Cannes Lions



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Amnesty International has fought injustice for decades. Still, many younger people don’t understand what this ‘out-dated’ organisation really stands for. Amnesty has had many victories, but they normally happen far from home, so most people never hear the real stories about all the people the organization helps. Amnesty sought a way to spread a message about the terrible injustices they fight against and celebrate the lasting change they’re fighting for.

We created Amnesty International Freedom Candles - designed by world-renowned artists COARSE. The candles symbolise the three main efforts in Amnesty’s mission. But inside the candles there’s another message that won’t melt or fade away. Each contains a bronze figure that shows the difference Amnesty and its supporters make for real people: A man, wrongfully imprisoned, is reunited with his family. A pen signs an arms treaty, protecting millions. And a young woman, freed from sexual slavery gets an education.The thirty limited edition candles were to be auctioned on eBay.

We knew that accessing a younger audience would be tough, but we knew where to find them: online and in social media. So we strategically employed two sub-audiences – influencers for authority and current Amnesty fans for additional reach.

With no paid media, we appeared in over 50 relevant blogs with a combined readership of over 25 million. We negotiated free ATL media space – OOH and in the Metro. We sparked global interest, with conversation in 56 countries. Across social media we gained an estimated 40 million media impressions.


Freedom Candles beautifully combine art and activism to create a new product that’s rooted in Amnesty’s brand. The candle has symbolized Amnesty International’s cause since their inception, but these candles evolve that iconic image to create a lasting message that literally lights the way for change.


The Freedom Candles were shared around the world and loved in social media, even by some high profile admirers such as, Yoko Ono, Peter Gabriel, and Sting. They connected supporters to the real change that Amnesty makes, and that message reached millions – earning a total of 40,000,000 media impressions. So much so, that when the candles were auctioned on eBay, they sold for as much as $1,300 each. Rather than spending money on media, the campaign actually generated income for Amnesty International.

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