Cannes Lions


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


1 Bronze Cannes Lions
3 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
Presentation Image
Case Film






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

To become a cultural icon again, in 2022 we launched “Can’t wait to celebrate us” a rallying cry for Inclusivity, to break down barriers excluding people from the celebration.

As a first step, in Summer we launched our “Rural Pride” roadshow, taking the Pride celebration to rural Spain. We coined the term "Sexile”, which causes the LGTBIQ+ community to have to leave their villages to feel accepted.

At Christmas, our brief was simple: to show our commitment to diversity and inclusion with a more mainstream audience. But how could we stand out in the most competitive season for advertising, with very limited budget and advertising restrictions limiting what spirits brands can do and say?


Our creative idea was to put gender representation at the heart of the most high profile advertising season in Spain - Christmas time. Also a moment when recognising the gender identity of trans people is most traumatic, with many hiding their true identity to fit in with family celebrations.

The film at the heart of our campaign played with gender identity. At first we make the audience feel this is a story of an old man who has suppressed his gender identity, secretly applying make up and appearing to identify as a woman. But then we reveal that he is doing this to help a grandchild express their true gender identity at Christmas.

It is an idea that embraces acceptance of diverse gender identities and places it at the heart of mainstream Spanish culture.


J&B's target is broad and diverse, consumers over legal purchasing age in urban and rural areas. The brand is positioned in the mid market of whiskies, accessible to all who appreciate quality. With this campaign we wanted to reach everyone, but especially the 25-45 age group, who have been progressively losing the emotional connection with the brand.

At this time of the year, our target is overexposed to advertising messages, both on television and in digital environments. Many brands dedicate a huge amount of budget to Christmas communication, making it tough to stand out. But because of the importance of Christmas in our insight around trans identity, this was the place we needed to be.

Our target did not expect a Christmas campaign from a whisky brand, so we used the power of surprise to capture the attention of our audience in this critical time.


We began by building through PR, making a pre-launch of the campaign with a press release a few days before the start of the paid campaign. We launched to lifestyle media, related to the LGBTQI+ community, and the advertising community (home of much of our target audience.

From that first press release, the campaign began to be commented on and reproduced in the national and general media. And the viral growth was such that requests for information about the campaign were received at Diageo's European office. In response to this request for information, it was decided to launch a second press release from Diageo to the international media, reaching more than 70 countries.

With this pre launch engagement we then launched the film with our audience primed to engage and share the message. In this sense it was more like the launch of a movement or entertainment, than conventional advertising.


Over 5M organic views.

9,300 hours of YouTube viewing, smashing benchmarks with +70% time viewed in a 3-min ad.

Covered by 314 news publications, including Fox and CNN, audience reach of 345M.

PR value of €2,550,000.

We built our online communities: Instagram (+40%), Twitter (+114%), YouTube (+78%).

We achieved double the recall of other Christmas campaigns (46.0% vs. 28.6%) with only half the investment and whilst observing the advertising restrictions around spirits.

97% said "She" generates brand uniqueness.

81% that it creates strong emotional connection.

87% brand engagement.

Conveys "celebration" (91%), "togetherness" (98%), "freedom" (90%).

J&B became the leader of the whisky category in brand awareness, consumption, and purchase consideration.

“She” was chosen by the United Nations Unstereotype Alliance as a best-in-class campaign and contributed to the debate around the passing of the Trans People Equality Law.

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