Cannes Lions

Rural Pride

EL RUSO DE ROCKY, Madrid / J&B / 2023


1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
Presentation Image
Demo Film
Supporting Content






J&B is an iconic whisky brand in Spain that is passionate about bringing people together. But in recent years it has lost relevance, especially among young people.

We needed to breathe new life into J&B, making it culturally relevant again. To be relevant in culture we needed to act, not just talk, so this would take more than just an ad.

Our objectives were ambitious: after years of loss, we needed to increase our Meaning and Engagement rates, to reconnect with whisky drinkers.

We also wanted to reclaim our once iconic status, driving cultural conversation around J&B, acting on our purpose to bring people together. We made a bold bet to bring this purpose to life: helping break down some of the biggest barriers in Spanish culture that exclude people from celebration.


To regain cultural relevance for J&B in 2022 we launched “Can’t wait to celebrate us” a rallying cry for Inclusivity, to help break down the barriers that exclude people from the celebration.

We sought to end the ‘sexile’ of rural LGBTQI+ communities, left behind in rural areas, unable to celebrate their identities as those in cities can.

We started at Madrid Pride, the biggest LGBTQI+ party in Europe. As Pride is not celebrated in rural communities we took Pride to small towns and villages for the first time. Our “Rural Pride” would visit communities, to raise awareness of exclusion and bring the celebration.

We encouraged people to celebrate together, while promoting a more important message: that it was time to understand the stories of sexiles, promoting our sexile message, the parade, and our campaign website via multi-channel ads, including TV, cinema, and digital display across key LGBTQI+ news sites.


J&B would become the brand to raise awareness within Spanish population around “Sexile”. "Rural Pride" would make sure no one is left out of Pride, even in the rural areas. Our PR strategy had three core elements.

1. Using the three-month tour of the float as the focus to generate local stories.

2. A range of different PR angles to continue to generate new stories through the campaign period: around the insight, the float inspiration, the documentary, the hymn, the stories of LGTBIQ+ people, the celebrations in towns.

3. A strategic ecosystem to guarantee reach and talkability:

- A kick-off event introducing the concept and campaign assets to key opinion leaders, celebrities, influencers, and media.

- Providing influencers with tools to create and promote content.

- Working with the LGTBQI+ community to gain credibility, legitimacy and generate further organic content.

- Press office to generate press releases and interviews.


We launched a TV campaign featuring real sexile stories, inviting people to check the tour on our website and propose their village as the final stop.

To lead the parade, we created a converted truck inspired by 1970’s sexiled artist Pérez Ocaña, that was presented in Madrid during national Pride week.

Then, we toured over 12,000kms of Rural Spain for 3 months. Each stop was a fully immersive Pride celebration. The truck paraded through the streets and then opened to the townspeople with a speech by a leading LGTBQI+ spokesperson, creating different experiences at each stop: trans shows, concerts, DJs and more. The whole town was invited to play an active part in the party. The last stop, Briviesca, was then selected from our website.


The organic results were impressive:

● More than 1,700 pieces of coverages in Traditional Media and SM.

● It was covered by all major news sites, on their front page.

● We featured in over 80 minutes of coverage in prime-time TV broadcasts reaching 22.9M impressions and earning PR coverage worth +€4M.

● + 40 minutes on radio broadcasts.

● 80% of the articles explicitly mentioned J&B or the initiative.

● 16 LGTBQI+ associations taking part in the initiative.

‘Sexile’ became a national conversation:

· Over 14% of the total villages in Spain (1.172) applied in our website.

· Purchase consideration increased by 29.8%.

The total results were way beyond the expectations:

● We obtained 211M impressions total campaign, with over 7 million views. Articles placed on LGBTQI+ sites had an average reading time of 3-mins – smashing the 55” benchmark.

Change in behaviour

● Google searches for ‘Sexilio’: increased by 1,224%.

● On 06.10.2022, ‘Sexile’ was debated in parliament – drawing attention to the challenges facing LGBTQI+ people in the regions. The government has since pledged to help reverse this phenomenon and promote acceptance.

Consumer awareness

● People interacted with the brand on social media over 275K times.

● J&B's social followers grew by 7.5%

The campaign strengthened J&Bs’s cultural relevance on Inclusivity:

· 88% considered the campaign is a modern and progressive view of society.

· 70% said the campaign had a positive impact on inclusion and diversity.

· 85% think J&B should continue supporting the LGBTQI+ cause.

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