Boulder’s WorkInProgress Asks Russia To Hack Cannes Lions


By Egotist / /

With the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity coming up, Boulder-based creative agency WorkInProgress — started by founding partners who worked together for seven years at CP+B — hopes Russia can help them win an undeserved title, too. You know, just like they’ve helped other under-qualified candidates recently.

The agency, which was launched just two years ago by the team behind some of Domino’s most prolific advertising work, hopes to be named agency network of the year. Getting there requires building a ton of momentum with the right people.*

*While the billboard is very real, the effort is all tongue and cheek.

To wit, they created a billboard that is running right now in central Moscow, and used it to advertise a simple message:

Cannes Lions

“We figured, where better to draw attention to our cause than Moscow,” said Andrew Lincoln, a creative leader and co-founder at WIP. “I mean, Russia has more than proven its persuasive capabilities, and Moscow is the cultural heart — and brain — of the country. It’s basically a sure thing.”

Technically, WIP isn’t a network, it’s a single shop. Also technically, winning agency network of the year requires racking up the most Lions throughout the festival. WIP has entered work in 6 categories, but — technically — they’re still up for network of the year.

The campaign runs from June 1-15 and is day-parted, running once every hour. It’s located in Erevan Plaza, Russia (close to the heart of the city). WIP placed the ad with the Russian Marketing and Advertising Services, which is like ClearChannel but Russian. To pass through Russia’s strict censorship process, WIP worked with the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation. They were super serious about making sure nothing in the ad was factually incorrect (read: no fake news here). 

For example, the copy couldn’t suggest that WIP won an award, and had to be focused on their request to be considered for the top award
“Truthfully, their edits made the ad better,” said Pete Sheinbaum, a partner and co-founder at WIP. “Even their censorship folks are awesome creatives.”
All in, the project was 3 months in the making. WIP created a Russian translation available of their website just in case Russians are interested in learning more about them.

We wish them luck in their campaign endeavor. 


  1. Ryan June 10, 2018

    This is really smart. I love it.

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