Lucky Iron Fish

The Lucky Iron Fish, a lump of iron fashioned in the shape of a fish, was the winner of the Product Design Grand Prix at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2015. The design concept, developed by Canadian medical student Christopher Charles, was focused on addressing iron deficiencies in the diets of Cambodians. A diet of mostly rice and fish was leading to widespread anaemia, resulting in attention deficiencies, premature births and miscarriages. Christopher came up with the idea of placing a lump of iron in water with citrus fruit, providing for the daily iron needs of a family. The fish design was developed to encourage Cambodians to use the iron in their cooking. The fish is regarded by many in Cambodia as a symbol of hope and good luck. The lucky iron fish are made by locals in Cambodia using scrap metal that’s been approved. Since 2012 Lucky Iron Fish Inc has been making and distributing the fish across the country.

Lucky Iron Fish

Gary Tranter, Matt Cullen, Rebecca So and Chin Chin-Han Yu worked on the earlier promotion of the campaign in collaboration with Google. Filming was shot by director Jonathan Finnigan at Lucky Devil Films, Singapore. Music was by Gerard Fitzgerald at Song Zu Singapore.

Cannes Controversy

The Lucky Iron Fish campaign was entered at Cannes by Geometry Global in partnership with MEMAC Ogilvy, Dubai. Geometry Global is responsible for the most recent round of promotion for the Lucky Iron Fish product. Concerns have been expressed about the agency taking credit for product design done much earlier. The Cannes committee have explored the situation and decided, in consultation with the agency, to award the Grand Prix to Lucky Iron Fish company in Cambodia.

Gavin Armstrong, CEO at Lucky Iron Fish, stated:

“Based on my understanding of the entry mechanism at the Cannes Lions festival, we gave Geometry Global approval to be the entrant for all Lucky Iron Fish entries, with full credit to Lucky Iron Fish and other participating entities. There has been no intention to misrepresent the role of Geometry Global or the campaign in the entry or any communications. I was present during the event and received each of the Lions award on stage. I also presented to the Judges for the Innovation award.”

Geometry Global also made the following statement:

“Geometry Global Dubai and Memac Ogilvy MENA are proud to have partnered with the creators of the Lucky Iron Fish product to bring wider exposure and commercial success to this important public health innovation. We have been transparent in our award entries about the contributions of all the players including Gavin Armstrong, CEO of Lucky Iron Fish, Dr. Chris Charles, Director on the Board of Lucky Iron Fish, and all of the supporting agencies. The product design and prototype were created by Lucky Iron Fish; Geometry Global helped to introduce the product to a wider audience. With the misunderstanding that there could only be a single entrant company across all categories, we entered the Product Design category on behalf of our client and were therefore named ‘entrant company’. Our approach was in full agreement with Lucky Iron Fish company and all partners were credited in the entry. We now understand that Product Design could have been entered directly by Lucky Iron Fish without Geometry Global and Memac Ogilvy as an ‘entrant company.’ Therefore, we have agreed with the Cannes Lions that Lucky Iron Fish should be the sole recipient of the Grand Prix in Product Design, as accepted by CEO Gavin Armstrong during the ceremony in Cannes on Wednesday night. It is an honour to be partners of Lucky Iron Fish, and we are pleased that it has garnered recognition by the Cannes Lions juries. We look forward to being part of the continued success of this project.”

Lucky Iron Fish

Lucky Iron Fish

Lucky Iron Fish

Lucky Iron Fish

Lucky Iron Fish