Cannes Lions

GQ Man of the Year

BLACK DOG FILMS, London / GQ / 2021

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In the midst of a pandemic with lockdown, social distancing and public events non-existent,

GQ wanted to celebrate the altruistic achievements of some of the UK’s most prominent figures. Captain Sir Tom Moore raised over £33 million for the NHS, footballer Marcus Rashford lobbied the UK government to provide free school meals, and Patrick Hutchinson saved the life of a protestor. GQ wanted an awards show that everyone could be involved in to publicly celebrate these achievements.


This would be the first ever digital Men of the Year Awards, the idea was to make the awards feel like a major event, despite the empty theatre, celebrating each of the winners in their own field. The event was not live, so it had to scripted and entertaining to watch, with each awards film reflecting the unique personalities and styles of the winners whilst adhering to an overall narrative theme. The film also had to be created in such a way that it could be easily divided into social assets for each winner.


It was decided that the production company would create a series of short films from different directors. Directors were paired with the various winners based on their aesthetic. The directors worked with GQ on creative with the final ceremony reflecting a collage of unique personalities. The films were tied together with pre-recorded hosting from Jack Whitehall, several live music performances, and an overall graphic identity designed and created by the production company. The directors also worked with editorial to ensure the cover shoots complemented the films.


Each awards film had to maintain its unique creative vision, so a bespoke production team was tailored for each separate film. Once each concept had been decided, the respective directors would then construct their vision with their own creative team. The host film was shot last so as to link all the productions with a creative arc and narrative for the final GQ awards show.

The production process took two months. Due to stringent safety and covid procedures, and a dedicated covid team - there were no positive covid tests throughout the entire process.


The awards show streamed live on the GQ YouTube channel and has been watched over 200,00 times.

Subsequently, each film was split into its own award film and released separately in the week following the main awards show. The films have so far been viewed over one million times. The highest engagement and views of any GQ awards show to date.

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2022, GQ

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