Ogilvy’s ‘Recycle Me’ brings home Coca-Cola’s first Cannes Lions Grand Prix in a decade

By Zion Rufus

Yup! They did not hold back from destroying Coca-Cola’s iconic red-and-white logo to get the message across. And boy, did we get the message from that eye-grabbing campaign encouraging recycling.


How excited were you to wander the Palais again this year! I can imagine the nostalgia mixed with timeless excitement sweeping through your body as you watch thousands of delegates gather from across the world, not just to bask in the French summer, but to celebrate the pinnacle of advertising and creativity shaping our daily lives.

Day one had all the expected buzz and magic. Of course, there’s nothing like the initial thrill of arrival, we just got here, and we are happy—you know the vibe. But hold your breath, the true spectacle is Friday’s grand finale.

The first day also marked the announcement of the initial winners at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, covering Audio & Radio, Health & Wellness, Outdoor, Pharma, and Print & Publishing. The USA snagged three Grands Prix, while New Zealand, Spain, and the UK also took top honors. The UAE clinched the Lions Health and United Nations Foundation Grand Prix for Good.

In the Print & Publishing Lions category, which celebrates creativity in circulation, 734 entries competed, resulting in 21 awards: four Gold Lions, three Silver Lions, 13 Bronze Lions, and the prestigious Grand Prix. The top honor went to ‘Recycle Me’ for Coca-Cola, created by WPP Open X, led by Ogilvy New York and supported and activated by Ogilvy LATAM, Ogilvy PR, and EssenceMediacom. This innovative campaign crushed the iconic red cans into distorted logos, mimicking how it would appear on a recycled aluminium can, in a bid to encourage recycling on a grand scale.

‘Recycle Me,’ which debuted in April 2024, rolled out on billboards, transit shelters, and digital displays across Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, complemented by print and social media ads.

The campaign presented a stunning series of images featuring the crushed Coca-Cola logo, urging consumers to recycle.

Yup! They did not hold back from destroying Coca-Cola’s iconic red-and-white logo to get the message across. And boy, did we get the message from that eye-grabbing campaign encouraging recycling.The visual impact of the distorted logos, created using mechanical presses and vacuums, reflected the diverse ways people crush their cans, offering a fresh perspective on the brand’s emblem.

While Ogilvy’s aim with the ‘Recycle Me’ call to action, prominently displayed on the cans, was to elevate recycling in the consumer’s mind and encourage responsible post-consumption behavior, the campaign also supports Coca-Cola’s ambitious ‘World Without Waste’ goals to make all packaging 100% recyclable by 2025 and to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle and can sold by 2030.

The campaign also earned a Cannes Lions ‘Gold Lion’ in the Outdoor category.

Print & Publishing Jury President John Raúl Forero, President and Chief Creative Officer at DDB, Colombia, said: “‘Recycle Me’ is a reminder of the power of simplicity, boldness, purity, and elegance in print advertising. In a world that often seeks to dazzle with technology, this campaign stands out by vindicating the classic print. It’s a Grand Prix-winning effort for a major brand that will undoubtedly be remembered for years to come.”

For 75 years, Ogilvy has transformed brands with iconic, culture-shaping, value-driven ideas, inspired by its founder David Ogilvy. This rich legacy continues with Borderless Creativity, where innovation thrives at the intersections of advertising, public relations, relationship design, consulting, and health. Experts collaborate seamlessly across over 120 offices in 90 countries. Recognized by WARC as the #1 global agency network for creative excellence and effectiveness, Ogilvy delivers impactful solutions for clients and communities worldwide. Ogilvy is a proud member of the WPP family.



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