TORONTO: Two campaigns that focused specifically on issues relevant for women and girls have been recognised as joint Grand Prix winners at the 2016 CASSIES.

The annual CASSIES are Canada's only advertising industry awards to reward business effectiveness based on rigorous published cases. 

Warc subscribers can read all the winning case studies here.

One of the campaigns taking top honours this year was "Groceries Not Guns", developed by Grey for campaign group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (MDA).

The other was #LikeAGirl, a Leo Burnett campaign to reposition Procter & Gamble's Always feminine hygiene products for a younger market and to promote confidence in girls.

Built on the recognition of the potentially huge lobbying power of American mothers opposed to liberal gun laws, "Groceries Not Guns" targeted retail chains that allowed the public to carry loaded guns inside their stores.

Without a traditional media plan, creativity was a key element in the successful execution of a national campaign that encouraged mothers to think they could be placing their families at risk by just visiting certain major retailers – such as Starbucks and Kroger – which supported America's "open carry" law at the time.

Social media, digital channels and effective use of imagery were all employed. For example, the iconic Starbucks mermaid logo was altered to show her with guns ablaze and these "gun cups" were distributed during MDA rallies as part of a "Skip Starbucks Saturday" campaign.

After just four months, Starbucks announced that guns were no longer welcome in its stores. Safeway and Albertsons have also become gun-free.

The #LikeAGirl campaign for P&G's Always brand drew heavily on video and social media to champion confidence among girls as they went through the difficult time of puberty.

Another aim was to transform a brand rooted in functionality and hidden in shopping carts to one that could bring about meaningful change and empower girls.

The #LikeAGirl video launched in June 2014 with limited paid support, but went on to become the number one viral video in the world with 85 million views globally.

In addition to these Grand Prix winners, four Golds were awarded as well as 14 Silvers and 18 Bronzes – or 38 winning entries in total.

Gold awards went to Ogilvy & Mather's "Respect The Bean" campaign for Nabob coffee, Sid Lee's "We The North" on behalf of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the "There's a monster in all of us" campaign for Vancouver Opera that was developed by DDB Canada, and "Better Beef. Better Eggs. Better Chicken" by A&W.

Data sourced from CASSIES; additional content by Warc staff