How a Surge of Tourists and Ecological Threats Led to Palau Pledge, Cannes’ Top Campaign

Host/Havas shares the story behind its triple Grand Prix winner

Video: John Tejada; Editor: Nick Gardner
Headshot of David Griner

CANNES, France—Typically, tourism policy changes in small island nations don’t spark international attention. But at this year’s Cannes Lions, that’s exactly what took center stage.

Palau Pledge, a conservation initiative created by Australian agency Host/Havas, was the festival’s most highly honored campaign this year, taking home an unmatched three Grand Prix. The project won top honors in Direct, Sustainable Development Goals (a new category supporting the UN’s 17 global priorities) and Titanium, which honors the most ambitious and forward-thinking marketing ideas.

Such prominence at Cannes put a worthy spotlight on both Palau’s environmental efforts—which several jurors said could be adapted in some way to benefit almost any tourism-driven country on Earth—and on the agency behind it, Host/Havas.

In the video above, Host/Havas executive creative director Seamus Higgins and CEO Laura Aldington discuss the problems and processes that led to Palau Pledge’s creation, along with their thoughts on seeing the work celebrated on a global stage.

To learn more about Palau Pledge, you can read Adweek’s coverage of the campaign’s Cannes wins or watch the videos below: a case study followed by the animated video shown to every tourist on flights into Palau.

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."