Leo Burnett KL bags Bronze for Malaysia at Cannes Lions 2024

Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur’s campaign for Heineken “Heineken Heidden in Plain Sight” clinched a Bronze Lion in Transit (Ambient & Experiential) at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2024, competing the Outdoor Category which saw 2053 entries from around the world.

The Outdoor Lions submissions, which are up 6% YOY, is reflective of a medium that is evolving at pace, with the adoption of data engagement and emerging technologies to help brands think beyond traditional billboards.

The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in its 71st edition is running June 17–21 in Cannes, France. With a total of 26,753 submissions this year.

Malaysia has 71 entries competing in the biggest advertising awards festival on earth. Singapore has 526.

Against the Odds

Chinese New Year is the biggest and most important sales season in Malaysia for the beer category. As a brand that’s perceived to be more foreign with a premium price-point, Heineken needed to build relevancy and visibility during this crucial season while going up against more locally established beer brands, which have long associated themselves with this occasion over the past several decades.

Given that Malaysia is a dark advertising market for alcohol, beer brands typically advertised online, a space already crowded during this peak advertising season. Heineken found an opportunity in a key Chinese New Year custom, which allowed it venture into outdoor media in a way that completely respected local advertising laws.

Creative Solution

Several key Chinese New Year greetings that are a part of the significant greetings exchange tradition contained the phrase “Hei”, or happiness in Cantonese, such as “Hup Ka Foon Hei” (wishing your family happiness) and “Gong Hei Fatt Choi” (wishing you happiness and prosperity). Of course, one cannot spell Heineken without those same three letters.

Heineken cropped its logo to complete key Chinese New Year greetings on its existing fleet of delivery trucks, turning them into outdoor space for the brand in Malaysia, which proved to be 163% more effective than average outdoor media buys.

These technically unbranded billboards made Heineken highly visible as the trucks travelled 36,465 kilometres on their scheduled delivery routes throughout the country. The cheeky, culturally resonant approach sparked conversations, driving extensive reach, media interest and sales impact.

Soon, what started outdoors went online and across the news as people spotted Heineken “Heidden in Plain Sight”, with people even turning Heineken cans into their own Chinese New Year greetings on social media.

Ultimately, the campaign cheekily underscored that the celebrations were simply more complete with Heineken.


Emir Shafri, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Chief Creative Officer; Iska Hashim, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Executive Creative Director; David HK Tan, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Associate Creative Director; Vickknesh Raj, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Creative Group Head; David HK Tan, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Art Director; Vickknesh Raj, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Copywriter; Jing Jie Chang, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Copywriter; See Hian Poon, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Copywriter; Diyana Yusof, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Designer; Andrew Michau, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Chief Strategy Officer; Benjamin Cheong, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Strategy Planning Manager; Kaiyisah Suhaimi, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Strategic Planner; Firzan Mulafer, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Managing Director; Angeline Tan, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur General Manager; Irene Kuan, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Business Director; Amanda Lim, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Senior Account Manager; Cathryn Loh, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur Account Executive; Ivan Loos, Leo Burnett Creative; Nisha Khirudin, Prodigious Kuala Lumpur Head of AV & Digital Content; Adrian Lee, Prodigious Kuala Lumpur AV Producer; Fairuz Mazlan, Prodigious Kuala Lumpur AV Producer; Sam Chia, Prodigious Kuala Lumpur AV Editor; Kok Cheng Loh, Prodigious Kuala Lumpur AV Editor; Joyce Lim, Heineken Malaysia Berhad Marketing Manager; Jen Lyn Sin, Heineken Malaysia Berhad Brand Manager.

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