GSD&M Wins 7 Lions and 17 Shortlists at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity



Austin-based Ad Agency Brings Home Seven Cannes Lions

AUSTIN, TX (June 28, 2021) — As the 2021 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity comes to a close, Austin-based, full-service advertising agency GSD&M took home seven of the coveted Cannes Lions. Awarded 1 Gold, 4 Silver and 1 Bronze Lion in the categories Social & Influencer, Media, and PR for their breakthrough campaign Popeyes “Chicken Wars” and 1 Silver Lion in Digital Illustration & Design for the United State Air Force (USAF) E.C.H.O. recruitment website.

GSD&M sparked an unprecedented cultural moment with Popeyes “Chicken Wars” by creating “the tweet heard around the world” with just two words: “…y’all good?” This led to The Great Chicken Sandwich War of 2019, and Popeyes ended up selling its entire 10-week supply of chicken sandwiches in eight days.

For the USAF, GSD&M launched E.C.H.O.—which stands for Enhanced Cognitive Human Ops—with the guidance of a cognitive professor. This online experience showed visitors how a well-trained Airman is the Air Force’s greatest weapon. Through a series of challenges, players’ cognitive skills were tested, measured and they were given feedback so they can develop their skills further.

GSD&M also scored an impressive 17 shortlists recognizing creative brilliance for their work with Popeyes, USAF, Pizza Hut and their recently published children’s book, Hear My Voice. Shortlist categories include:

  • Popeyes “Chicken Wars” 
    • Media: Social Behavior, Real-time Response
    • Mobile: Real-time Response
    • Social & Influencer: Innovative Use of Community, Organic Reach & Influence, Co-Creation & User Generated Content, Breakthrough on a Budget
  • USAF “E.C.H.O.”
    • Digital Craft: Overall Aesthetic Design, incl. UI
  • USAF “Into the Storm”
    • Digital Craft: AR/VR Immersive Storytelling
  • Pizza Hut “PAC-MAN Box”
    • Digital Craft: AR/VR Immersive Storytelling
  • Project Amplify “Hear My Voice”
    • Print & Publishing: Corporate Purpose & Social Responsibility

“We couldn’t be more proud of this year’s wins at Cannes. Having our teams recognized for their hard work and dedication, especially during an unprecedented time over the past year, is an incredible testament to the talent and dedication of everyone working here,” said Jay Russell, Chief Creative Officer at GSD&M.

Check out some of the winning campaigns on


Founded in 1971, GSD&M is a creatively driven, full-service agency headquartered in Austin, Texas, that believes when you pay the price to understand the problem and apply that insight to solve courageously, the reward is ideas that make a difference. With a restless culture and purpose as a guiding force, GSD&M builds brands with a fully integrated creative, media and analytics approach. For more information, visit

Media Inquiries:

JR Link
Director of Brand, GSD&M

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