel in downtown Los Angeles, the agency has grown to be one of the ten largest global networks and is now one of the most innovative and awarded agency networks in the world.

Lee Clow will be presented with the Lion of St. Mark in Cannes, France, on Saturday 22 June. Previous recipients of the accolade are Dan Wieden (2012) and Sir John Hegarty (2011). 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.


Material written by Vera Gavrila and Andreea Popescu