Dove's Evolution film, part of the soap company's "Real Beauty" campaign, has creative roots in Amherst.
Mike Kirkland of Snyder and other representatives from the Ogilvy & Mather advertising agency in Toronto accepted the Grand Prix award in Film at the Cannes Lions 54th International Advertising Festival in Cannes, France, on Saturday.
The Grand Prix Award is presented to the top television commercial in the world, as determined by a jury of respected creative directors from around the world.
The evolution film was created for the Dove Self-Esteem Fund with the purpose of building the self-esteem of young girls.
The film documents the make-up application process of a model from start to finish.
"The commercial was done to help young girls realize that the images they see a lot of the time are fabrications," Kirkland said by telephone from Cannes.
"We wanted to put things in perspective. You shouldn't hold yourself to a standard that, quite often, isn't real to begin with," he said.
Kirkland, an art director at the Ogilvy & Mather in Toronto, was joined in the project by creative directors Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin, art director/copywriter Tim Piper and agency producer Brenda Surminski.
Together, they created a film that began on the Internet and soon migrated to television.
"[Tim Piper] and I are both art directors in business and have seen retouching done to embellish the way people look in fashion ads," Kirkland said.
"We don't work on fashion brands ourselves, but we have always been taken aback by the work that goes into making these women look the way they do," he said.
The film, which has been shown on television in Holland, Saudia Arabia, and the Netherlands, was also presented Wednesday with the competition's Grand Prix for Cyber award, which is given to the top Internet film.
Dove's Evolution film can be seen at www.campaignforrealbeauty.ca.