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McCann, whose virtual reality-based Lockheed Martin campaign was a major award-winner at the 2016 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, was today awarded Adweek’s Project Isaac Awards’ highest honor, the Gravity Award. In addition, the campaign won two awards in the Project Isaac Marketing & Advertising categories for Creative Invention and Event/Experience Invention.
McCann’s Lockheed Martin campaign transformed an ordinary yellow school bus into a “bus to Mars” in a first-ever group virtual reality experience as part of the aeronautical company’s “Generation Beyond” educational program to prepare America’s students for deep space exploration. Visual effect company Framestore built approximately 200 square miles of virtual Martian terrain to create a “1:1 relationship” between Earth and Mars that allowed the riders to truly feel they are traversing the Red Planet, without the need for a headset or glasses.
“Lockheed Martin has been a part of every American deep space mission but did not always get the credit they deserve,” said Eric Silver, McCann’s North American Chief Creative Officer. “While there are lots of attempts at making VR immersive, we got excited about turning VR on its head and creating an entirely new construct: Group VR. Like all technological exploration, the elixir often lies in making the complex simple.”
The Adweek Project Isaac win comes at a time of creative recognition and significant business growth for the agency. McCann was named to Ad Age’s 2016 A-List and Creative Innovators/Standout list, and McCann New York ranked No. 2 in the U.S. and fourth globally at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, winning 25 total Lions, the most of any U.S. agency. McCann also won 8 prestigious Effie Awards and advanced 12 spots to be ranked 4th overall in North America in the Effie Index. Over the last few years, the New York agency also added major new clients (e.g., Chick-Fil-A, New York State Lottery, Reckitt Benckiser, Choice Hotels, Office Depot/Office Max, MGM Resorts, State Street Advisors); grew organically with additional assignments from existing clients such as Verizon (added Verizon Wireless to its FiOS account), Nestlé (Nespresso), and MasterCard. In addition to General Mills, MasterCard, RB, and Nestlé, the NY agency also works on the network’s global Microsoft and L’Oréal businesses.