Student wins Cannes Grand Prix for Coke

Many readers will remember an image created last year by 20 year-old Hong Kong student Jonathan Mak Long in tribute to Steve Jobs. Mak Long has now won a Cannes Grand Prix for a Coke campaign with Ogilvy & Mather in Shanghai

Many readers will remember an image created last year by 20 year-old Hong Kong student Jonathan Mak Long in tribute to Steve Jobs. Mak Long has now won a Cannes Grand Prix for a Coke campaign with Ogilvy & Mather in Shanghai


The win underlines China’s growing influence on the advertising world – this is its second Cannes Grand Prix in successive years (JWT Shanghai winning for Samsonite last year in Press). The #CokeHands campaign, which ran on bus shelters and on lifts in Shanghai features an illustration in which the famous Coke ribbon device is transformed into two hands, one passing the other a Coke. Remarkably, especially in China, the ads ran without a Coke logo or strapline. And just in case readers thought this was another example of the ‘ghost’ ads for which awards have become notorious, there is photographic evidence to show the ads did, in fact, run that way.

Mak Long was asked to work on the campaign by Ogilvy & Mather China chief creative officer Graham Fink, who had seen the image of Jobs and tracked Mak Long down to recruit him. “Nurturing young talent is hugely important to me and I want Ogilvy & Mather China to be a place that attracts them and gives them opportunities of doing famous work on famous brands. Jonathan Mak Long is a prime example of young talent and it’s great that he will be here in Cannes to go up on stage to receive his first Lion – before he has even finished studying,” Fink said in a statement.


Mak Long’s image of Steve Jobs (above) went around the world last year following the Apple founder’s death when Mak posted it on his blog. However, controversy followed as commenters were quick to point out its alleged similarity to an image by Chris Thornley (aka Raid71) which had been posted on CR’s Feed section in May 2011. Mak, for his part, completely denied having seen the Raid71 image before making his work and insisted that he had arrived at the image on his own.

At the time of the original row, Thornley had been undergoing treatment for cancer and has set up a site selling prints of his work in aid of the Breast Cancer Campaign and the Manchester Royal Infirmary Hospital which you can find here.

There was a second Grand Prix in the same Outdoor category – for Jung von Matt’s Invisible Drive Mercedes campaign in which the Germany agency covered one side of an F-Cell hydrogen-powered car in LEDs onto which live imagery was projected from a camera on the other side of the car, thus rendering it (almost) invisibe.


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