Agency looks to Russia for help hacking Cannes Lions

"It's basically a sure thing."

A Colorado-based agency has turned to the Russians in its hour of need.

WorkInProgress (WIP) says it hopes the country can help it win the "undeserved title" of Agency Network of the Year 2018 at Cannes Lions this month, considering Russia has experience in this area

The agency, which was launched just two years ago by the team behind some of Domino’s most prolific advertising work, created a billboard that is running right now in central Moscow.

It bears a simple message that translates as: "Your attention. WorkInProgress. Cannes Lions. Participation in nomination. Agency network of the year 2018." The project took three months to make.

Andrew Lincoln, a creative leader and co-founder at WIP, said: "We figured, where better to draw attention to our cause than Moscow. I mean, Russia has more than proven its persuasive capabilities, and Moscow is the cultural heart -- and brain -- of the country. It’s basically a sure thing."

Technically, WIP isn’t a network, it’s a single shop. Also, winning agency network of the year requires racking up the most Lions throughout the festival. WIP has entered work in six categories.

The campaign runs from June 1 to 15 and is day-parted, showing once every hour at Erevan Plaza, Russia.

WIP placed the ad with the Russian Marketing and Advertising Services, which is the country’s ClearChannel. To pass through Russia’s strict censorship process, WIP worked with the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation. They were serious about making sure nothing in the ad was factually incorrect. For example, the copy couldn’t suggest that WIP won an award, and had to be focused on their request to be considered for the top award.

"Truthfully, their edits made the ad better," said Pete Sheinbaum, a partner and co-founder at WIP. "Even their censorship folks are awesome creatives."

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