Special NZ wins Health & Wellness Lions Grand Prix for Partners Life ‘The Last Performance’

Special NZ wins Health & Wellness Lions Grand Prix for Partners Life ‘The Last Performance’

(Pictured L-R: Jack Gravatt, creative; Rory Gallery, CSO; Tony Bradbourne, founder/CEO; Lisa Fedyszyn, ECD and Till Dittmers, creative)

Special New Zealand has been awarded the Cannes Health & Wellness Lions Grand Prix at a ceremony presented in Cannes.


The agency scored the Grand Prix for Partners Life ‘The Last Performance’ developed with South Pacific Pictures and Images & Sound.

‘Last Performance’ for Partners Life has proven to be a highly successful and innovative campaign, where it advertised life insurance by treating it like death insurance, and had the dead characters of a murder mystery series come back to life during the show to express their regret about not being insured.

New Zealand’s first Cannes Grand Prix since 2016, and Special NZ’s since 2010, this Grand Prix is a brilliant start to the week for Special and the Last Performance campaign which is also one of 17 Titanium Lion shortlists and has three shortlists in the Entertainment Lions and two in the Media Lions.

Says Mel Routhier, CCO, VMLY&R Chicago and Health and Wellness Lions jury president: “We talk a lot in our industry about purpose driven work, and we would actually argue that this piece of work maybe is bringing our industry back to its original purpose. Which is about celebrating the purity of a really, simple good idea, well done in a way that makes us all jealous as hell.”

Says Kris Ballantyne, chief customer officer at Partners Life: “We are delighted to be acknowledged at the highest level by Cannes Lions for Last Performance. We loved the creative territory when it first got pitched to us, but we also thought it may be unpractical to execute. It was one of those things that sounded great on paper, but we weren’t sure how we could land this right. For us,it was not giving up on a territory that we liked the idea of. You must stick with it and be brave.”

Special NZ wins Health & Wellness Lions Grand Prix for Partners Life ‘The Last Performance’

Says Tony Bradbourne, founder and CEO, Special: “To win at Cannes is one thing, but to walk away with a Grand Prix is truly humbling. Our name is a promise that everything that goes out the door must be ‘special’, and twelve months ag we challenged ourselves to create something so ‘special’ it would win a Cannes Grand Prix – proving once again that creativity from the edge of the world can shine on the world stage. Congratulations to everyone involved, especially our brave and adventurous clients for believing in the power of creativity.”

Says Lisa Fedyszyn, ECD, Special: “I’m a bit lost for words. It’s such a momentous occasion, prestigious show and award and I’m just incredibly honoured and proud to receive a Cannes Grand Prix. Getting the project itself to the finish line was no mean feat, but everyone who made it happen, from our brilliant and innovative clients at Partners Life, to our collaborative content partners at South Pacific Pictures, to everyone who touched it at Special, deserves this incredible accolade. And a few drinks.”