Image of the mammoth meatball shown on a stone serving plate surrounded by smoke

Introducing the winners of the Epica Awards 2023

This year’s six Grand Prix awards went to projects as diverse as a digital tool to help Ukrainian refugees find work and a meatball made from cultured mammoth meat

Notable for being the only creative award scheme judged by the industry’s press, the Epica Awards celebrates the best advertising and design work from around the world.

Revealed as part of an online ceremony, this year saw six Grand Prix awards given across eight categories, including Film, Digital, PR, Design, Responsibility, and Innovation. A Grand Prix wasn’t chosen in the Print or Media categories, where it was felt that no piece of work rose significantly above the existing selection of Gold winners.

It was a particularly good year for McCann Worldgroup, which was named as Network of the Year. McCann New York also took home Agency of the Year, after being awarded a Grand Prix for its alphabet preserving ADLaM project with Microsoft and for highlighting the challenges facing food delivery workers with The Brake Room.

Details of this year’s Grand Prix winners can be viewed below, while the full results can be found on Epica’s website.

RESPONSIBILITY: The Last Photo for CALM. Agency: Hope&Glory

This simple but effective campaign from suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), created with adam&eveDDB, sought to redress the ‘image’ of suicide that we might hold in our minds. At the heart of the campaign was an installation of photos of smiling people in London’s South Bank, which were later revealed to be the last images taken of them.

DESIGN: ADLaM: An Alphabet to Preserve a Culture for Microsoft. Agency: McCann New York

Thousands of spoken languages around the world that have no digital script will face extinction by the end of this century. Building on the work of two brothers who first created an alphabet for the Fulani people of West Africa’s language Pulaar – known as ADLaM – Microsoft and McCann commissioned three type designers to create a new display font which is free to download and share, helping to preserve Pulaar culture for future generations.

INNOVATION: The Mammoth Meatball for Vow. Agency: VML

As a small player in the nascent cultured meat industry, Australian brand Vow was seeking to demonstrate the potential of meat grown from cells without the slaughter of animals, and to highlight the link between large-scale livestock production and the destruction of wildlife and the climate crisis. The simple idea of focusing on the world’s most famous extinct animal combined with a carefully orchestrated campaign, including a film and an event launch, led to a huge amount of press coverage and sparked debate around the world.

DIGITAL: Where to Settle for Mastercard. Agency: McCann Poland

Adapted for mobile and desktop, Mastercard launched Where to Settle in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which led to millions of refugees fleeing to other countries such as Poland. Using data on shopping trends, combined with information from the Central Statistical Office, the tool not only allows users to look at rent prices and salaries in different areas of Poland, but displays current employment and apartment rental offers to help displaced Ukrainians make big life decisions.

PR: The Brake Room for Chick-Fil-A. Agency: McCann New York

While the food delivery market has exploded in recent years, working conditions for drivers remain poor. Launched by fast food brand Chick-Fil-A, The Brake Room pop-up gave some of New York’s 65,000 food delivery workers a chance to rest and recharge during the winter months, providing access to bathrooms, bike storage, phone chargers, comfortable seating, wi-fi, and drinks. Equally as important, it highlighted how the major food delivery brands can better support their employees in the future.

FILM: A Train of Memories for Sotetsu Holdings. Agency: Six Inc

This charming spot for Japanese railway company Sotetsu follows the story of a father-daughter relationship evolving over 12 years, as they commute to work and school on the same train. Filmed in one shot, it features an impressively seamless time-lapse sequence of 50 lookalike actors.