Cannes Lions

Highlight the Remarkable


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Highlighter pens are used to mark important things; usually words or passages in printed and written texts. Everyone is aware of the benefit of such pens – even if they only remember them from their time as a student.

For our client Stabilo we wanted to turn this rational benefit into an emotional benefit. By making it about more than just a pen, but about an attitude and purpose.

In 2018 the debate on gender equality reached a new global climax. Discrimination is one half of the narrative, disregarded female triumphs are the other. All too often in history women were upstaged, their work and success not mentioned. So, they never appeared in the collective awareness – unlike their male counterparts. That's why we thought about how we could rightfully participate in order to add something meaningful to the gender equality debate.


2018 was the year to rewrite history with Stabilo Boss. We wanted to give women and their success stories the stage they deserve. And this we did by, in the truest sense of the word, highlighting them.


Create awareness for and emotionalize a functional product through PR generation.

Do this by finding a socially relevant topic, bigger than the product itself. Not by putting the rational product benefit in focus or the product itself on a pedestal. But by telling stories that empower and inspire. Everything to turn Stabilo Boss into a means through which customers can connect with a bigger ideal.


In the campaign the yellow stroke of the Stabilo Boss representatively highlights three women: NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, U.S. First Lady Edith Wilson and Austrian-Swedish physicist Lise Meitner. Not in texts. But in historic, black-and-white photos. These show group shots, where men are in forefront or in the centre of the visual. Thanks to the Stabilo Boss stroke the previously unremarkable women now become the focal point. Combined with copies telling the story of their remarkable accomplishments.


What started as ads in Germany turned into a global conversation. The campaign reinvigorated the equality debate and created a buzz. Not only did the campaign achieve this in the classical media but significantly so amongst millions on social media. People shared and discussed the ads or even suggested and celebrated other remarkable women on their social media accounts. Tweets reached up to 15 million impressions and interaction rates of 27%. In total Stabilo was mentioned 97.4 % more often as compared to before the campaign. What’s even more noteworthy, is the fact that not only did this campaign go viral for a short duration but has stayed extremely relevant on multiple channels across the internet with at least 4.100 mentions every day, to date. So, Stabilo Boss has inspired people to change the narrative of history by doing what it can best – highlighting the remarkable.

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Highlight the Remarkable


Highlight the Remarkable


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