Agency becomes first-ever PR Agency to win PR Lions Grand Prix with sole creative credit for Specsavers, The Misheard Version

Golin made history at the 2024 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity by securing the first-ever PR Lions Grand Prix awarded to a PR agency with sole creative credit, for its London-based creative work with Specsavers, The Misheard Version.

Cannes Lions PR jury president and Founder of One Green Bean said: “Since the PR Lions first launched, there has been the same speculation ever year  – will a PR agency pick up the Grand Prix? I could not be more delighted that 2024 is the year that history will be made… The Misheard Version over-delivered against every evaluation benchmark we set ourselves.”

The agency also won a second prestigious Grand Prix for the campaign earlier in the week in the Audio & Radio Lions. Alongside the double Grand Prix, the agency clinched a Gold Lion and three Silver Lions across Audio & Radio Lions, PR Lions and Health & Wellness Lions.

Specsavers and Golin London, in a bold move to address hearing loss, transformed one of the most famously misheard songs into an unavoidable nationwide hearing test. By partnering with singer Rick Astley, they re-recorded his 80’s smash hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” with intentionally incorrect lyrics. Within eight hours, over 20 million people played the new “misheard” version, doubling online searches related to hearing loss and propelling it to a nationally trending topic in the UK on Google. Specsavers exceeded its hearing test booking target by an unprecedented 1220%.


Cannes Lions Audio & Radio jury president and chief creative officer at Colenso BBDO, New Zealand, Simon Vicars, shared their jury’s verdict, saying: “The Misheard Version by Specsavers is a brilliant example of creativity turned up to 11. A nationwide hearing test, disguised inside an iconic song. Creative to its core and recklessly ambitious in its execution. It powered business results and broke into culture. Thank you, Specsavers for making us laugh, for committing properly to this idea and for making our jury’s biggest decision an easy one.”

Al Wood, chief creative officer, Golin London, who helped oversee the campaign, reveled at the work’s impact: “An incredible result. This was an earned-first idea that started in laughter, but ended up changing how Brits hear. It owes its success to so many people – and it means the world to see that collective work recognised and celebrated on such a global stage.”

Additionally, the agency shares credit in multiple other Cannes Lions-recognised work on McDonald’s, Walmart, Unilever and Persil.